The FIR App project came about through the desire of the Italian Rugby Federation to activate a new channel for contact and communication with rugby fans and athletes, at different levels, on a national scale.
This new channel immediately opened up the opportunity to also focus on the construction of a new userbase and a more active community, more informed and involved in Federation initiatives, data and sporting events.
From the earliest project meetings we have actively involved the client in the study and analysis process, so as to collect data, experience and user needs.
We have also involved rugby fans and our full technical, marketing and design teams, in order to obtain contributions from different viewpoints. We identified the characteristics, the information and necessary services, as well as the main features which would focus the attention of the actual users.
A work plan, structured in stages and able to cope with all the requirements, was then agreed upon: the first phase involved in-store placement and the creation of this new channel, the activation of interest and involvement through a communication campaign connected with the 6Nations leading to the stage of evolution of the service and customer experience, inside of which new features and integrations with other systems were provided for.
A close relationship with the client team also allowed the project to benefit from technical contributions and a strong understanding of sports dynamics and behavioral activation.
We came to the project with an agile approach, with progressive and very brief interactions with the client team, so as to continuously evolve the platform depending on the demands, data and feedback received from users.
The development of mobile applications was made in native mode: two iOS and Android applications were created. Middleware software was made in Angular and NodeJS able to communicate with the applications through APIs. A backend CMS and administrative management able to manage all application information, user data profiles and push notification was also developed.
A balanced strategy between ADV, ASO and Social Engagement was defined during the launch phase.
During the first week of the launch of the application in-store, the FIR App had already exceeded initial forecasts.
The correct ASO settings ensured a considerable number of organic downloads and excellent results for all related keywords.
It was ranked in the Top 3 for 7 keywords such as rugby, Italrugby, six nations, fir, Italian rugby federation, rugby Italia and rugby ranking and in the Top 5 for 10 keywords. The Play Store obtained over 80 reviews in a short time with an average rating of 4.6 / 5.
The support given to FIR regarding communication and the advertising campaign halved acquisition costs, doubling the number of clicks on the ads. In just 10 days the FIR App achieved an 89% conversion of downloads made at registration.
Also of interest is the number of users who have chosen to receive push notifications: on January 7, 2016, 91% of users had chosen to activate notifications in the app. The lack of an app in app stores, dedicated to the world of rugby and focused on users and the relevance of the information conveyed, had a positive effect on the predisposition of users to download, and to receive news and updates via push notification.
Even the rate of notifications being opened reached values higher than average, with a 25% open rate compared to the average in the reference category that varies between 4% and 18%.
The promise made to the user to have calendars, results and rankings on smartphones, and the strategic choice to build a mobile app that would meet the needs of rugby fans led to the achievement of important results and the creation for FIR of an archive of punctual information; the starting point for the realization of a database of user profile records.
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