Capgemini innovates fan experience for World Rugby at Rugby World Cup 7s

27 July 2018 4 min. read
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The Rugby World Cup 7s event in San Fransisco in July 2018 was home to a number of pioneering digital techniques, aimed at improving the fan experience during the tournament. The collection of insight and statistic tools were brought to the games by Rugby 7s global innovation partner Capgemini.

Capgemini has been present in the world of rugby for 25 of its 50 years in business. The firm’s founder, the late Serge Kampf, was a lifelong rugby fan and sponsor of the sport, so naturally, alongside Capgemini’s support of domestic rugby clubs, the consultancy was also a sponsor of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, which took place in Kampf’s native France. Commenting on the parallels he saw between the sport and his business, Kampf once said, “Rugby is a team sport in which you can’t accomplish anything without the rest of your teammates, where the player who scores a try doesn’t think he’s king of the world because he knows it’s the result of teamwork, a shared drive and a common strategy.”

Further cementing its ties with the global game, earlier in 2018 Capgemini announced it was partnering with what the company described as “the most innovative form” of the sport. Rugby sevens is a more agile variant of rugby union, in which teams consist of seven players and play seven minute halves, instead of the traditional 15 players playing 40 minute halves. The game is popular at all levels, with amateur and club tournaments generally held in the summer months. The deal saw Capgemini become the official global innovation partner of the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, and the new multi-year partnership also saw the firm become a key sponsor of the sport’s separate Rugby World Cup Sevens event, taking place in July 2018, hosted for the first time in San Francisco.

Capgemini innovates fan experience for World Rugby at Rugby World Cup 7s

During the tournament, Capgemini leveraged a series of new digital products to help World Rugby redefine the fan experience. The new solutions were created as a result of Capgemini’s Global Innovation Partner to World Rugby status, announced at the beginning of 2018. The products – Match Predictor game, Live Match Tracker and Digital Stats Hub – each apply Data Science, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning to create deeper insights for fans, media, teams, players and officials, in order to enhance the fan experience of tournament attendees.

Capgemini’s team of data scientists from its Insights & Data practice along with Applied Innovation experts, worked closely with World Rugby on the collection and access to data. By applying AI and Machine learning to connect related data points, deeper insights into the game were created. These insights were then tailored to deliver a personal experience for media, fans, team players and officials.

Virginie Regis, Marketing and Communications Director and member of the Group Executive Committee at Capgemini, said of the event, “As Global Innovation Partner to World Rugby, we wanted to bring our extensive experience of putting the customer first for large corporations to the game of Rugby Sevens. Together with World Rugby we established a purpose for changing the way in which both new and existing fans, as well as commentators and the media, engage with the sport. This season, we have been on an applied innovation journey that has taken us around the world to discover, devise and deploy new insights-led products. We are excited to now be demonstrating the outputs of that creative and iterative process and look forward to delivering an enhanced fan experience next season.”

World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper added, “The stage is set for the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 to break new ground on and off the pitch. Working in collaboration with our Global Innovation Partner Capgemini the event will see new innovations in fan engagement to bring the digital and in stadium audience closer than ever before to the speed, skill and excitement of rugby sevens. As a global capital of innovation San Francisco provides the perfect destination to unveil these pioneering developments designed to enhance the fan experience, which will be rolled out across World Rugby events next season.”