Looking to convert

November 6, 2015

The biggest competition in rugby wrapped up last week, with the All Blacks taking home the 2015 world cup. As hosts, England were tipped to benefit from up to £1billion additive value from the tournament. The home team may have suffered an abrupt exit, but did it affect the success of the event, and the brands attached to it?

Land Rover backed the world cup with its biggest sponsorship deal yet, but they didn’t go it alone. Teaming up with clothing brand Barbour, the prestigious carmakers captured the essence of all-out British heritage with a capsule limited edition collection, designed with spectators in mind. They even drafted in former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio to feature in the style-focused campaign. The practicality of this campaign gave it staying power, no matter what the results.


Over on the more emotive side, o2 opted for a John-Lewis-Christmas’esque approach with their captivating illustrated advert. In the style of Roald Dahl’s BFG, the advert saw some of England’s best loved players grow into towering figures, fueled by the support of the general public. The #WearTheRose hashtag linked in the popular social element, and saw messages of support pour in. A popular campaign with pride at the heart, but with England ducking out early, did it leave itself too open to a total loss of spark?

Brand partnerships need to bring a variety of things, from exclusive content to inside access and rewards. Some bring passion and bravery, while others are more discreet and intriguing. Some of the most popular pairings also have a focus on fun, and are often the ones that find themselves on most people’s radar. Richmond were among those brands to give a playful nod with their RWC packaging.


Success for the home team would have been incredible for all involved. Advertising contracts may have been long tied up before the disappointment, but the effect on viewing figures and interest within the country undoubtedly knocked momentum down a peg or two. For Land Rover and Barbour, the tournament acted as campaign inspiration. But for o2, the level of success was detrimental to the effect of the messaging. With tournament hook-ups, is it a risk worth taking or should brands know better?

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