In less than two weeks’ time the 3rd largest sporting event will kick off, the Rugby World Cup (RWC), with England playing host to 20 countries battling it out to be crowned World Champions. Being a huge rugby fan/player and my interest in brand promotions I’ve decided to look into what the official brand sponsors and ‘tagalongs’ are doing to help drive brand awareness, trial and sales for their brands around the event.

(1) Coca Cola – official sponsor, your heavyweight prop in the terms of sponsorship and brand promotions. Their on pack promotion sounds impressive with over 1 million Coca Cola Gilbert rugby balls up for grabs. High frequency of consumer rewards and great exposure for the Coca Cola brand with a million branded rugby balls flying around the place. Simple entry mechanic with a unique code across a range of SKU’s, supported with a clean and crisp microsite, this could be a semi-finalist but could go all the way!

(2) Lucozade Sport – Not an official sponsor of the RWC but has direct relationships with the RFU, WRU, Irish and Scottish Rugby. This allows them to use their rugby star brand ambassadors such as Chris Robshaw and Conor Murray to feature on their marketing material and gives the consumer a great connection and recognition with the brand and the RWC. Their brand promotion is an on pack allowing consumers the chance to win an official England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales rugby shirt – every 80 minutes, every day. Again an impressive amount of prizes, plus if you know your rugby stash an official shirt will set you back £50 to £89!

(3) Butterkist – Not an official sponsor but looking to piggy back on the RWC without having to pay huge amounts on becoming an official sponsor. Again another appealing strapline that will attract the shopper, ‘Try for Cash - Win a Share of £500,000’. Nice play on words with the link to rugby. When looking into the ‘Share’ aspect consumers could have the chance to win £10, £50, £100 or £1,000 in their bag. Looking at the T&C’s there is actually a large amount of prize monies, £23,100 to be precise. (100 x £1,000; 1,000 x £100; 2,000 x £50 and 20,000 x £10) Entry mechanic is a microsite but then you get to play a rugby game to score a try! To drive additional sales every consumer can claim 50p off their next bag of Butterkist.

(4) Canon – Official Sponsor and leading with the chance to win official tickets. Now if you tried to get tickets through the ballot you’ll know that it was hard to get the big games plus they weren’t cheap! Looking into the details they will be giving away 50 x pairs of tickets when you purchase one of their products. Unfortunately you won’t bag a ticket to the final or to see any of the England group games! However, everyone’s a winner with this promotion as you’re eligible to claim a free Official Gilbert Rugby Ball.

(5) Heineken – Official sponsor and brand alignment and sponsorship heavyweight within sporting events around the world. Heineken has had a long history with rugby with the old Heineken Cup which was established in 1995 and came to an end in 2014. Heineken have created a global multi-platform campaign #ItsYourCall that is focused on bringing the fans closer to the sport for an incredible experience. They’ve signed up some world renowned international stars from the sport to front the campaign with the likes of Will Carling, Matt Dawson and Jonah Lomu to name a few. They are searching for 48 fans from across the globe to win a ‘once in a life time’ experience to open the games by tossing the coin with the team captains prior to kick off. The lucky winner will also get the chance to watch the game from the luxury of the VIP hospitality with no doubt free-flowing beer! The campaign is full of additional content allowing the fans to get close to their beloved sport. But how do you enter? Well this is where it gets clever as the 1994 World Cup star Jonah Lomu is asking UK fans to twitter a picture of a 2p coin that was minted in the legend’s World Cup year 1994. The brand is also running on pack activity linked to the coin toss and giving consumers the chance to win match day tickets.

(6) Wolf Blass – not an official sponsor but again another brand that has an association with the sport. The brand has been the official wine for England Rugby even though it’s Australian, however the head office for Wolf Blass is only a stone’s throw from Twickenham stadium. This is a great campaign that matches perfectly with the brand and the heritage of the sport which will appeal to the brand’s target market. They’ve selected England legend Will Greenwood to front the campaign which will see 15 limited edition bottles representing the 15 rugby playing positions. Consumers are being challenged to vote for the greatest players ever to play in those positions to create the greatest team. It’s being run through the website and consumers are asked to vote for their players via Twitter so the brand is driving content and brand awareness to the social masses. The voting is done over the space of 10th August to 18th October which means consumers have to re visit the site and interact via Twitter for the whole duration of the campaign, could be a good for the brand or will consumers switch off? So what could you win? Well they are giving away a VIP Rugby experience for the grand prize.

The down fall of not being an official RWC sponsor, means it won’t be to the RWC but the tickets are to see England vs Wales in the 2016 Six Nations. They are though giving away weekly prizes of 6 bottles of Wolf Blass to 2 lucky winners each week.

So, if you are interested in standing out from the competition and scoring big with your next sales promotion, drop us a line and give us a TRY!