The organizers of European rugby union’s national teams’ Six Nations competition have entered into a new deal with short-form video platform TikTok, the previous naming rights partner of the Women’s Six Nations.
TikTok and Six Nations first struck a tie-up in January 2022, with the platform becoming the title partner of the women’s tournament and an official partner of the men’s event. That agreement was initially meant to last until 2025.
However, in December, renowned beer brand Guinness expanded its deal with the tournament to include women’s edition naming rights, forcing TikTok to end its association prematurely.
Now, TikTok has unveiled a new tie-up with the Six Nations, with the platform designated an official fan of both the men’s and women’s editions.
The agreement will aim to promote the Swipe Out Hate campaign run by TikTok, via a “large-scale advertising campaign across out-of-home, print and social media, and on-demand streaming services,” featuring additional TikTok activity across all six member nations – England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, and Italy.
In addition, the TikTok community will have access to a range of content captured during this year’s Six Nations, such as match highlights, training clips, fan reactions, and creator videos. These will be available via the #SixNationsRugby search hub portal.
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The platform has said that its creators will aim to provide a full insight into the rugby union tournament this year, based on event build-up and live reaction.
The 2024 men’s Six Nations begins on February 2 as England takes on France, while the women’s tournament is set to start on February 23.
TikTok has claimed that currently, its official Six Nations rugby channel “has reached half a million followers.”
Sarah Beattie, Six Nations Rugby’s chief marketing officer, has said: “TikTok has been an incredible partner for Six Nations Rugby, helping us on our mission to reach and engage new fans with each of the Championships. This continues to be a key focus, and through the new strategic marketing partnership, TikTok will play an important role in helping us grow rugby’s audience, celebrate the game and its stars as well as foster that incredible sense of community."
This deal extension comes the same week as the Six Nations organizers unveiled a commercial tie-up with the IHG hotels and resorts chain.
IHG has now been announced as the annual series’ first-ever official hotel partner and will include both the men’s and women’s Six Nations tournaments this year in its sponsorship.
Aoife Moran, sports marketing lead for Europe and Ireland at TikTok, added: “Since the start of our partnership with Six Nations Rugby, rugby has truly taken off on TikTok and it has been amazing to see how our platform has evolved into a vibrant destination for rugby fandom online."
In terms of recent TikTok collaborations with major sporting events, in mid-2023 the site entered into a tie-up with soccer’s global governing body FIFA, covering the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.