Submitted by: Shareena Patel 15/02/2016
The Director of Marketing for the Rugby World Cup 2015 explains the vital role of print in promoting the event to an international audience
"The Rugby World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and we have a lot of information to provide"
What does your role involve?
My role is to market and promote the Rugby World Cup, including selling at least 2.3 million tickets and engaging and inspiring the world to celebrate rugby and play and support the game. This involves designing and delivering a range of integrated marketing and communications campaigns for ticket sales, the Festival of Rugby and general tournament promotion, as well as delivering an international and domestic Trophy Tour and managing a busy press office for the 3,000 accredited media who will cover the tournament.
How much print marketing have you produced for the tournament?
Although we have embraced digital media, we are big believers in print media and our ticket marketing campaign has involved print and outdoor advertising, particularly newspaper supplements in national and regional titles. We have also produced a range of print publications, from the spectator guide, which we issue with all our tickets, through to a handbook for our 6,000 volunteers.
What are the specific advantages of print for such a huge event as the Rugby World Cup?
The RWC is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and we have a lot of information to provide, not just to the 2.3 million ticket holders but to the millions of people who want to be part of the tournament by visiting our Fan Zones and seeing the Trophy Tour. Print is one of many ways to reach our audiences – not the only way, but an important way given the amount of information we have to convey.
What roles will print perform for you? Brand-building, getting across information, the souvenir element…
All of the above. Brand building via print advertising and ditto spectator information. The licensing programme involves producing a match programme – still a very important part of the spectator experience.
How important is print within the industry of sports marketing?
It still has a big role to play. For big tournaments, you still can’t beat the cut-out-and-keep World Cup wall charts! Souvenirs and collectibles are also a big part of sports marketing and memorabilia. I’m a big fan of the impact of print advertising and newspaper supplements in particular.
What key pieces of advice would you give to a sports marketer?
Don’t underestimate the power and reach of traditional newspaper supplements, which provide a lot of information in a clear and easy to understand way. Also, think carefully about ticket design – every major event has to print millions of tickets, which can be a great souvenir and memento. We spent a lot of time creating tickets which fans would want to keep – our design features four Rugby World Cup-winning captains, with a special gold design for the final featuring Jonny Wilkinson.