Marketing at the Rugby World Cup
It’s not too often someone can say that they helped in the running of a World Cup…
…but I am one of those fortunate enough not only to have been involved in the running of a World Cup, but also attend as a spectator.
The Rugby League World Cup is an international rugby tournament hosted by a different nation every four years. Over its 60 year history, 19 teams have competed to win the famous trophy and in 2013, the event was hosted by the UK, France and Ireland, with the majority of matches being held in venues across England and Wales.
My placement experience would begin at MediaCityUK, the home of the BBC and temporary home of the organising committee for the Rugby League World Cup 2013. The mission for the event was not only to convey the excitement and buzz of hosting a World Cup in the UK, but also for that buzz to extend to a wide array of facilities across the UK, ranging from smaller venues like Craven Park, Hull and Spotland Stadium, Rochdale, to over 70,000-seat stadia such as Old Trafford, Manchester and Wembley Stadium.
Marketing a World Cup!
My placement involved assisting the Marketing and Communications Departments, with specific focus on the planning for match days. As you can imagine, no two days were the same and this made for an exceptionally busy but exciting place to work! I was involved in anything from match day preparations, to collating marketing data for additional campaign planning.
One of our big priorities was to develop a continued and lasting relationship with the attendees at the matches. We did this by organising a range of competitions in which supporters could win prizes ranging from tickets, signed balls, signed kit, to basic merchandise such as pens, notepads, pin badges and key rings. I was responsible for collating this data and then distributing prizes to competition winners. Another area for which I was responsible, was working alongside the match event organisers in the administering of tickets and wristbands to performers and groups for pre-match and half time performances.
During my time working on the Rugby League World Cup, I worked alongside Chloe Bennett, Marketing Manager of Warrington Wolves. Chloe is a great inspiration to me. Her current role at Wolves means she has had a great array of industry experience, and I have been able to learn a lot about events marketing and made some great business contacts.
Seeing the Results of my Hard Work!
The best experience of my placement was receiving tickets to the semi-final at Wembley, as thanks for the hard work I put in throughout my placement. The atmosphere was electric and the game between New Zealand and England was fantastic, even if it did mean England’s exit from the competition, narrowly being beaten by two points; final score New Zealand 20 – England 18. My experience at the World Cup has not only given me a taste for events and sports marketing, but has also given me a newly found love of Rugby League. If I am honest, I didn’t know a lot about the sport before I started this placement, but it is definitely an industry I would now be interested to explore in the future!
Being at a World Cup in England was an amazing experience, but knowing that my involvement contributed to the success of the event makes it even more special. But for me, the best part of this experience is that hopefully due to the success of the event, people have been inspired to get involved in Rugby League and support some of the great teams and venues out there, not only here but across the world.
Written by Jade Bond – BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing student at UCFB