A global game

Scottish Rugby continues to develop its profile globally, as more fans than ever before follow rugby in Scotland.

A growing fan base of 43 million people in 181 territories worldwide tuned in to watch Scotland play in the 2018 Six Nations Championship.

Gregor Townsend’s first Autumn Test series as Scotland Head Coach was watched by 8.9 million viewers – up 42% on 2016, while 4.1 million fans worldwide watched Scotland’s thrilling Autumn Test match against the All Blacks.

This reach opens doors for Scottish Rugby to build relationships and develop the organisation’s profile internationally, with recent Tests in Singapore and the USA creating the perfect platform to showcase the brand overseas.

Working in partnership with Scottish Development International, Scottish Rugby collaborates to create network events where Scotland are on the road, with Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan offering the next opportunity to profile the Scottish Rugby brand internationally.

Scottish Rugby has continued to strengthen ties with the city of Nagasaki, who will host the team ahead of the tournament.

Next month, an U16 touring squad made up of 24 players from 15 Schools of Rugby will spend eight days in Japan playing two games against Nagasaki U16.

The tour comes as a continuation of Scottish Rugby’s relationship with the City of Nagasaki, marked with the signing of a Strategic Alliance at BT Murrayfield in August 2016, and which has seen a Japanese age-group touring side visit Scotland in 2017 and play a fixture against Edinburgh school George Watson’s College.

Scottish Rugby’s Business Development Manager, Al Kellock, said: “We continue to develop our profile globally, strengthening relationships with the aim of delivering long-term commercial growth.

Rugby is an ever-growing global sport on and off the field and a key strategy of the organisation is to engage new territories. Using rugby as a platform to enable our partners and sponsors to connect with new markets and engage with fans around the world.

“We have recently spent time strengthening ties in the US, Japan and Singapore markets and in 2016 we signed a partnership agreement with the city of Nagasaki to develop our business and rugby interests.

“Scotland played the first Tier 1 rugby match ever hosted in Singapore against Italy to kick-off Scotland’s 2017 summer tour which raised further our profile in Asia and demonstrated Scottish Rugby’s desire to be innovative and at the forefront of new initiatives.”

With the development of digital and social channels, people are increasingly following Scotland online. Scottish Rugby TV produced 182 videos for YouTube over the past season, delivering innovative, high-quality content on a global platform.

The Calcutta Cup highlights video became the most viewed video on the channel with 380,000 views from 229 territories across the world.

Fans are coming to cheer on Scotland at BT Murrayfield from far and wide and there are currently 3,971 Scotland Supporters Club members in 27 countries around the world - an 85% increase in members from the 2016/17 season.

Scottish Rugby Head of Marketing and Sponsorship, Toni Blackhurst, added: “Scottish Rugby’s social reach has extended further this year, with hundreds of thousands of followers from across the world interacting with our social media channels daily.

“Support for the Scotland team has never been higher, from sell-out matches to online interaction.

“During this year’s Calcutta Cup match, 7.1 million people engaged with Scottish Rugby’s content over the weekend. Our growing fan base has seen people following our channels from the United States, Ireland, Spain, South Africa, France, Italy and Australia.”