After six action-packed weeks, the 2023 Six Nations concluded with a historic Irish Grand Slam in Dublin, their first since 2018.
Throughout the tournament we saw on-field heroics from the likes of Antoine Dupont and Josh van der Flier, but off the pitch our Data Editorial team were hard at work providing comprehensive coverage and analysis across the five rounds.
As official data providers of the Six Nations, the team produced the official media packs for the men’s and U20 tournaments, as well as post-match reports for each competition – all delivered in English, French and Italian.
Apart from our role as official data provider, the team also provided data-led content for a range of clients, leading to two of the busiest months ever for the helpdesk. Over the course of February and March, 56 hours of helpdesk requests were fielded. Below is a taste of how we helped bring our clients’ coverage to life globally.
The London-based daily newspaper leaned on the helpdesk regularly throughout the tournament, publishing multiple articles using Opta data. Following the Six Nations conclusion, The Times incorporated eye-catching data, including the new Team Movement data, into its Monday Maul segment.
The Telegraph made use of the helpdesk service each week during the tournament, producing various articles led by Opta data. Here, the newspaper uses a wealth of data to break down the nuances of line-out strategy and look at the method behind England’s kicking weapons.
The helpdesk coverage doesn’t extend to only English clients. France’s largest sport newspaper, L’Equipe, also benefitted from having access to our Data Editorial team. The newspaper combined Opta data with stunning visualisations to produce several articles to tell the tale of Les Bleus‘ bid for a Championship repeat.
It’s not just broadcast and editorial that capitalised on the helpdesk and Opta data throughout the tournament. Adidas used a variety of Opta metrics to activate a social media campaign that promoted both their line of rugby gear and sponsored athletes in quick-hitting, data-led videos.
RTE, one of Ireland’s official Six Nations broadcasters, turned to Opta data to help complement its pre-match storylines by producing various head-to-head and player graphics, highlighting Ireland’s top performers.
From post-match on-air rundowns to editorial features using a mixture of metrics, the British national broadcaster relied heavily on Opta data during their coverage of this year’s Six Nations, with just under eight hours of helpdesk received. On Sundays, Opta data was particularly well-used on the highlights show that analysed each of the weekend’s games. On-screen tables and graphs were incorporated into the broadcast, supplementing the presenters’ talking points.
For editorial coverage, a piece breaking down what each team was good at and what their 2023 World Cup chances are looking like led to over a quarter million page views and an increased dwell time, meaning readers were taking in the stats rather than skimming through.
Italy’s official Six Nations broadcaster utilised the helpdesk and Opta data to create graphics and accompanying talking points for fly-half legend Diego Dominguez as he compared the Azzurri’s key stats to previous editions of the Championship.
The French Rugby Federation hosted a pre-game show on their Twitch channel where over 100,000 viewers tuned in to watch streamers Rivenzi and PoneeeyClub discuss the upcoming match against Scotland. The show, which took place at Stade de France, incorporated Opta data into its visuals and storylines throughout the hour and a half live stream.
To spark excitement around the upcoming 2023 Rugby World Cup, the competition’s official beer sponsor turned to our rugby editorial team to produce an article and accompanying graphics highlighting six prospects to watch at this year’s World Cup, with the premise that each player had to have appeared in the 2023 edition of Six Nations.
Our fan-facing website the Opta Analyst produced plenty of content from preview pieces on each team to post-round blogs and the Team of the Tournament. The rugby content received over 35,000 views during the course of the Championship – a 151% increase from the 2022 edition.
With the Women’s Six Nations Championship now underway, we are excited to do it all over again and provide the same level of coverage.
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