How Standard Life Investments used social data to find the Lions’ dream team

1st December 2015

During the 2017 Six Nations, which pre-empted the British Lions tour of New Zealand, Standard Life Investments wanted to highlight their sponsorship of the Lions by using social data to design their dream team.

The Six Nations is a rugby tournament featuring Europe’s six best rugby teams (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy and France) that happens every year. 2017’s tournament also provided the perfect trailer before the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour started.

The question was: how could Standard Life Investments not only drive awareness of their sponsorship of the tour but prove that they understood its audience and had a voice in the tournament itself.

They found the answer in three parts: the professional experience of rugby legend Martin Johnson; social data (gathered through Pulsar) and rugby performance statistics. This allowed Standard Life Investments to identify the players that would make a strong investment to the ‘ideal team’ for the British and Irish Lions tour.

Using Pulsar’s audience intelligence, Standard Life could provide top rugby player Martin Johnson with thousands of conversations on which British and Irish players were good enough to make the tour team – something he could then add his expert advice to.

Standard Life identified the ‘ideal team’ through the following three steps:

1. Finding the man of the match
We tracked all the British and Irish teams in the Six Nations from the start of the tournament. Data was collected on match days, starting one hour before each match and finishing an hour after the match. We discovered who social media users thought the ‘man of the match’ should be.

2. Tracking individual players.
By going one step further and tracking the individual players in each team, we could discover now only who stood out, but who according to social media should be in the final Lions team. The graph on the left shows sentiment, indicating how people thought the individuals were performing.

3. Informing the World Cup pro.
This data was then relayed to Martin Johnson, who used the cumulative outcome of the opinion of thousands of social media users as input for his own professional analysis 

Find out who was chosen for the Lions’ dream team, and how social data can help inform your sponsorship campaign content by downloading the full case study now