URC AWARDS: Elixirr Innovation Award & Elite XV winners announced

URC AWARDS: Elixirr Innovation Award & Elite XV winners announced

The inaugural Elixirr Innovation Award winners have been announced with Benetton taking home the prize.

The winner was determined by a panel appointed by our partners Elixirr, with the club being rewarded for innovation by growing the game through digital fan engagement, match day experience, and social purpose.

Clubs who looked to break the mould and demonstrated driving a real change by increasing following and revenue were considered.

The 2023/24 United Rugby Championship ‘Elite XV’ has also officially been announced.

The Elite XV is determined by a media vote and players must have made at least nine appearances to be considered, with the media panel provided a shortlist of 10 per position by URC StatMaster.

The player with the most votes in each position earned a place in the team.

Elixirr Innovation Award: Benetton

All clubs had the opportunity to submit for the Elixirr Innovation Award under the criteria of rewarding and celebrating innovation in growing the love of the game.

The metrics for success included:

  • Digital fan engagement
  • Match day experience
  • Social purpose

A shortlist was then selected by a judging panel at BKT URC, taking a number of factors into consideration, including how clubs have broken the mould within the league by doing something differently, and how clubs have driven a meaningful change by increasing both social following and revenue.

Benetton were chosen for this inaugural award by an Elixirr panel, that included Springboks legend and Elixirr partner Bob Skinstad, for their innovative work to drive social media engagement, including their excellent use of AI, and their hugely popular ‘physio-cam’ – which has generated over 200,000 likes.

Their experimentation across matchday assets and more helped drive a new narrative and point of view for fans.

Elite XV 2023/24

The selection is dominated by Vodacom Bulls players with no less than six players from the South African franchise making the cut.

Defending URC champions Munster have three players in the XV with Next-Gen Player of the Season Jack Crowley selected alongside fellow Ireland international Tadhg Beirne, and Alex Nankivell.

Warrick Gelant, Jordan Larmour, Sione Tuipulotu, John Cooney, Ox Nche, and Turnover King, Jamie Ritchie, make up the rest of the XV.

URC Elite XV

15. Warrick Gelant (DHL Stormers)

14. Jordan Larmour (Leinster Rugby)

13. Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors)

12. Alex Nankivell (Munster Rugby)

11. Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls)

10. Jack Crowley (Munster Rugby)

9. John Cooney (Ulster Rugby)

1. Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks)

2. Akker van der Merwe (Vodacom Bulls)

3. Wilco Louw (Vodacom Bulls)

4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby)

5. Ruan Nortjé (Vodacom Bulls)

6. Jamie Ritchie (Edinburgh)

7. Elrigh Louw (Vodacom Bulls)

8. Cameron Hanekom (Vodacom Bulls)

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