Project Overview

Tortoise & Hare partnered with the NRL, its stakeholders and its broad participant base to build a customer loyalty and engagement strategy focused on driving future business growth for the game through its grassroots supporter base.

Customer objective

Creating lifelong fans of rugby league.

Business Objective

Strengthen grassroots customer engagement and drive long term customer loyalty to both the NRL and the Clubs.


To be the most entertaining, most engaging and most respected sport in Australia is no small vision. But the NRL are focused on reaching their mission of bringing rugby league fans together and enriching their everyday lives in innovative and engaging ways.


Spectator Sports

Company size:

500+ employees

Collaborated with T&H:

2019 - 2020

NRL strategy

This project began with a discovery phase, focused on understanding:

  • The current state of customer engagement for the NRL based on their existing PlayNRL program
  • The competitive market
  • The role of customer loyalty within the NRL and its broad stakeholder base, including all rugby league clubs

Following this, a design phase identified a series of potential proposition territories to explore. These were developed based on best-in-class loyalty program tactics and collaborative workshops to feed into the proposed designs. Participant research was then undertaken to validate the approach.

A quantitative survey was delivered to the entire grassroots membership base to obtain feedback and insight on:

  • The existing loyalty program
  • The proposed enhanced proposition
  • Key drivers of customer behaviour 

Follow up qualitative focus groups provided more colour on creative applications for how the enhanced proposition could be brought to life.

NRL research insights

The final output of this project was a validated, enhanced loyalty proposition with a roadmap for rollout.

The strategy was presented to the internal NRL steering committee and endorsed for business implementation. 

Kate Chapman - Senior Marketing Lead NRL

The team at AM I have helped to steer our strategic thinking and value propositions for our fan and participant engagement programs. Leading both qualitative and quantitative research and overlaying key customer insights, they never lose sight of what’s in the best interest of the customer, or the business for that matter.

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