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The Guinness Pro12's Remarkable Digital Growth

In September 2015, Engage Sports Media became production, syndication and technical partners with the Guinness PRO12, rugby's premier professional club competition in Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

This partnership aimed to improve the online exposure of, and engagement with, Guinness PRO12 content across their entire social network and to successfully outperform competing rugby networks such as the Aviva PremiershipTOP 14 and European Rugby Champions Cup in these categories.

With the continued support of Guinness PRO12’s Head of Digital Peter Connolly, Engage implemented a detailed content plan per social media channel.

This focused platform-by-platform approach proved exceptionally effective!

Engage’s positive impact on the performance of Guinness PRO12 channels can clearly be seen when the first eight months of Engage’s involvement are compared to the eight-month period prior to the partnership:

- Total Guinness PRO12 video views across all platforms are up 150%, more than doubling from 1.2M to 3M views.

- Guinness PRO12 channels’ current 71.6K total engagements is a dramatic 309% improvement.

- Over 215K total subscribers across all social platforms in April 2016 is an increase of more than 135Ksince September 2015.

- Our role as production and syndication partners has seen video uploads more than quadruple across all platforms, from 129 to 607 uploads.

- Instagram’s total engagement of 45.3K represents an improvement of over 43K, surpassing YouTube as the most engaging Guinness PRO12 channel.

- Since Engage introduced regular posting on Guinness PRO12’s Vine platform, the channel has seen a staggering growth of over 222K views.

- Both views and engagement on the Guinness PRO12 Facebook page have grown significantly, with over 715K additional views and nearly 13K additional engagements

- Guinness PRO12’s most successful YouTube video of the past eight months [below] saw a healthy increase in engagement rate from the top YouTube video of the pre-partnership period, growing from 1.0% to 3.8% engagement.

The impressive growth in exposure and engagement since partnering with Engage has also seen PRO12 begin to outperform competing rugby networks:

- Guinness PRO12’s total engagement figure for the past eight months is 8.3K engagements higher than the total for Aviva Premiership channels in the same period.

- Engagement on Guinness PRO12’s top YouTube video outperformed the most successful content from the same period from both the TOP 14 and the Aviva Premiership YouTube channels.

- TOP 14’s best performer had 2.3K fewer engagements and an engagement rate 3.2% lower, while Aviva Premiership’s had 1.9K fewer engagements and an engagement rate lower by 3.5%.

- Guinness PRO12 Instagram’s engagement total in the past eight months is more than double that of the European Rugby Champions Cup, which has only 21.8K Instagram engagements in the same period.

- Guinness PRO12 Vine views also outperformed the European Rugby Champions Cup, with 36K more views since September 2015.

- Our most successful Facebook video of the past eight months [view here] totalled 252K views; considerably outperforming the Aviva Premiership’s top Facebook video of the same period by 212K views, and narrowly outperforming TOP 14’s highest viewed video by 6K views.

Further evidence of Guinness PRO12’s increasing online presence can be seen in the growth of the #GUINNESSPRO12 hash tag. In the past 30 days alone:

- #GUINNESSPRO12 has been used on over 660 occasions across almost 360 posts on all channels.

- Posts including #GUINNESSPRO12 have had a potential exposure of almost 7M social media users.

- Instagram posts including #GUINNESSPRO12 have received nearly 50K likes.

Engage Sports Media are proud to have worked alongside the Guinness PRO12 in achieving these remarkable results, and look forward to continuing our partnership as their social media presence grows to match their pedigree as one of rugby's top-tier competitions.