Free Vino, Posh Nosh and Some Awards...

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On Tuesday night The Principality Building Society held the 8th annual Principality Premiership Awards Dinner to celebrate another fantastic season of club rugby. Paul and I were lucky enough to be invited along to the event at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The dinner was hosted by BBC Sport and Radio Wales presenter Jason Mohammad who was joined by Wales International player’s Andrew Coombs, Harry Robinson and James King to present a couple of the awards. The whole evening acknowledged the outstanding effort and dedication of everyone involved in making the Principality Premiership a hugely successful stepping stone for Welsh regional and international rugby. A particular highlight was the Unsung Heroes award which was presented to the Aberavon RFC kitchen ladies! (their sweet chilli chicken is famous at the Wizards’ club). 

It can be argued that in past years the Principality Premiership has been somewhat overlooked and not necessarily given the recognition it deserves, particularly online. The 2012/13 season was our first full Premiership season of managing the online social community and associated campaigns and it has been a very rewarding one.

With no previous online social presence, we have created and grown an online community of over 2,000 Facebook likes and 1,100 followers on Twitter since early last year, a huge success for a semi-professional league. Our “Try of the Week” video has been particularly well received with over 300 votes most weeks and a lot of discussion encouraged around the video content. We have also run a number of successful Facebook competitions including World Cup Twibbon competition, international ticket and Wales v Barbarian match ticket giveaways.

All of the award winners on stage.

All of the award winners on stage.

A new addition to this year’s awards dinner was the Try of the Season award which was managed by Coup Media and judged purely by the online community. We put together a video compilation featuring the best tries of the season, which we posted on the Premiership Facebook page for the fans to vote for their favourite.

All of the Premiership clubs are extremely passionate about their teams and understand the importance of nurturing young Welsh talent, this is all underpinned by great sportsmanship from the teams and coaches alike. Outside of the clubs this is a community of good friends, but on match day, it’s business as usual - Dale McIntosh (Pontypridd RFC) won Coach of the Year and when accepting the award said to another coach “You are one of my best friends but on match day... I hate you”. 

Our community management has also brought together all of the individual clubs‘ social networks and encouraged wider engagement, with the Principality Premiership Facebook/Twitter at the core. All those who manage the individual social accounts have been very easy to work with and responded really well to our online activities. 

With such a highly engaged community the Principality Premiership is great account to work on for everyone involved up here in The Loft. Next season promises to be even bigger and better both for the Principality Premiership and The Principality Building Society.

Paul Shepherd

I've worked in digital communications for around 15 years, and specialised in social media for the past three. Passionate about new technologies, media, and the impact it has on businesses bottom line, I try to bring that passion to every campaign for every brand we work with.