How the 2016 Bowl Series Ended Up at Iona College
I still wanted to contribute to the the Iona College Rugby Football Club after my short-lived rugby career ended due to shoulder injuries. As president of the rugby club I had my chance to be responsibile for all game production on campus.
My production team and I would make sure there was music for the game, the scoreboard would correctly represent the game, and there would be PA announcements during the game. These attributes contributed to creating an event-like atmosphere. Our head coach, Bruce McLean, recognized this uniqueness of Iona Rugby's matches and knew we could be part of an event larger than just us.
Inviting URugby Bowl Series to Campus
Unfortunately for me, I never had the opportunity to play in the URugby Bowl Series or attend one.
So when Bruce approached me to be a part of hosting the 2016 Bowl Series, I was in. I knew that this opportunity would benefit not only Iona rugby, but the whole college. Stephen Siano, the President of URugby, knew the location of Mazzella Field was a perfect to host multiple rugby matches. After meeting Stephen for the first time, we got right to work on creating the 2016 Bowl Series at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.
Creating the Event
There is a lot that goes into creating an event besides the organization of teams and referees. We wanted the Bowl Series to appeal to high school students as well as college students.
The focus of the tournament was the College 15's matches with High School 7's matches during halftimes and in between games. By doing so we could connect College Rugby programs to potential recruits. We also put together a college fair for visiting univeristies to showcase their rugby club to the high school athletes in attendance.
Another attraction for fans and families was the VIP Lounge. VIP Ticket Holders were given access to their own private area and complimentary refreshments. The VIP Lounge also had an outside deck to watch the games from a skybox view.
Live Stream of the Event
Creating the event was an experience for all of those in attendance, but what about for those who were unable to make it to the event?
Rugby is a very popular sport in foreign countries and many athletes on these teams have families who could not be at the game. It was important to us that those families had the ability to watch the game, and we could make that happen.
Working alongside the Iona College Athletic Department, we created a live video stream through YouTube to reach out to all rugby fans. The live stream also included commentary from some of best known names in Rugby media, such as Ryan Trost and Alex Goff.
Future Tournaments for Iona
When teams compete in an URugby Tournament, it creates a new relationship for URugby and the Collegiate Rugby teams. For Iona, we have now competed in three consecutive Bowl Series which lead to even bigger things for our team. Not only did we form the first ever 7s rugby team at Iona, we also were able to compete in our first 7s tournament in the URugby Ariel Re Bermuda 7s and the players were ready for the opportunity. Afterall, the team ended up with a record of 4-2 in their first 7s tournament.
Event Marketing with 4x3
When it comes to hosting any type of event, 4x3 (in cooperation with URugby) knows how to create an event that is beneficial for all. We know that there is more to event marketing than simply connecting everyone to the product your event is based around. Besides creating more than viewing option at the event or allowing access to fans across the globe, 4x3 also understands the importance of creating and selling merchandise as memories for those who purchase it.
Personally, working with Stephen and the rest of the 4x3 team as an intern on this project was an absolute pleasure and is something everyone can learn from.
Author: Greg Potempa, 4x3 Intern