World Rugby and tournament organisers England Rugby 2015, have hailed the success of the biggest Rugby World Cup ever which saw records broken on and off the pitch.
This included tickets sales of over 2.47 million, an official fanzone attendance of over one million, Wembley Stadium recording two consecutive Rugby World Cup attendance records and Bryan Habana equalling Jonah Lomu’s Rugby World Cup try scoring record with three tries against the USA during six weeks of competitive and compelling rugby.
The pool stage saw fans pack into the venues to witness some of the most competitive matches of any Rugby World Cup. Highlights included Japan claiming one of the greatest upsets in sporting history by beating South Africa and Romania staging the biggest-ever comeback with their win over Canada.
The knock-out stages saw some thrilling rugby which included Argentina’s pulsating win over Ireland in the quarter-finals and New Zealand’s narrow two point win over South Africa in the semi-finals.
As the curtain came down on a spectacular tournament, World Rugby and England Rugby 2015 paid tribute to the 20 teams, 19 match officials, 6 000 volunteers, 11 host cities, 13 match venues, 42 team bases, 15 fanzones and millions of fans who played a crucial part in delivering a successful and exciting Rugby World Cup 2015.
Over 2.47 million tickets were sold across all 48 matches, including over 100 000 child tickets, through official channels with an average of 98 per cent of tickets sold across all venues. This included 120 000 tickets that were purchased through the tournament’s official resale service, a safe and secure platform through which fans could sell their unwanted tickets to other fans at face value. The final ticket breakdown for the tournament was as follows:
The final was enjoyed by an estimated audience of 120 million and the tournament’s highlight viewing figures included a record TV audience of 25 million in Japan to watch the match against Samoa and 11.6 million viewers for England v Wales on ITV – the largest rugby audience in the UK since the 2007 final and the highest peak audience for a sporting event since the 2014 football World Cup.
Rugby World Cup 2015 was the most digitally engaged tournament to date with social media activity exceeding the whole of New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup 2011 during the 2015 pool stages.
Throughout the tournament, #RWC2015 was used twice a second for the duration of the event and over five million times in total, there were over 270 million video views on all social media channels, the website attracted 25 million unique users and the official App was downloaded 2.8 million times with use in 204 nations.
In a first for Rugby World Cup, fans could also engage with the tournament through augmented reality via the ticket design. Over 300 000 used the Blippar app to access unique content by scanning their ticket including match previews, view from your seat and interviews.
The introduction of giant Twitter screens at Twickenham Stadium also allowed over 2,000 fans per day in venue and across the world to display their messages of good luck to the teams.
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Rugby World Cup 2015 will be remembered as the biggest tournament to date, but I also believe that it will be remembered as the best. England 2015 has been the most competitive, best-attended, most-watched, most socially-engaged, most commercially-successful Rugby World Cup.
“But this special Rugby World Cup has been about much more than numbers, it has been about the amazing atmosphere in full and vibrant stadia, the excitement around the host nation and in Cardiff, the unforgettable moments played out by the world’s best players and the friendships that have been created along the way – the very best of our sport has been on display.” – African News Agency (ANA)