Hong Kong Rugby Union and Accenture Announce Digital Partnership to Grow the Game through Improved Interactive Experience for Rugby Fans

Digital Partnership includes New Mobile App for the Cathay Pacific/ HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

11 March 2016

The Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) have signed a Digital Partnership agreement to provide a more interactive experience for the rugby community. By applying the technology capabilities and sector experience of Accenture Digital, the HKRU will be able to grow its fan base both in Hong Kong and around the world, starting with a new mobile app for the world-famous rugby tournament, the Hong Kong Sevens.

The new HKSevens official mobile app will launch on March 16 following the Hong Kong Sevens official draw, providing users with the most convenient access to the latest event schedule, pools and team information from their smartphones.

In the build-up to the Hong Kong Sevens (April 8-10), the HKSevens app is expected to become the virtual epicentre for the 120,000 visitors expected to attend the tournament and rugby fans worldwide, with real-time, personalized news updates, schedules, and match scores available at their fingertips.

As the Sevens is widely hailed as the world's biggest rugby party, the new app will also function as a platform for social posts, online fan polls and competitions to generate greater interaction with fans around the world and enhance the Sevens' global digital footprint.

"With Rugby Sevens set to make its Olympic debut later this year in Rio de Janeiro, the sport is at the dawn of greater popularity than ever before in Hong Kong," said Vern Reid, CEO of the Hong Kong Rugby Union. "The new capabilities provided by Accenture can help us meet the rugby community's growing expectations in the digital era, where fans expect constant access to news, experience sharing and networking activities. The Union is delighted to team up with a world-class organisation such as Accenture. This digital partnership will enable us to capitalise on new opportunities to provide an innovative mobile service for our entire community - from minis to the most senior levels of the game, for players, spectators, local clubs, sponsors and the media," Mr. Reid added.

Under the agreement, Accenture will provide HKRU with digital and related business and IT capabilities to raise the profile of rugby in Hong Kong, developing new apps to engage different audiences, and creating data-driven business insights to enhance the community experience, and help make Hong Kong Rugby truly "A Game for All".

"Accenture's Digital Partnership with the HKRU will provide expertise and advice to help the local rugby community accomplish more with innovative technology and business models," said Steve Willis, senior managing director, Growth Markets, Accenture.

"Like any other digital consumers, rugby players and fans are used to accessing services whenever and wherever they need them. Mobile apps can provide a more engaging and fluid digital experience for users, which will help the Union become more customer-centric and provide an opportunity for the Union and its partners to unlock new areas for growth in ongoing relationships with fans," Mr Willis added.

Accenture, which also supported the HKRU's digital marketing campaigns around the Asian Olympic Qualifiers for Rugby Sevens in November 2015, will help to enhance the Union's customer relationship management capabilities through the latest digital channels and analytics.

Accenture is experienced in successfully helping rugby organisations in their digital transformations, including established and successful collaborations with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and the RBS 6 Nations Championship in Europe. The broad capabilities of Accenture Interactive, Accenture Analytics and Accenture Mobility, combined with its rugby experience, have been leveraged to meet HKRU's specific needs.