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Rugby Football Union uses IBM analytics to engage fans

Matthew Finnegan | Oct. 10, 2013
The RFU in England saw web traffic spike by nearly a third during this year's RBS Six Nations tournament, as match viewers flocked to use its IBM analytics-based TryTracker system.

Since going live with TryTracker, the system has had some success in engaging new and old fans, driving more traffic to the website.

According to the RFU's figures, during the Six Nations tournament there was a 27 percent increase in the number of unique visitors, which was attributed to the launch of the analytics system, with visits rising to 1.6 million, compared to 1.2 million the previous year.

"We saw record levels of traffic to the website during RBS 6Nations 2013, and we launched it in a really quite soft manner," said Shaw.

Going forward, the digital team at RFU, which was set up three years ago, looks to develop the analytics platform further with the more editorialising of data, more social network engagement and the addition of new streams of data. For example this might mean including weather data to add more nuances to the predictive analytics, while GPS data is also likely being incorporated, with tags on all England players' shirts.

Heartbeat monitors are also being considered, Shaw said.

The TryTracker will also benefit from an upcoming overhaul of the website, and the development of iOS and Android apps for the analytics system, both of which will be led by IBM.


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