Coverage of the Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team at Global Youth Sevens breaks all records, reaching 11.5 million

The coverage of the Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team and their historic win at the Global Youth Sevens in December broke all previous ASRU records on Facebook, with a cumulative reach of 11.5 million for December.
It also changed the gender dynamic, with the dominant audience for the month being female, with 61% female and 38% male during the tournament.

The highlights:

  • 11.5 million reach on Facebook 
  • 2.48 million minutes (34,151 hours) of short videos viewed (of ‘our’ content)
  • 7.3 million video views (of our content)
  • 193,241 Facebook visits
  • The ASRU now has 32,000 followers on Facebook*
  • 5,950 new followers: a 24 % increase in one month
  • 140,800 ReactionsComments and Shares
  • The largest single day of viewership from the Global Youth Sevens videos and photos was 16 December, six days after the competition.
  • Changed the gender dynamic with 61% female and 38% male audience
  • 100 percent organic (No paid posts or advertisements)

*Rugby Australia has 30,000 followers on Facebook

11.5 million cumulative reach on Facebook in December (source Facebook)

Australian Schoolgirls Sevens Team & the Global Youth Sevens

The ASRU’s first-ever Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team competed in and won the Global Youth Sevens tournament on the Gold Coast 8, 9, 10 December 2023. Australian Schools Rugby Facebook (@ausschoolsrugby) coverage of the Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team during the event led to a strong national following, breaking all previous records.

We received an unprecedented 11.5 million cumulative reach on Facebook in December, with 193,241 Facebook visits over the month.

The video and photo coverage of the team, on and off the field of play, led to 2.48 million minutes (34,151 hours) of short videos viewed, with 7.3 million video views, and 140,800 ReactionsComments and Shares.

The photo coverage was well supported and shared, with over 1 million views. “The Champions. Lili Boyle, Captain and Charlize Ratu, Vice Captain, holding the winner’s trophy” received 306,431 views and the post “We Won” received 91,920 views. Many of the photo gallery posts received over 40,000 views.

The Australian team’s short video and photo coverage led to 2.48 million minutes (34,151 hours) of short videos viewed in December alone, with 7.3 million video views, and 140,800 Reactions, Comments and Shares on Facebook.”

Source: Facebook

The coverage had a long tail, with the largest single day of viewership from the Global Youth Sevens videos and photos being 16 December, six days after the competition was completed, with 532,032 minutes of video viewership that day. One month later, the video and photo coverage are still being viewed daily.

The coverage of the Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team attracted a new female audience, an increased overall audience within Australia in terms of total reach and a broader national reach, as well as viewership from Oceania, Asia, and a number of African countries, illustrating an interested audience outside our borders. This international interest also represents Australia’s historical leadership role through the Australian Schools Rugby Union.

The inclusion of the Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team and a commitment to coverage of the team’s performance has led directly to increased viewership and a new female audience for ‘ausschoolsrugby’. It also directly led to 5,950 new Facebook followers, mostly schoolgirls nationwide.

(Screengrab) This interview with Charlize Ratu, Vice Captain, Australian Schoolgirl Sevens, reached 366,800 people, had 113,300 video views with 34,600 minutes viewed (577 hours) with 7,500 likes or comments https://fb.watch/pI0LVcwVdf/

“The statistics surrounding ‘reach’, ‘likes’ and ‘video views’ of the Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team winning the Global Youth Sevens in December are extraordinarily high. These rival many of the country’s largest sporting teams and federations and prove a growing appetite for schools rugby played at the highest level, and here, in particular, the victorious Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team. We should all celebrate the girls achievement at a time of rebirth in grassroots Australian rugby,” said Kevin Culliver OAM, President of ASRU.

It should be noted that we only covered the Australian Schoolgirls team, on and off the field of play. We did not cover any other matches at the Global Youth Sevens, not because they were unimportant, but because we believed we needed to focus on our girls, first and foremost. The viewership results justify this decision. The Global Youth Sevens team had a very good website and social media coverage of all other matches.

For the first time, the audience split for @ausschoolsrugby shifted to a dominant female audience, with 61% female and 38% male during the tournament.”

