MyNRL racks up 220,000 facebook fans – media spend? A big 0

(This text was originally written for Digital Choice in AdNews)

I’ll tell you a secret: I was getting a bit bored by the Digital Choice columns. Bored by descriptions of uploads, downloads, widgets, gadgets, tweets and posts followed by a screenshot. The latter usually small in size and framed by a browser, making the work appear complicated and even a minimalistic layout look cluttered. I don’t mean to attack any individual of the previous authors, more the format. Hasn’t digital matured enough to now debate the idea rather than the execution?

Digital Choice on AdNews

A Digital Choice column on AdNews

So this column features a campaign that is explained in five words: MyNRL makes rugby fans proud.

100,000 Australians became part of it in the space of 48 hours, 200,000 after 2 weeks with a total reach going into the millions – all boosted by a lavish media spend of zero. At the core of MyNRL lies a small facebook application that lets you do only one thing: create a personal jersey in order to back your state at the Origin games. Unite with your friends and tease your enemies. Simple as that, no fancy footwork, the thing is not even in 3D.

My NRL app on facebook

My NRL app on facebook

As the makers put it: “Timing was everything”. They seeded to the 16 NRL teams two days before kick off, with a single post on each of their Facebook walls. Its live game commentary made facebook punters part of the event, jump up from their sofas, sledge the opponents and show their pride.

This is all far from cutting edge stuff but it still racked up a huge score. Several details made it so compelling and (dare I say it) “viral” that the idea spread like wildfire. And it continues to do so even though the Maroons have resoundingly won offline as well as online. You might have noticed agencies hiring content and community managers – this is one field those guys would love to play on.

Before you think I am only talking about saving media dollars – I want to celebrate a beginning rather than a final result, the promise of something good to come. MyNRL has only begun because it has created a huge community in a couple of weeks.

And sponsors must be tripping over themselves to join the scrum.

Additional comment: I see plenty of opportunities to work with this community on facebook – congrats to Aden Hepburn from IdeaWorks for a project that took off like Lockyer’s 50-yard field goal in yesterday’s Maroons’ whitewash of the Blues.

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