How a rugby news website grew a dedicated and engaged audience

In today’s digital age, sports enthusiasts crave immediate access to the latest updates, match coverage and streaming services. They’re eager to read exclusive articles, soak up breaking news and dive into in-depth analysis. For rugby fans, there’s one website that has emerged as a firm favourite: RugbyPass. 

Launched in 2016, this rugby news website is home to a thriving global community of likeminded fans. But how has the site attracted its loyal readership? And how does it continue to grow and thrive?

As the Head of Content Strategy at RugbyPass, I explain how it all started and explore the secrets behind our success. Here’s how RugbyPass built a reputation as the rugby authority.

The history of RugbyPass

Founded in Singapore, RugbyPass began as a passion project that aimed to fill a gap in the rugby market. The platform initially started out as a streaming site but prohibitive licensing costs led the founders in a different direction. They noticed that fans were engaging with the site’s editorial content and decided to build a dedicated platform where fans could access the latest rugby news.

During the early days, the content strategy largely focused on southern hemisphere rugby. There was a particular emphasis on Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, with coverage that spanned the Tri Nations (The Rugby Championship) and Super Rugby. 

As the site grew in popularity, coverage expanded to include the northern hemisphere. Today, the site has hubs dedicated to each of rugby’s biggest international tournaments.

How RugbyPass built its authority within the industry

Although we started out as the teenager of the rugby world, we’ve matured into a credible and authoritative sports news site. We’ve built a reputation for breaking exclusives and we’re proud of our ability to garner trust from players. Some of rugby’s biggest names contribute to the site and these players have proved to be a key element of our success. 

From the get-go, we’ve worked to develop a hub that truly connects with rugby fans. Whether it’s through our written interviews or our podcast, RugbyPass Offload, our readers gain valuable insights and analysis from real players. It’s this level of expertise that has helped to established our platform as the go-to source for rugby-related content.

Our most successful content strategies

With a team of passionate and knowledgeable writers, we’ve enjoyed success with a range of content. However, there are two areas where we continually excel: shortform breaking news and evergreen longform content. These form a big part of our traffic and they’re staples in our content strategies.

Our global team means we always have our finger on the pulse and we’re known for our breaking stories. This is supported by our longform content which provides a deeper understanding of the sport and connects our readers to the game.

It’s also important to roll with the punches and our strategies always incorporate some wiggle room. For example, when social medial algorithms shifted, we experienced reduced traffic from Facebook. We used this wiggle room to double down on our organic traffic acquisition, bringing in new users through our SEO and content strategies.

Creating a global community

Alongside our content strategies, the RugbyPass community is at the centre of our plans. Our platform encourages interaction and engagement, with spaces for fans to voice their opinions and connect with one another. This includes comment sections and interactive polls to promote debate and provide a real community feel.

We also go beyond written content. Our readers can delve into the latest standings, plan their weekends around upcoming fixtures and watch a huge range of video content.

Marketing trends and the future of RugbyPass

The world of digital marketing is evolving at a rapid pace and we’re excited about the AI changes to Google search — and what this could mean for our organic traffic. Conversely, we’re concerned about AI-generated content and the impacts it could have on the future of content writing.

Regardless of the evolution of AI, we’ll continue to focus on working with rugby professionals. From players and award-winning journalists to commentators and analysts, it’s our experts that have helped to shape our website, build our authority and create an engaged community.