How to Win Over Rugby World Cup Shoppers with Your eCommerce Marketing Plan


 How to Win Over Rugby World Cup Shoppers with Your eCommerce Marketing Plan

The fast-approaching 2023 Rugby World Cup (RWC) has historically been a massive sporting event. In the past, the event has reached up to 857 million people around the world. This year’s RWC sold out almost immediately, signaling a big opportunity for eCommerce brands that want to grab fans’ attention. 

Not every marketing message is hitting shoppers with equal force however. We’re digging into MikMak insights to understand what’s grabbing RWC shoppers’ attention and show you how to use eCommerce marketing to cash in on the 2023 RWC or other large sporting events.

Sporting events are hot zones for eCommerce marketing

Insights show that big sporting events can trigger an upswing in eCommerce shopping. According to Marketing Week, 35 percent of people buy more food during big sporting events. However, that doesn’t mean all products sell equally on the day of the big match. 

Here are a few quick tips for eCommerce marketing during major athletics events:

  • Time ads strategically
    If you want to draw in the most eCommerce sales possible from major sporting events, timing matters. For the 2022 Super Bowl, Purchase Intent for Alcohol peaked two days before the game. Brands can expect shopping to spike within a similar time frame for matches throughout the Rugby World Cup. 
  • Tap into beer sales
    Beer sales jump during most major sporting events. During the 2023 Super Bowl, American football fans spent $1.3 billion on beer. Expect a similar upswing in beer sales for the Rugby World Cup. 
  • Look for product pairing opportunities
    By partnering up with other brands, you make shopping more convenient for buyers while increasing sales. For instance, since shoppers often stock up on drinks and snacks for game day, Dos Equis and Old El Paso recently collaborated on advertising for American football fans. In turn, both brands saw sales increase. 

Superbowl Dos Equis & Old El Paso EXP-1


How to use eCommerce marketing to accelerate RWC sales 

MikMak insights recently revealed what’s working and what isn’t during major sporting events. Here are a few shopping trends that eCommerce brands can cash in on during the 2023 RWC.

  • Write a clear product description
    A product’s description can make or break eCommerce sales. According to the MikMak Shopping Index, 76 percent of shoppers say that a product description is the most important piece of data they use to make a buying decision. That’s followed by reviews, images, size and materials, and videos.



  • Focus on shoppable media
    Major sporting events dominate social media channels. During the Rugby World Cup in 2015, the event sparked 2.6 million mentions. The best way to capitalize on social eCommerce buzz is to set up shoppable media for top-selling products.

    Wondering which social eCommerce platforms are performing best? According to the MikMak Shopping Index, when it comes to the food and beverage category in the UK, YouTube pulls in the highest Purchase Intent Rate (PIR, or the number of consumers who add at least one item to their cart during a site visit). Instagram grabs the next highest PIR at 7.7 percent. Facebook is in the third slot, with 3.9 percent. 
  • Work with big retailers
    Allowing shoppers to check out at their favorite retailer can increase pre-match sales. That’s why it’s important to know where your shoppers want to check out and give them the buying options they prefer. In France, based on Purchase Intent Clicks in the Food & Beverage sector in 2023, the top 3 retailers so far are Carrefour Drive, Intermarché, and Courses U.



How brands are boosting visibility during the Rugby World Cup 

Here’s a look at what eCommerce marketing campaigns are working during major sporting events:

  • Contests: Drive engagement by creating Rugby World Cup-themed contests and ad campaigns. 
  • Custom packages: Top-performing brands create custom packages and deals specifically for the event. For the RWC, that may include team-themed snacks or products promoting a popular player. 
  • Event-specific ads: To connect with fans, craft ads that feature rugby stars or feature exclusive promotions for the event. 

Winning ads in action

Here are an example of high-performing ad from similar sporting events: Anheuser-Busch InBev Super Bowl Ad.


ABI Superbowl


Take advantage of the EU’s biggest Food & Beverage trends

When it comes to targeting sports fans, these insights just scratch the surface. Read our full UK Food and Beverage Guide to learn which eCommerce marketing strategies are inspiring the most sales in this top-selling event-day category.


New call-to-action

Join the world's top marketers and get must-have brand and eComm insights direct to your inbox