The Australian Rugby Union is the governing body of Rugby Union in Australia. Founded in 1949, it oversees eight member unions representing each state and territory; the national team, the Qantas Wallabies; and all professional and amateur aspects of the game.
The ARU has traditionally been a sporting innovator, but as the landscape has shifted, challenges in engaging fans, driving participation and capturing opportunities from digital content have emerged.
The ARU looked to technology to deal with these challenges. The organization saw the potential to engage fans by harnessing the power of customer relationship management, analytics and mobile devices to bring them closer to the action. By using smart technology, the ARU can better understand its fan and member base, and develop member centric business models.
To maximize its use of technology, the ARU named Accenture its official technology consulting partner in June 2012. Under this partnership, Accenture is helping the ARU implement innovative mobile and online applications, performance analytics, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
Accenture and the Australian Rugby Union
Accenture has helped the ARU define how cloud, mobility and analytics can help to improve relationship management and personalize online experiences, including:
Development of a mobile app available across Android™, Apple® iOS and Samsung that delivered the ultimate fan experience.
The app was integrated with social media tools such as Twitter. This enabled fans to receive constant updates and watch highlights.
Accenture used analytics to revolutionize the fan experience. Fans could access real-time analysis during the match and a complete post-match wrap-up, including head-to-head statistics, winning attack channels for play success and breakdowns of player performance.
For this project, Accenture used a Microsoft SQL Server and Qlikview environment to generate analytics models that examined real-time match data to offer fans comprehensive statistical analysis and easy-to-understand charts.
These outputs were shared on Accenture and ARU websites, online and social media channels, in newspapers, and on television.
Technology and Operations
Prior to Accenture’s engagement, the ARU was using CRM technology that no longer met its needs. The system had restricted functionality, and did not allow the ARU to add scale and sophistication to its CRM practices.
Accenture designed a high-level CRM shared services operating model that could deliver a single view of members and customers, improve relationship management and personalize online experiences.
Accenture helped the ARU to design an operating model, processes and technology to take advantage of new cloud-based ways of delivering CRM.
The ARU has significant digital content ranging from extensive game archives, to inside the dressing room content. Accenture and the ARU worked together to create a framework for assessing the value of these assets, distributing them in a cost-effective way, and prioritizing how to curate the assets in a way that consumers would value
The ARU is already reaping impressive benefits from the technology partnership with Accenture, including the ultimate goal—increased fan engagement.
The statistical outputs produced by Accenture analytics reached more than 244 million fans through print and online and social media channels.
Accenture’s CRM solution has provided the ARU with a robust platform to underpin future growth.
The new system improved the organization’s ability to provide personalized engagement, identify cross-sell opportunities and boost loyalty. The ARU expects the CRM system will offer substantial commercial benefits for Rugby as a whole.