DRIVING 18-35+ YR OLDS OFF THE SOFA AND BACK ONTO THE PITCH
England Rugby wanted to create a campaign that would leverage the excitement of the Rugby World Cup to drive recruitment and engagement with their training sessions nationwide. We identified that the most important element missed by ex-players was the nostalgia and camaraderie of being part of a team. We realised that if we could reignite the connectivity between the players, we could get them back onto the pitch.
In the first year of the campaign fronted by Lewis Moody, we challenged lapsed players and rugby fans to return to rugby through a customised social content campaign. Returning for a second year, the campaign needed to step it up a gear, whilst keeping the insight of camaraderie at the heart of the activation. Playing on the atypical nature of the rugby brotherhood and traditional locker room banter, we partnered with Trigger Happy TV’s Dom Joly and England superstar, James Haskell, to create a disruptive content series. With the new series of Trigger Happy TV due to air later in the season, we reworked one of Dom Joly’s most popular sketches, creating a series of gonzo style videos featuring the comedian and his “squirrel squad” tackling unsuspecting lapsed players across England and getting them back into the game.
Over two years, the campaign has directly driven 5,300 lapsed players to back into the full contact form of the game, with 100 grassroots clubs engaged and an 86% retention rate in Y2.