TikTok becomes first ever title sponsor of Women’s Six Nations

Four-year partnership with rugby competition follows app’s sponsorship of Euro 2020

TikTok: Branded hashtag challenges are one of the video app’s advertising formats. Photograph: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

TikTok: Branded hashtag challenges are one of the video app’s advertising formats. Photograph: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

 

TikTok will become the first title sponsor of the Women’s Six Nations in a four-year deal starting this spring, the social media company has announced.

The short-form video platform, owned by China’s ByteDance, has agreed a partnership with Six Nations Rugby that will also see it become an official partner to the men’s event, which has Guinness as its title sponsor, and the Autumn Nations Series.

TikTok has amassed more than 5.1 billion views for “#rugby” content, with #SixNationsRugby a rapidly growing hashtag on the platform.

Its deal with Six Nations Rugby will see “dedicated TikTok rugby creators” posting more rugby-themed content on the app, with rugby fans encouraged to access content from respective tournament and rugby union accounts.

The company described the partnership as “a seminal moment for the women’s game”, adding that “a huge year” for women’s rugby was set to unfold.

TikTok, which was among the sponsors of the postponed UEFA Euro 2020 tournament last year, has been pushing to increase sporting content on its app, selling branded “hashtag challenges” to advertisers and giving users augmented reality tools to create video effects.

Fan communities

“The fast growth of sporting talent, fan communities, sports trends and commentary on TikTok makes the platform a compelling place to engage new and existing audiences for Six Nations Rugby, bringing the spirit and passion of these iconic tournaments to our diverse and creative community,” said Rich Waterworth, TikTok’s general manager for Europe.

“We’re especially delighted to be the title sponsor of what is now the TikTok Women’s Six Nations. As a platform that’s built around inclusion, we are passionate about giving an equal footing to men’s and women’s sport.”

Six Nations Rugby chief executive Ben Morel said TikTok shared its ambitions for “providing fans with the best possible experience”.

The 2022 Guinness Six Nations begins on February 5th, while the TikTok Women’s Six Nations kicks off on March 26th.

The Irish television rights to both competitions, as well as the men’s under-20s event, are shared between RTÉ and Virgin Media Television under a joint four-year agreement with Six Nations Rugby.