There has been a longstanding gender imbalance within Australian rugby, including the ASRU Facebook followers, which is understandable due to the lack of a schoolgirl’s rugby competition. This gender imbalance, however, started shifting over the last three years with the inclusion of the Schoolgirl Sevens tournament at the ASRU Australian Championships. The Schoolgirl Seven’s game has unquestionably brought a new and important dynamic to the game, and today, in association with Rugby Australia, provides a clear pathway for our most talented schoolgirls to Commonwealth and Olympic Games representation.

This vast interest in the women’s game was illustrated by the record-breaking TV numbers recorded during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia last year, where the Matildas’ semi-final defeat to England was the most watched television show in Australia on record.

Not only is it a new audience that the Schoolgirls Sevens attracts, but, like with women’s football and the Matilda’s, the women’s game is bringing the entire family together as spectators, whether at the venue or in the living room watching on television.

This became evident with our coverage of the Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team at Global Youth Sevens, where, for the first time, the audience split for @ausschoolsrugby shifted to a dominant female audience, with 61% female and 38% male during the tournament.

Many of the photo gallery posts received over 40,000 views, with the galleries and individual photos freely shared on social media by athletes, friends, family, schools and clubs.

It should also be noted that eleven of our Australian Schoolgirls Sevens team were also selected in teams to compete in New Zealand tournament the following week, with three (Shalom Sauaso, Waiaria Ellis, Elise Simpson) selected in the Rugby Australia’s U18 team, which won the NZ tournament.

Australian Schoolgirl Shalom Sauaso was awarded the Best Player award in the Global Youth Sevens at the Gold Coast. She was also awarded the Best Player award in New Zealand playing for the RA Australian U18 Sevens team.  Shalom, from Ipswich State High, is only 16 years of age.

Australian Schoolgirls Sevens players who also competed in New Zealand: Rugby Australia U18 Sevens (Shalom Sauaso, Waiaria Ellis, Elise Simpson), Ohana (Madison Pomerenke), Renegades (Logan Lemusu, Fa’agase Tupuola-Palale, Lili Boyle), Cavaliers (Mia Jones, Pyper Marchant, Chaela-lee Falls), Tonga (Manua Moleka)

This was also an excellent illustration of a new seamless, cooperative, supportive relationship between Rugby Australia Women’s Sevens and the ASRU Schoolgirl Sevens.

(Screengrab) The short videos were all off the field of play, including interviews or capturing the girls training, preparing, warming up, and celebrating. These short videos brought in millions of views. https://www.facebook.com/ausschoolsrugby/posts/1136775267649953

The Champions. Lili Boyle, Captain and Charlize Ratu, Vice Captain, holding the winner’s trophy” was the most popular photograph, receiving 306,431 views 



THE AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS RUGBY UNION ‘ASRU’

The Australian Schools Rugby Union ‘ASRU’ is an independent, incorporated not-for-profit association run by volunteer members of the teaching profession and supporters who believe rugby has a unique ethos and benefits that contribute to the broader education of young people.

The ARSU is responsible for implementing, administering, coordinating, and organising all projects and activities relating to all rugby union activities in Australia at the school level.

For over 50 years, the ASRU has provided an expansive nursery to foster the opportunities and aspirations of school rugby players from a wide range of established and emerging competitions and networks. From the 1984 Grand Slam winning Wallabies team and the two World Cup winning Wallaby teams in 1991 and 1999, 27 of the players were Australian Schoolboy representatives. Since its inception in 1969 over 200 representatives of the Australian Schools Rugby Union have gone on to represent the Wallabies in the international arena. Hundreds more have been selected in state and other representative teams during this time.

THE AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS RUGBY FOUNDATION

The Australian Schools Rugby Foundation is a separate incorporated body whose aim is to support the aims of the Schools Rugby Union. The Foundation comprises business professionals, past Australian Schoolboys and Wallabies who look to use their business networks to provide additional financial support to the ASRU. The Foundation Chairman is David Mortimer.

MEDIAContact:  [email protected]


ASRU Social Media
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