The Happy Haka has been choreographed (sort of) and the line out is sorted, it’s time to scrum down for the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Twenty nations have descended on these English shores in a bid to lift the William Webb Ellis Trophy in six weeks time, starting tonight as England take on Fiji at fortress Twickenham. It’s the biggest sporting event to take place in the UK since the Olympics three years ago. Yes, it was three years ago.
Happy HQ is brimming with excitement – even those who have no interest in the grand old game have got in on the act – and not just because of the sporting prowess on show until Halloween.
Like the FIFA World Cup before it, the IRB World Cup has brought with its own marketing mettle. Huge brands have got behind the sport, ploughing millions into the game like never before. Four years ago, when New Zealand beat France in the closest final in memory, the marketing budget was far less than the one which kicks off later.
England sponsor O2 have surpassed any other branding with their constant messages in all types of media. #WearTheRose has been trending since it’s launch following the Six Nations, ITV – who have broadcast rights – have pushed the #IAmEngland et al hashtag while McDonald’s and Lucozade have shelled out to make sure their brands are in the front row.
Whether England triumph (which would be fantastic on home soil) or France defy the odds, Wales overcome their pool, the Aussies get revenge for the Ashes, the Irish come good in a big tournament or New Zealand do the expected, one thing will ring true. The marketing behind the Rugby World Cup will have achieved its objective – to engage with its audience and create new advocates for their brands.
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