The TOP 14 final concept explained by Thomas Otton

ESSMA interviewed Thomas Otton - Communications Director at Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR) - on how LNR managed to attract a new audience to rugby by hosting a global show after the TOP 14 final.


What is the main challenge of hosting the TOP 14 final?

The main challenge is to seduce the audience, as it is a different target group compared to during the regular season or the semi-finals, which is a more fan-oriented event in one city during 48 hours. 

“LNR was able to target a younger and more feminine audience by selecting a counterintuitive artist.”

What were the objectives of organising a global show?

In 2018, we organised a large show with Mika in Stade de France after the final between Montpellier Hérault Rugby and Castres Olympique. First of all, we wanted to enhance the fan experience. Secondly, we wanted to reach a new audience - especially a more feminine audience - and this is why we reached out to Mika. He has a great feminine audience and a younger audience as well, which is a key target for us. So the idea was to use Mika, not only as an artist for the final, but also as a medium and as an influencer towards his proper community.  

What are the plans for the 2019 edition?

We chose one of the most famous French groups called Bigflo et Oli for next year. They are young and have a great fan base with over five million fans. The idea is to choose them very early in the year, we sign them in December, so we can really work with them on how they could help rugby and the TOP 14 to be discovered by their community. They are going to attend a training session at Stade Toulousain and some matches during the regular season, so that they can introduce rugby to their own communities. 


Access the TOP 14 presentation on the ESSMA Knowledge Platform