What if fans’ mobilisation on social networks could help their favourite team to gain ground, in real life?

#RugbyBattle is an interactive LED board system that measures fans’ digital commitment, in real time, during the French rugby TOP14 finale.Fans cheer for their team using a dedicated hashtag, on a microsite or directly on Twitter. The LED boards evolve during the match.
The more fans support their team on social network, the more their colours gain ground on the pitch!


6 years after its creation, Orange’s « Avec le XV » is the biggest brand digital community dedicated to rugby in France, and by far the most engaging one. Central to this achievement is Orange’s uninterrupted quest to offer rugby fans money can’t buy experiences, behind the scenes, exclusive content, meet & greets with top players, etc. 
In 2015, Orange wanted to use the TOP14 Finale to find a new way to connect rugby fans to their teams and give to millions of fans’supports a reality, on the stadium’s LED perimeter boards. Social media engagement and recruitment were also of importance.

Insights & Strategy

Every season, Orange is seeking new ways to help fans support their team and live their passion more intensely and meaningfully. In 2015, Orange wanted to honour best rugby fans, those whose encouragements get the upper hand over those of the rival team.
To celebrate the digital rivalry opposing rugby fans in France, during the TOP14 semi-finales and finale, Orange organised the #RugbyBattle: the more fans supported their team on Facebook and Twitter, the more their colours gained ground, both online (via a dynamic dataviz)… and around the pitch during the finale (via dynamic LED boards evolving in real time to display the balance of Social Media power !). 
Thanks to #RugbyBattle, Orange translated around the pitch the digital battle happening between supporters, by allowing them to directly express – on the pitch – their supports for their favourite team!


From May 31st to June 13th, every tweets and Facebook posts containing #RugbyBattle and #Allez[MyTeam] contribute to feed a dynamic dataviz on Orange’s Avec le XV website. The operation was completed by a Twitter Automatic Response, allowing users to receive in real time an update of the current balance of power.
This balance of power was regularly relayed on Social Media by Players and Teams sponsored by Orange, to encourage their fans to contribute. 
The climax happened during the TOP14 Finale, were every tweets containing #RugbyBattle and #Allez[MyTeam] fed a dynamic dataviz on the stadium’s LED boards.


Orange’s #RugbyBattle engaged 11,000 twittos during two weeks, for a total of 22,000 registered tweets (i.e. mentioning the necessary hashtags) and a potential reach of 287M users
The operation generated 40,000 new visitors to avecleXV.com website, on the period.
Emailing performances were great as a first emailing sent to 70,000 opt-in (fans of the 4 teams qualified for the semi-finales) presented an opening rate of 22.7% and a CTR of 6.8%. The second emailing, sent to 26,000 opt-in (fans of the 2 finalists) presented an opening rate of 22.6% and a CTR of 8.2%.