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How Many People Will Watch A Rugby Match Online? Millions.

SILICON-VALLEY-SEVENS-SUNDAYWe keep hearing more and more about how niche sports are engaging better than traditional team sports in the digital space. lacrosse has grown its audience and now it looks like rugby is as well.

United World Sports, the owner and operator of the largest annual rugby events in the United States, today announced that the total reach of the 13.5 live hours of coverage on Facebook Live for this past weekend’s Silicon Valley 7’s Rugby weekend at San Jose’s Avaya Stadium exceeded 3.6 million fans. Australia narrowly defeated The United States 15-12 in the final, while in the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Classic, Central Washington defeated Arizona 15-14 to take the title.

The impressive numbers included:  632,000 video views and over 78,000 engagements, making the live stream one of the most-streamed U.S. based rugby events in history.

“Our first year event proved to have a global reach on Facebook Live that surpassed our expectations, and again proved the worldwide appeal of Sevens Rugby as a property,” said VP of Marketing Blake Mannion. “Rugby fans are known to be early adopters and very tech savvy, and the numbers generated by our team certainly showed two things: the sport is continuing to grow in popularity and the community loved the quality product produced this past weekend.”

Now of course the numbers are global and there was no live TV in the States, but the ability for a community like rugby to engage and support their sport remains impressive and continues to show that the world is moving more and more toward the mobile and digital space with direct access to fans, as opposed to the traditional way.

Impressive turnout for a first year event, and certainly one to watch for the future.

About Jerry Milani

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Jerry Milani is a writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 30 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and as a freelance professional. His PR clients have included Wizard World and FAN EXPO, which produce pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America, USA Wrestling, the National Lacrosse League, Strat-O-Matic Media, the Pacific Life Open and Pilot Pen Tennis tournaments and dozens of others. Milani is also the director of athletic communications for Caldwell University. He is a proud graduate of North Rockland High School and Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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