Lego rugby video goes viral – Case Study

It turned out to be the biggest rugby league viral ever – the Love Rugby League review of the 2011 season all played out in LEGO. And here’s a closer look at how we initiated and developed the project and the impact it made.

With sport specific news websites, it is always a challenge to keep fans on board and interested during the off-season. But not only that, Love Rugby League needed a boost to enhance its profile amidst a raft of competitors who have threatened its place in the marketplace, some six years after it was formed (then called Last Tackle) as a gap in the market.

How We Did It

The original idea for a Lego Rugby League review video came from JDG Media MD James Gordon, inspired by the Rugby World Cup 2011 Preview video made in Lego.

We tracked down the animator responsible for that piece, Graham Love, and got him on board.

It was then a case of identifying the clips we wanted to form the video, and Graham then went about putting the scenes together, before merging them together to create the final video below.

The Product

The Animator

Graham explains his side of the story: “Following my Lego Rugby World Cup video going viral, I was contacted by JDG Media on Twitter. We got talking and James outlined his vision for the lego super league video. Following a consultation period, I began to work my way through the list of moments he’d given me. These were wide ranging and covered everything from on field moments of brilliance (Tomkins try) to off field moments of madness (Keith Senior’s twitter rant).

“The video itself was created using a technique called stop motion animation, so for every second of animation you see that’s made up of between 16 and 32 photos. The finished project is made up of over 4500 photos.

“I think the success of the video can be attributed down two main factors, firstly the right moments were chosen by James and the Team, and secondly the attention to detail that went into making the video. Such as setting up a fake Keith Senior Twitter account, creating a lego version of Wolfie the Warrington Mascot, and the wide range of facial expressions used by the lego players.”

Spreading the Word

The beauty of social media means that if you have a great idea, it can potentially spread very quickly. We immediately fed the video through our existing Facebook and Twitter platforms, which have almost 25,000 connections collectively.

Of course, the main focal point was the article on our own website – with all share links geared towards driving traffic to our website and brand. The original article can be found here: 2011 Season Review in Lego

We also distributed a press release to rugby league media contacts, clubs and websites, as well as a mailshot to our members database (shown right).

The Impact

The campaign went live at 6.30pm on Monday 22nd November. In the five and a half hours left of that day, the impact of the video was able to produce a record breaking day in terms of unique visits for Love Rugby League.

This pattern continued for the remainder of the week as it received countless mentions, particularly on social media channels, with players, fans and celebrities all sharing the video.

The video, as of Sunday 27th November, has more than 45,000 views on YouTube.

Within hours of the video going live, we were approached for permission to use the video on The Sun newspaper’s website.

The video was featured on the ITV Granada Reports news bulletin at 6.15pm on Tuesday 23rd November, and later appeared on its website too.

Throughout the week, the video was featured on The Guardian website as their number 1 “favourite things this week”. The video was also featured separately on The Guardian’s Sport Blog.

We were then approached by SKY Sports News for a feature, in which they interview animator Graham and he explained the processes behind the creation of the video. You can view this feature here.

All of this buzz was of course created by our loyal social media followers, who immediately got involved with the video, commenting on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as on the story on our website. This helped to spread the word quickly and make the video go viral.

The video was also shared and featured on rugby league club websites and other news websites, to give it maximum exposure.

We even managed to go global with the campaign – featuring on the Canada Rugby League Facebook page and L’Independent, the French newspaper. To view their story on the campaign, click here.

How we can do it for you

From the initial idea, to the development and implementation of the project, we can generate something that will give your business or project the kick it needs.

Our creative thinkers can come up with out-of-the-box concepts to help you achieve your goals.

If you want to know how we can work with you, please contact us at info@jdgsport.com or call 01925 555519.

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