RadiumOne has released a study revealing how tech-savvy today’s rugby union fans are, highlighting the importance of brand engagement with sport fans.

The advertising technology company found that over half (52%) of rugby fans use smartphones while watching the game on their televisions, with 44% using a smartphone while watching a game live.

The ‘Rugby Fans & Technology Survey’, conducted through research specialist TPoll, revealed that UK rugby fans have an average of 4.6 devices in their household and that 44% have bought tickets online, with 24% purchasing via a mobile device.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger rugby fans (age 16-34) are more than twice as likely to use their phone during the game than fans aged 55 or over, with half of the younger generation watching the game itself on a laptop and a quarter watching via a smartphone.

Technology behaviours

The research also found that 74% of fans watching at home interact with pre-game content online, with those watching live even more likely to interact online. In addition, 83% of fans at the stadium use their smartphone prior to kick-off.

With the Six Nations currently underway, RadiumOne’s research sheds light on the importance of effectively engaging with rugby fans as customers, noting that brands must fully understand the behaviour of sport enthusiasts via mobile devices.

“Technology has fundamentally changed the way fans and brands engage with rugby,” says RadiumOne’s Europe MD, Rupert Staines.

“Marketers need to better understand the nuanced behaviours of today’s rugby fans so they can build a tailored conversation on the relevant device.

“RWC 2015 will be a veritable goldmine for those relevant brands who understand the technology routines and associated data of today’s connected rugby fan.”