The Lions just announced a partnership with skincare brand Dove Men+Care for the upcoming tour of South Africa. According to the announcement, the activation theme will be about ‘respect and caring’ – and specifically showing how the players balance rugby with parenthood.
“Dove Men+Care will work with brand ambassadors and the Lions to showcase what it means to be selected, discover how players balance excellence on the pitch with parenthood at home, and highlight caring moments throughout the Lions Tour.”
At first glance you might think this doesn’t quite match up with the stereotype of the rugby fan: hard-drinking, macho, not regularly troubling the moisturiser.
But a look at the data would tell you that you’re wrong, and this is a pretty smart way for Dove to engage rugby fans.
Although over 50% of rugby fans in the UK don’t have children, they are more likely than average to have two or more. Over 40% of Irish rugby fans, meanwhile, have 2 or more kids.
That theme of combining parenting with work should resonate well with rugby fans – around 25% fall into the ‘parenting focussed workers’ segment.
Spending time with family in general is important for rugby fans in both the UK and Ireland, and over 50% believe in helping others before themselves (all these over-index compared to the average person).
When it comes to taking care of their appearance, Irish rugby fans are out in front by over 5%, although both groups care more about how they look than the average person.
It turns out rugby fans are quite into self-care in general. 12% in the UK had a 2021 New Year’s resolution to “practice more self-care” (16% higher than the average UK person), although this is massively skewed towards the under 35s. The question wasn’t asked in Ireland.
Rugby fans are also quite likely to buy the kind of product Dove has to offer, with moisturiser, skincare and hairstyling products all doing pretty well and over-indexing as a regular purchase.
This just goes to show the value of looking beyond the stereotypes when it comes to sponsorship, letting the data and insight guide you to a strategy that could resonate well with your target audience.
All data from Global Web Index, Q2 2020 – Q1 2021.