PHD – Guinness
Guinness is the number one brand associated with rugby. However, the sport has long been associated with the men’s game, and despite the rise in popularity of women’s rugby, just 4% of women’s sport is covered by print and broadcast media in the UK. However, 45% of Brits cite a lack of media coverage the main reason for low engagement with the women’s game.
So, as a key partner of the women’s game, Guinness set out to break the status quo, challenging itself to increase the visibility of the Women’s Six Nations. The brand wanted to rise above and break the current cycle, creating editorial coverage where none had existed in previous editions of the tournament, and to position itself as a modern, culturally relevant and progressive brand with a purpose: #NEVERSETTLE until everyone belongs.
To drive authentic editorial coverage during the tournament, the brand needed to exist where sports fans existed. News brands were the obvious choice, a place where readers get their daily sporting fix. Guinness partnered with The Sun due to its significant readership and shared value of driving awareness of gender equality in sport.
Working closely with Guinness and the RFU, The Sun’s editorial team interviewed three players from each of the unions (Scotland, England and Wales), highlighting how each player had overcome adversities to become role models both inside women’s rugby and for any sport and gender. The content captured throughout the interviews was rolled out across print – including an eight-page editorial supplement with full page advertorial and digital – including further native content and multiple bespoke videos.
The editorial team produced 41 Women’s Six Nations articles on TheSun.co.uk (versus none the previous year) and five pages of coverage in The Sun print edition (up 690% on the previous year). Importantly, the campaign reached a massive 5.3 million adults and hit 1.1 million video views. A huge 81% of readers either watched, read or talked about the games, and positivity about women’s rugby increased by 310% amongst readers.
As a result of the campaign, Guinness saw a 400% uplift in readers being interested in women’s rugby. What is more, the campaign delivered incredible success across Guinness’ brand metrics — prompted campaign awareness increased by 1933% amongst readers, while prompted ad awareness increased by 1110%. Unprompted association between Guinness and women’s rugby also saw a significant uplift of 138%.
The partnership with The Sun was an authentic way for Guinness to further strengthen our associations with rugby in an inclusive way. By shining a light on the Women’s Six Nations and playing a part in raising awareness of the women’s game, we are truly taking our values of power, goodness and communion to broader audiences.Neil Shah, head of Guinness, GB
of readers either watched, read or talked about the games
adults were reached