Six Nations: TikTok is a partner in Six Nations, providing witty analysis of Youtube and reaching the next generation

Antoine Dupont, Marcus Smith and Louis Rees-Zammit
Among the Six Nations' most marketable young stars are Antoine Dupont Marcus Smith and Louis Rees Zammit

Joe Marler looks directly down at the camera. It's kind of straight. His eyes are closed.

This might not seem to be important for the majority of England Six Nations fans. It's still the idea. An important idea.

Marler's impression was captured in the days immediately following Scotland's defeat last month. a viral Tenerife street salesmanexternal-linkThis video has been viewed 1.4 million times on TikTok.

Joe Marler on TikTok
TikTok has made Joe Marler, England's prop, a huge hit

Marler said, “It is a nice and fun way to engage another audience.”

TikTok is clearly in agreement. TikTok, the youngest social media company, announced an agreement to sponsor the Six Nations earlier in this year. Title rights to the Women's Six Nations are a key component. This month, it will begin.

Initial impressions were that the couple was unlikely to be a match. Six Nations partners are typically blue-chip businesses with a slightly grayer clientele, such as luxury watches, business advisors, and the like.

Rich Waterworth, TikTok’s general manager for Europe and the UK, believes it makes sense.

BBC Sport said he believes it is a good fit for the demographic. “The opportunity to be title sponsors for the women's tournament was really important.

“TikTok focuses on being representative of diverse communities. We were excited to support the phenomenal growth in women's Rugby.

“It's about different generations working together to create content that appeals for a wide range of users.

This appeal is crucial for the Six Nations.

The future may not be as secure for older fans, even if they keep their seats filled and the tills ringing.

At many clubs, recreational participation is down and concussion issues are up. Young audiences, who are often short on time and have a lot to choose from, can be difficult to attract.

The prize for winning rugby is quite lucrative.

Michael Skey is a senior lecturer in communication at Loughborough University. He says, “In the media landscape right now, 18-35 years olds are golden goose for advertisers.”

“They are not interested in watching TV, but they love sport.

“Rugby is a difficult game. Tik Tok's platform is built on short video clips. It focuses on the most compelling parts of athleticism and reduces it to the big collisions.

Six Nations now has the money, expertise and motivation to think long-term. CVC Partners, a private equity firm, took 14% of the tournament. in return for a £365m investment last year.

The strategy will also include the stars of the tournament.

Louis ReesZammit, Wales' quicksilver wingsman, has almost 60,000 followers on TikTok. Maro Itoje is the second England rower. His activism goes beyond what other players can. France scrum-half Antoine Dupont's Midas touch extends beyond making photoshoots in yellow dressing gowns look good. external-link

Sometimes, it's not all about big brands, big names and big money. Sometimes it's all about letting youth take the lead.

Robbie Owen uploaded his first YouTube video in January 2018 and analyzed the Ospreys' tactics.

He told BBC Sport that the Ospreys' strategy was like Spiderman for Gameboy Advance, while other teams were more like the Playstation version.

“Those were my points of reference, rather than what I had seen on television.”

“Virtually every rugby coverage that I've seen in my whole life was aimed at middle aged men who drive Land Rovers,”

Squidge Rugby
Squidge Rugby's videos received praise from Rassie Erasmus, South Africa head coach, and Sam Warburton (ex-Wales captain).

Owen, now 26 years old, hoped that his channel would be – Squidge Rugbyexternal-link– The 2019 Rugby World would have 5,000 subscribers.

It grew to a level that was far beyond its initial goals. By the time the tournament began, he had more than 100,000 subscribers. Today, more than 185,000 people signed up. The majority of them are young.

Owen said that the two largest age categories in the breakdown were always 13-18-years-old and 18-30-years-old. “The biggest audience who are viewing this content is the under-30s, which is quite exciting considering that it is not common with rugby content.”

The tournament's organizer quickly noticed Owen's success in cutting and dicing Six Nations action. They initially saw commercial opportunity rather than copyright infringement.

Owen explains that he had an altercation with the Six Nations in August 2019. They threatened to take down a lot of videos.

“I believe it was so novel, nobody knew what it was.”

“Over the course a week, I had several conversations and it seemed that each time I spoke to someone higher up in the organisation. It is a symbiotic relationship, I believe.

“I like to believe that my stuff points people towards the Six Nations. Because I love it so much, I hope so. It is my highlight of the year.

Marler, as always, gets right to the point.

His recent social media misadventures have shown that “young people are the best way to attract new customers.”

The Six Nations is also bending the rules to attract this vital new group.

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