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Founded in 1871, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the national governing body for grassroots and elite rugby in England. The RFU encourages rugby and its values across England.


About the Rugby Football Union

The RFU is owned by over 2,000 member clubs and represents over 2.5 million registered players, forming the largest rugby union society in the world.

They had three databases all containing transactional information from their website, stores and ticket sales alongside player data, coaching data and sensitive CRB check information. Contacts were appearing more than once, and in some cases, three times. Data cleansing and standardisation was essential for personalised communication with their contacts, enhancing their marketing efficiency, and providing valuable insights, but with three databases this was making it especially difficult.



The RFU had 1.2 million records of players, partners and supporters used for communication purposes. However, these details were all within different structures, formats and used within various systems, along with the data being of poor quality. This meant the information was not consistent or uniform within their current CRM system, resulting in inadequate messaging and communication.

The RFU had large volume of contacts, but the way they were structured offered them no insight into their customers and proved harmful to their overall business strategy and subsequent ROI. They needed one consolidated database for all information to be stored and centrally managed to ensure accurate data was being held.



Data8 provided RFU with an extensive approach to the challenges presented; targeting key areas that needed optimising within their databases. Firstly, the poor quality of data was addressed, and the RFU received a full data cleansing & standardisation service, focussing on addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.

To prevent poor quality data affecting their communications in the future, Data8 identified and merged duplicate records using advanced fuzzy matching to detect duplicates. Due to details being in various structures/formats, Data8’s merging service supported the reviewing of all fields and contacts, to consolidate the information creating one master record. All activities resulted in the RFU receiving a single customer view (SCV) of their records. This consolidation of information into a SCV allowed RFU to observe every action taken for each contact with the relevant touch points needed, meaning no multiple communications or wrong messaging was sent out.



The RFU significantly benefitted from Data8’s services that were implemented to standardise, de-duplicate and merge the data within their systems. The implemented services to create a single customer view transformed their communication as it provided them with valuable insight into the recorded details, enabling them to effectively use this data for multi-channel campaign activity.