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How the Lions’ new app helped make their tour the mane attraction

Capturing data can be the key to building memorable customer experiences, as the work with British & Irish Lions shows.

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The better the question

How did EY help the Lions use customer data to build a winning team off the field?

The rugby team was looking to reach a broader audience with its app.

With their 2017 Tour looming, the British & Irish Lions wanted to build a deeper, stronger relationship with their fans via social media.

The Lions built a successful social media app for their 2013 Tour of Australia using only names and email addresses. Since then, data collection and analytics capabilities have grown by leaps and bounds, and the team wanted an app for its 2017 Tour that took full advantage of these advances to engage even further with its fans.

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The better the answer

Turning the app into a Tour de force

The Lions used a wealth of data to learn more about their fans.

Since the 2013 Tour, the Lions have used analytics to expand their customer engagement strategies, including the setting up of “The Pride” database. Allowing social log-ins onto their services also opened up a much deeper source of user data. Before building the 2017 app, EY worked with the Lions to augment this social data through several weeks of workshops with fans.

For the 2017 app release, EY provided social media analytics capabilities to the development team, looking in particular at how fans reacted to the app four years ago. EY teams also looked at what fans were saying about the 2017 Lions Tour during key rugby moments, such as the run-up to the Six Nations and during major announcements, such as the selection of the Lions coaching team and squad announcement. We also tracked fan social media sentiment in the months leading up to the tour to help fans continue to get the best experience possible.

app screenshots

EY took the fan experience up another notch by introducing the streaming, processing and presenting real-time data to app users during the matches.

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Reaching more fans in more ways

Enthusiasts used the app to connect with the Lions in impressive numbers.

The app was downloaded more than 215,000 times, a 20% increase on the 2013 Tour, and facilitated 1.6 million sessions of an average 3.3 minutes per session – more than double the 2013 average. The social and digital campaign totaled over 4.59 million impressions, 23,000 clicks and over 2,700 social engagements. Click-through rates were 1.5 to 3 times above (mobile) industry/platform standards, while female use of the app was double that four years earlier – a promising indicator of cross-cultural appeal. Also, fans played the Fantasy Rugby game, which we built from scratch for the Lions, more than 130,000 times.

“When looking for our partners, the British & Irish Lions look for the best in class. The very best of the best. EY were far more than partners. They were part of the team,” says Charlie McEwen, Chief Operating Officer, British & Irish Lions.

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