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RFU becomes the latest to join the social networking craze

31 October 2007

Wednesday 31st October 2007

Whilst the annual Lehman Brothers Varsity Match at Twickenham may be one of the oldest fixtures in the rugby calendar, the RFU has embraced the very latest marketing tools to reach 21st century students. For the first time ever the RFU is using Facebook - the social networking phenomenon sweeping the world - to raise awareness of the 126th Oxford v. Cambridge match which kicks off at 4pm on Thursday 6th December.

Equi=Media worked with the RFU to create The Varsity Challenge Facebook application designed to raise awareness and supporter involvement in this year's match. Users can pledge their support to either Oxford or Cambridge and test their knowledge of rugby and the Varsity competition by answering 10 questions. The higher their score, the better their team performs, and at the end of the test, users are encouraged to share the application with their friends and visit www.varsitymatch.org to buy tickets for the game.

Tom Hill, the RFU's Sales & Marketing Manager said, "The Lehman Brothers Varsity Match offers us a great opportunity to trial social networking marketing techniques. The opportunity to reach huge numbers of young people - especially students - is fantastic and we have worked closely with Equi=Media to develop a suitable application."

Iain Dawson, Director of Insight and Communication Planning at Equi=Media, adds: "The RFU understood that in order to make social networking work for them, user engagement was key. The Varsity Challenge application will reach a wider group than rugby fans and its competitive quality will increase the likelihood of being passed onto to friends. Research has shown us that the main reason people go to the Varsity Match is to catch up with friends and so is social networking.  The application is a fun way of bringing the two together and stimulating the natural competition between the two universities."

To find out more and add the application, please go to http://apps.facebook.com/varsitychallenge/

Ends 

For more information about the Lehman Brothers Varsity match which this year has a new date of Thursday 6th December, contact Sally Price at the RFU on sallyprice@rfu.com

For more information, please contact Ilonka Waterdrinker at Eulogy! on 020 7927 9999 or Ilonka@eulogy.co.uk

About the Equi=Media Group
The Equi=Media group of agencies deliver a total digital, data and direct media solution for generating sales via call centres and websites.