The New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) has today announced a new partnership with Stan, Australia’s leading local streaming service, which will see NSW Origin players sharing what they are watching.
In a virtual mate vs mate, state vs state challenge, the NSW Blues will also throw down the gauntlet to the QLD Maroons. Even though the competition is on hold, the competitive spirit is still there as Blues players will showcase what they’re watching in creative ways and challenge the Maroons to try and do one better.
Players will enjoy endless hours of feel-good entertainment from Stan’s unrivalled collection of the world’s most iconic TV series, exclusive new shows from Hollywood’s biggest studios, blockbuster films plus entertainment for kids of all ages.
NSWRL Head of Commercial and Digital Jodie Cross said the new partnership is a major coup for the NSWRL in a challenging time globally for all industries, with the sports and entertainment sector reeling as events from the NRL to the Olympic Games have been suspended, rescheduled or cancelled.
The NSWRL has been forced to cancel nine major competitions for the 2020 season, while other competitions and state-wide community football are suspended until at least July; and the organisation’s showpiece, the State of Origin series, is yet to be rescheduled.
“We are very excited about teaming up with Stan in the current environment and appreciate their show of faith in our brand,” Cross said.
“Our digital channels are continuing to grow throughout this period of uncertainty which is testament to the strength of our brand and an endorsement of our digital strategy.
“It is also a reflection of the strong relationship between NSWRL and our Blues players who have been very engaged with the strategy. Without their support we could not have continued to engage our fans the way we have during the COVID-19 crisis.”
Cross said that because of the cancellations and uncertainty around what is happening on the field, the NSWRL has focused on creating digital content to keep fans and participants engaged and active and it has proved a hit.
The NSW Blues Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts amassed a combined total of more than 5.2 million viewed posts in April 2020. NSW Blues Instagram posts have been seen more than 2.8 million times, despite no football being played this month; Twitter impressions are up, with 637,000 this month, compared with 564,000 in April 2019; and NSW Blues Facebook posts reached more than 1.75 million people.
A Social Content Ratings report by The Nielsen Company also showed the NSW Blues account is the No.1 state account and second “most social” overall Rugby League account (owned engagement) behind the governing body for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram interactions in April 2020.
“It’s vitally important for the NSWRL to engage with our fans and participants in the current climate,” Cross said.
“Innovation is a key pillar of ours and we need to lead the way in ensuring our fans are engaged in Rugby League.”
In one of the campaigns, the NSWRL invited all junior league participants to send in a 20 second video asking for a tip on speed, tackling, kicking or passing from their favourite Blues player.
NSWRL was inundated with messages and the campaign, featuring players such as Mitchell Pearce, Damien Cook and James Tedesco, has been very popular.
The NSWRL has also created other segments for fans to be released soon, such as “Home with Hindy”, a look at how True Blue Nathan Hindmarsh is spending his time at home with his young family during the break.