In May, World Rugby published their Year in Review 2016, the annual report designed by Touchline that looked back on a game-changing year for the sport, the highlight of which was the Olympic debut of rugby sevens in Rio de Janeiro.
Twenty-four teams took to the pitch at the Deodoro Stadium for the inaugural Olympic tournaments in August last year, with Australia winning the first-ever Olympic gold medal to be awarded in women’s rugby, and Fiji’s men thrilling fans in Rio and back home by claiming the first Olympic gold in their country’s history.
Through a dynamic presentation of reports, infographics and image montages, the Year in Review celebrated these landmark achievements in the context of a hugely successful event that received widespread praise from players, spectators and Olympic officials, with the IOC Executive Board recently deciding that rugby’s presence on the sport programme will be extended to 2024.
In particular, the report highlighted that an estimated 16.83 million new fans had been attracted to the sport as a result of its Olympic inclusion, and also revealed that World Rugby’s platforms had delivered four times as many social interactions as the next closest international federation during those six unforgettable days of competition.
In addition to the elite level, the report addressed all aspects of World Rugby’s governance of an increasingly global game, including its various tournaments, the opening of the new Hall of Fame, and the success of its grassroots Get Into Rugby programme. Nearly two million youngsters took part in the initiative in 2016, taking the total number of men, women and children playing the game worldwide to 8.5 million, and Touchline highlighted this unprecedented growth by creating a one-minute animation that promoted key facts and figures from the Year In Review.