Making Sure It Worked
Madak was hired to improve the overall tournament website experience, and also create engagement through the NCR members and fans via email marketing and paid media. The marketing included email marketing to the NCR database, a partner affiliate media kit, and graphic design elements for the tournament.
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The company also developed a new website, www.maymadness7s.com, that allowed fans to track all of the divisions, or only the divisions they wanted to follow. The website was updated constantly with scores and up-to-date standings or bracket scenarios. So it wasn’t ust a case of creating a website and letting it float out there; Madak was actively updating it and making sure it was relevant to fans (and media). Compared to last year, the May Madness site welcomed 15 times as many visitors.
As the information hub for players and fans, maymadness7s.com generated a 20-fold increase in website traffic since January and over 22,000 unique visitors during the three-day CRC.
Madak helped May Madness 7’s team launch a new unified front for their digital presence. They also invested in a paid media strategy on Google, leveraging a cohesive look that aligned with their website and social media. The ad spend to promote the event also paid off, with a ten-fold return on that spend in terms of ticket sales.
Another area where rugby has often fallen flat is in pleasing sponsors. It’s not enough to get the sponsor, you have to make sure the sponsor is happy.
Madak’s broad-based approach to business development in rugby included working with NCR staff and outside contractors in sponsorship activation—making sure sponsors got what they had paid for in the best possible light.
Tying It All Together
The promotional video was designed to engage fans and players—those 110 teams also needed to be excited about being at the tournament. The sponsorship activation ensures sponsors will be back next year, while the website helped showcase the CRC’s organizational strengths and keep everyone abreast of who was in contention.
And social media linked all of that, sometimes focusing on the emotional, sometimes focusing on the basics (wins and losses).
So here are the stats: May Madness 7 engagement totaled 750,000 unique accounts over the weekend. The CRC itself sold 8,430 tickets, a significant increase over 2021. The Rugby Network enjoyed 38,600 total views over the course of the three days, with another 4,000 on-demand views; that viewership was almost perfectly mirrored on YouTube with 34,300 total views.
In a crowded sports world and a crowded college calendar, standing out takes effort. By bringing in Madak, NCR was able to concentrate on making sure the CRC was a success, while also having a group back them up when it came to making players, fans, media, and sponsors happy.