Thursday, 17 December 2015 15:02

Australian Rugby undergoes digital transformation


The ARU wanted a personalised, engaging and responsive web site that improved the fan experience by the adoption of new digital technologies, including mobility, cloud, social media and video.

It chose the global leader in customer experience management, Sitecore’s Experience Platform.

Sitecore’s Experience Platform gives digital marketers the flexibility to work with content using traditional and search-based methods.  It allows the ARU to better service fan needs and provide tailored content driving greater engagement.  Users will be able to opt to personalise content according to their own preference.  
It replaces a legacy CMS system that had become too expensive to upgrade, difficult to navigate and was unable to meet the performance requirements of the organisation’s fans.

As part of the digital transformation program, Accenture and Reactive have been appointed to provide application development and content management services enabling the organisation to own the experience of every fan who engages with the brand.  At the same time, Sitecore provides the ARU with a fully customisable framework and a more responsive web experience.

Kevin Stafford, Technology Manager at Australian Rugby Union said, “Sitecore delivers a CMS system with the most advanced and user-friendly functionality.  A major appeal of Sitecore was its flexibility in how we hosted the solution, enabling us to utilise our current infrastructure rather than being forced into a particular direction, along with its seamless integration with our Salesforce Customer Relationship Management tool. On top of this, the support we received from the Sitecore consultants right throughout the process was first class.”
ARU intends to launch three defined portals including a site for the fans, a corporate site, and a community site for all rugby participants. Content authors will be able to use Sitecore to seamlessly publish content to all channels while the single view of the rugby fan will be provided in Salesforce.  All of the ARU’s web properties will now be fully responsible, optimised for all devices types and sizes.

 With at least 70 per cent of visitors accessing the site via a mobile device, ARU intends to automatically deliver content across any channel with the end game of mapping profiles and real-time behaviours with on the spot decision-making to customise the experience across touch points.  This will change the way audiences view, interact and enjoy the sport.  
The site will also be more news focused, providing visitors with value add video and industry happenings; content underscored by good quality journalism from leading rugby experts who have a legacy in the game punting their view out to fans.  
The new website, which will go live in early 2016 will ensure supporters can follow the sport’s action wherever they are in the world enabling them to receive improved and personalised content on any device.   At the same time, the ARU will be able to further improve its understanding and visibility of its fans reinforcing its marketing, sales and service focus in support of online ticketing and retailing.
Australian Rugby Union (ARU), the national, governing body of Rugby in Australia and home to the Qantas Wallabies and Qantas Sevens teams, operates in one of the most competitive winter sports markets in the world with sport also competing against all forms of entertainment.   More than 687,000 people enjoyed a rugby experience in 2014 while the organisation’s website experienced more than 800,000 unique visitors spanning multiple pages for each game during the recent Rugby World Cup.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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