JOHANNESBURG; December 4, 2018SA Rugby Union (SARU) today announced it has selected Accenture (NYSE: ACN) to champion the federation's digital acceleration ambitions as the official digital partner to the SARU and the Springboks.

“To many South Africans, rugby is more than just a game. It's a sport that evokes powerful emotions and has the power to unite the nation,” commented Vukani Mngxati, chief executive officer for Accenture Africa. “Our digital collaboration with the SARU and Springboks brand is the ideal platform to celebrate the country's diversity and secure our place in the fabric of popular South African sports culture.”

SARU has committed to digitisation as a key enabler of the federation’s strategic aspirations and selected Accenture Digital as its preferred digital partner. “We want to become a fan-centric organisation, with the ability to engage directly with loyal Springboks supporters across all digital channels,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

SA Rugby chose Accenture Digital as its official partner due to its established position as South Africa’s leading digital services provider and expertise in digital acceleration. “Accenture Digital brings a distinctive blend of local experience and talent coupled with a global track record in fan engagement across all capabilities and platforms in the new digital world,” added Roux.

Around the world, Accenture Digital has successfully revolutionised fan engagement and crafted memorable digital experiences for the Australian Rugby Union and the RBS 6 Nations, as hyper-connected fans increasingly demand access to rich and cross-platform content in real-time, whether they're watching at home or in the stadium.

“Accenture Digital will now fundamentally change the way SARU engages and interacts with its passionate fans to deliver on the federation’s digital strategy and ensure that it is positioned at the forefront of the sporting arena in the country and around the world,” said Wayne Hull, managing director at Accenture Digital and client lead for the digital partnership.

Based on Accenture Digital’s analysis of SARU's existing digital capabilities, the federation needed to refresh its existing channels to create greater engagement with its fans. “According to our research, 75 percent of people judge the credibility of a brand from their web and mobile platform, while 38 percent stop browsing if the platform is unattractive. Mobile users are also five times more likely to abandon a task if a web platform isn’t optimised for mobile.”

A responsive platform design that enables mobile-friendly engagement is a must have in today's mobile-first digital environment. As such, Accenture Digital will invest substantially to reimagine, build and deliver a world class, modern mobile-friendly digital platform that creates a fun, immersive and engaging digital experience for fans.

“With the ability to deliver personalised content for all types of fans, SARU will place hyper-relevance at the core of its fan experience and engagement strategy,” added Hull.

Fans will enjoy real-time access to team and player insights, in addition to stats, data and exclusive content that can enrich the fan and game-viewing experiences.

“SA Rugby is excited by the power of digital to bolster our personalised fan engagement capabilities and create a digitally connected, loyal, passionate and engaged fan base that will now be able support and love the various SA Rugby brands in previously unimagined ways,” added Andy Colquhoun, SA Rugby's Commercial & Communication General Manager.

About Accenture

Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions—underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network—Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 459,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.

About SA Rugby Union

SA Rugby is governing body for rugby in South Africa and is responsible for the promotion, development and support of all levels of rugby in the Republic. SA Rugby manages and administers eight national teams, among them the two-times world champion Springboks, Springbok Sevens and Women’s teams, as well as running ten tournaments such as Vodacom Super Rugby and the Currie Cup and managing events such as Test Matches and the HSBC Cape Town Sevens. SA Rugby also manages rugby’s commercial and broadcast interests and sends representatives to World Rugby and South Africa New Zealand Australia Argentina Rugby (SANZAAR) meetings to help shape the direction of the global game.

Contacts:

Jonathan Mahapa
Accenture
+27 11 208 3947
jonathan.mahapa@accenture.com

SA Rugby Union

De Jongh Borchardt
SA Rugby
+27 82 999 9979
dejonghb@sarugby.co.za

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