Connacht Rugby: a local voice with global reach

Connacht Rugby is one of the four professional rugby teams in Ireland. Fergal Dempsey - Operations Manager at the club - shared their ‘grassroots to green shirts’ approach, how they are inspiring their community while maintaining a global reach during ESSMA Spotlight.

The Connacht way

At Connacht Rugby they believe on making an impact that goes further than rugby with three core values:

  • Ambition

  • Belief

  • Community

“Pride in where we have come from, believe in where we are going and the ambition to succeed. This is the Connacht Way.” 

Their main brand activities focus on: developing their story, implementing more integrated campaigns (fewer, bigger, better) and drive awareness of who Connacht Rugby are & what they are about. With a key focus on being authentic, rooted in substance and optimising their strength.

Global reach thanks to Pro 14 

The Guinness Pro 14 - with teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, South Africa and Italy - is being broadcasted in 148 countries worldwide. During the 2017/18 season 2.4 million people watched Connacht Rugby home matches, in the 2018/19 season this figure grew to 3.6 million, while 4.3 million people watched during the 2019/20 season (with only 10 home matches). As a result of this growing worldwide presence, Connacht Rugby’s online reach grew with 26% in the past two years with up to 67.6 million impressions in the last 12 months.

“Focus on community values, never forget where you are from. Try to keep a local voice even if you have global reach.” 

Stronger together by staying apart 

To reinforce the message ‘Stronger together by staying apart’, Connacht Rugby redesigned its logo by splitting it in two to create social distancing. Another great initiative is their ‘Heroes’ jersey. With the limited edition jersey, the club wanted to honor the frontline staff while at the same time raising money for several foundations in need. While Fergal Dempsey and the rest of the team thought the jersey would sell out in 10 days, it already sold out in 8 hours with a total value of €27,000! 

Limited edition Heroes jersey.

Access the presentation

ESSMA Spotlight participants can access the recorded livestream via the ESSMA Spotlight platform. If you couldn't join us during ESSMA Spotlight, you can only access the .pdf presentations via the ESSMA Knowledge Platform.