Every year, an average of 8.3 million avid rugby fans tune in to the Six Nations, which is why it is no surprise large brands are digging into their marketing budgets to sponsor the event.
With the tournament starting on Saturday, we wanted to dive into the top sponsors for 2023.
This one won’t be a shock, seeing as the competition is titled ‘Guinness Six Nations’. In 2018, the popular Irish dry stout provider signed a six-year deal with the Six Nations, a sponsorship worth over £50m. The Guinness team in particular works to promote both the player and fan experience, using their sponsorship to nudge the millions of adults who watch or attend games to behave sensibly when drinking. For Guinness, this title sponsor deal and large exposure makes them synonymous with rugby. It’s culture. It’s atmosphere.
Alcohol sponsors are always popular for large sporting events, and it is no different for the Six Nations. When a match is on, revenue can rise by up to 40% compared to weekends without rugby. This demonstrates the size of the market share opportunity for a beverage company that can capitalise on six weeks of rugby to grow sales and foster customer loyalty.
Guinness were able to secure the title sponsorship for considerably less than previous sponsor RBS. This is because they have created a marketing strategy that makes good use of the sponsorship resources to improve the fan experience. Guinness has tapped into fans’ consciousness at every stage of the journey, in a way that provides value.
Although Guinness holds the title sponsorship for the men’s Six Nations, TikTok have announced they will become the title partner of the Women’s Six Nations up until 2025. Alongside this, TikTok is also teaming up with the men’s tournament.
As this is the first title partner the Women’s Six Nations will have, it was important to find a partner who shared their enthusiasm for the growth of women’s rugby. TikTok, a platform built to bring fans even closer to the action, will provide both new and seasoned rugby fans a glimpse into one of the sport’s most rapidly expanding subcultures.
Being sponsors of both the men and women’s Six Nations, TikTok guarantees rugby fans will be engaged on the social media platform all year round. A successful strategy, seeing as #rugby has amassed 5.1 billion views to date and #SixNationsRugby is swiftly increasing in popularity.
Every sports tournament needs a tech partner, and software technology company Sage have stepped up for the Six Nation. Through the power of data, Sage is fostering innovation in rugby, on and off the pitch, for players and fans.
Sage enhances fan experiences through TV coverage and social media. With access to tickets, events and information, Sage customers, partners, employees and communities around the world also profit from the partnership. The collaboration with Sage gives all participating teams, coaches and players useful insights to improve performance and on-field judgement, making the overall experience of the Six Nations even greater than before.
The one thing all these sponsorships have in common is they all support rugby and fit in with the Six Nations in their own unique way. Sponsorship deals like these are often extremely successful as they make the most out of the coverage and build relationships with fans and teams, fostering advocacy and loyalty. Fan engagement across all sport is extremely important for both sports organisations and sponsors, if you want to find out how to improve your fan engagement strategy talk to us today.