HYFN Hyping New Pro Rugby League

Digital shop HYFN has the fun assignment of helping to introduce the Pro Rugby sports league to potential fans across the U.S. 

The new league kicks off its first season on April 17 with teams in San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Denver, and Ohio. As yet, the teams are unnamed with the league leaving that up to fans as a way to build awareness for the league and its initial 12-game season, which ends in July. 

HYFN developed the digital strategy, positioning and editorial calendar. The agency also developed and is executing the paid social-media strategy. 

"We shot video content at the try outs for the league," says Tom Lyons, managing director, New York, HYFN. "From that content we’ve edited them into several themed short (two minutes or so) videos designed to get core fans excited, introduce some of the players who will likely get chosen to play, and to inform viewers about the league.” 

The campaign will use different channels for different types of content and its corresponding goals. The league’s website, for instance, will be informational, hosting the season’s schedule, ticket sales, merchandise, as well as team and player profiles.  

The league’s Facebook page will serve as a hub for players and fans to share stories, and photos. "This where the most lifestyle content will live," says the agency. And it will use Twitter and Instagram for more real-time content distribution and sharing. 

"We are starting with core rugby fans throughout North America," says Lyons. "Our strategy is to use social to galvanize them around this new league, almost like a cause, and to provide them with content and material to share around the league’s launch and success.” 

Efforts to create awareness for the league began late last year.  Since November 1, the campaign has generated 19,400 organic page likes with an average daily organic reach of 32,912. The first video posted on the site reached 255,200 people and received 1,700 likes according to the agency. The first video racked up 100,000 views within three days of its debut.  

These clicks have increased over the past month. There have been 89,100 video views, 3,100 organic likes, and an average of 167 shares per day.

The league is expected to attract an international following as many of the players are well-known outside of the U.S., including Italy’s Mirco Bergamasco who will play for Sacramento and South Africa’s Pedrie Wannenburg who will play for Denver. 


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