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South Africa – Keeping the Ball Rolling with ‘Mobi’ Web

by on June 22, 2010

Long before the World Cup came to South Africa, the Rainbow Nation has enjoyed unrivaled success in their most beloved sport: Rugby.

South Africa Rugby has an opportunity to fill the inevitable sucking sound as millions of soccer fans check their horns and sirens at departure gates to go back to their home countries.

Not long after, South Africa will turn again to their familiar strengths on the rugby pitch.

The Springboks are arguably the Alpha-male in South African sports.  They hold every major trophy available to them: the World Cup, the Tri-Nations, Nelson Mandela Plate, Freedom Cup and British and Irish Lions Series Winners. They are currently ranked number two in the world.

How can SA Rugby take advantage of the popularity of the World Cup?

In South Africa (and every other nation in Africa), it has to be through the mobile web… or “mobi” as South Africans call it.

  • South Africa’s fixed-line network reaches less than 10% of the population.
  • Mobile phones represent around 90% of all telephone lines in South Africa.
  • Africa’s mobile market is consistently growing at around 50 to 60% every year.

Poor fixed-line infrastructure and introduction to 3- and 4G networks, more South Africans will turn to mobile web.

South Africa Rugby has a loyal following on their website, FB Page, and Twitter, BUT they can learn a thing or two from their soccer brethren:

On the day the South African team, aka Bafana Bafana (‘the Boys’), was announced, visits to jumped from around 60,000 to 90,000 – showing the hunger for news via mobile.

To close, while I would NOT want rugby to be more like soccer:

…hard-nosed, knuckle dragging ruggers must realize that the best complement to their current social media engagement isn’t more PC Web, but mobile Web.


From → South Africa

One Comment
  1. Good thought about how the passion for the World Cup might be transferred over to Rugby to keep the attention on South Africa. Your example of how the South African soccer team used the mobile web is an interesting one – though it does raise the question of why you think it had such a big spike. Was it purely due to the attention around the World Cup or was it something more specific about what they did? It makes sense that Rugby should try to do the same, but what’s missing are your thoughts about how they might do it. You mention they have a strong following on other social media properties – what are some ideas for how they might leverage that in the mobile environment? Adding those details would help make the core suggestion of this post even stronger. (3 + 1 for being first = 4)

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