Canterbury wanted a fresh approach to influencer marketing to launch its new 2017 Autumn/Winter fitness range and position the brand as an icon of athletic performance amongst a younger, more fitness-driven rugby audience.


Rugby is no longer defined by one core audience. Our Fan Intelligence team spoke to over 15,000 rugby fans and identified that whilst the traditional values of rugby are still important, it is the incredible athleticism of players and the inside track of how they achieve peak physical performance that drives this new type of fan.

Social media has also led to the biggest change in the way that we view fitness. Where fitness content was once dominated by athletes and celebrities, we’re now seeing a rise in online personalities using social media to build powerful brands and followings. Canterbury needed a radical new approach to make the brand relevant for this new, younger audience across fitness and rugby and drive traffic to the brand’s online fitness training and retail hub.


The Canterbury #RugbyFit Experiment brought together international rugby stars, global fitness influencers and rugby fan pages to transform the fitness levels of two amateur rugby teams through a six-week campaign. Canterbury ambassadors – Dylan Hartley and Robbie Henshaw – supported by global fitness influencers, Ross Edgley and Brian Keane – led Team RugbyDump from England and Team RugbyLad Ireland through a journey of intensity, elite fitness and patriotism as they went head-to-head to master the strength, speed, flexibility and agility required at the top level of the game. Captured through a weekly content series, fans supported the two amateur sides as they approached the final challenge of competing in a live match day experience to see which team was #RugbyFit.

The content series broadcast the story of the teams as they undertook a six-week programme of strength, speed, flexibility and agility training. Captured simultaneously in both England and Ireland, each episode focused on a different fitness discipline the teams needed to accomplish to become #RugbyFit. From inflatable Hotpod yoga sessions in ‘flexibility week’ to ensure injury prevention and quick recovery, through to parachute sprints along the Irish coastline in ‘speed week’ to demonstrate resistance training; each team undertook a series of key physical challenges before competing in a live match day experience to see who would be crowned the Canterbury #RugbyFit champions.

Six ‘59 second social edits were pushed out across Canterbury’s Instagram and Facebook at the start of each week. This was shared across the fitness influencers’ platforms and through two of the most popular rugby fan pages – RugbyDump and RugbyLad – alongside editorial write-ups. Native content about specific fitness challenges and techniques were created and shared across the influencers’ own channels to amplify reach across existing fitness communities.

A call to action each week drove viewers to the Canterbury training hub, housing weekly programme details and Canterbury products for sale.


The Canterbury #RugbyFit Experiment created an authentic crossover between rugby and fitness audiences. Over the six weeks:
• Canterbury connected with 3.65M fans across a younger, international fitness and rugby fan base of 13-18 and 18-34 year-olds (UK, Ireland and America)
• The content generated 1,054,364 views across Instagram and Facebook
• Over 49,500 engagements were received, driving 3x-longer visitor engagement on the bespoke training hub (average dwell time increased from 1.3 minutes to 5.5 minutes)
• 72% sales uplift of training products on

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