The Rugby World Cup: A campaign that stands out from “them maul”


Held every four years, the Rugby World Cup is one of the largest sporting events in the world in which the top international teams compete on a global stage for the winning title. The tournament is taking place in Japan and is the ninth edition of the event. While it is an international sporting occasion, it provides the perfect opportunity for brands and companies to implement engaging marketing campaigns to boost sales and engage new audiences.

The Rugby World Cup 2019 has worldwide partners and official sponsors including Emirates, Heineken, Land Rover, Mastercard, Canon and Mitsubishi Estate to name a few. However, these global businesses are not the only companies using this international sporting occasion to gain brand awareness.

With 24 years on the England Rugby Shirt, O2 holds the longest shirt sponsorship in sport. #WearTheRose was the strapline for the Rugby World Cup in 2015 which encouraged fans to wear the rose in support of the squad. O2 stated that this advert was the most successful digital campaign they have ever ran. In 2019, O2’s multimillion-pound campaign uses the World Cup location – Japan – as inspiration to encourage England fans to be the samurai amour for the squad. While the advert aims to promote the love for the iconic red rose, similar to the aims in 2015, the video implies that by wearing the rose you are being the amour that protects the team. The shirt is a platform for England Rugby, is part of their brand awareness and a sign of England Rugby passion.

On a more localised scale, your business could implement this by sponsoring the local sports teams in your area. Increase your brand awareness by advertising on sports clothing which can raise your profile and engage new audiences, but make sure it resonates with your target audience. Marketing is much more than just social media and digital communication; you can have a very successful marketing campaign using branded items or direct mail as long as it is in line with an overall marketing strategy.

Another key example of clothing marketing is Canterbury, a sportwear company, who have the business objective to be the go-to clothing brand for rugby fans and players. By becoming the Official Sports Apparel Supplier for the Rugby World Cup 2019, they are succeeding in their marketing campaign by instilling in people’s minds that to play rugby, you must wear their clothing brand. This is shown in a statement by Simon Rowe, head of sports marketing at Canterbury who said, “The road to Japan 2019 is an exciting time for Canterbury as we enhance our association with Rugby’s greatest tournament to deliver both on and off the field; with players, officials, staff, volunteers and rugby supporters all wearing the brand”. This shows that sponsorship, advertisements and a social media campaign during key occasions can heighten the awareness of your company, boost sales, and increase engagement from new audiences.

Do you want a campaign that is bold, creative and stands out “from them maul”? Get in touch to find out how we can help! Send an email to [email protected] or call us on 01635 521224