The Rugby World Cup

A win for brand engagement


The Rugby World Cup

In the world of sports, sponsorship has come a long way from the simple act of “badging.” Traditionally, having your logo on a jersey, stadium, or event program was seen as the pinnacle of brand partnership. Sponsors were merely passive observers, with little influence on the fan experience or long-term change within the sport.

Fast-forward to today, as is reported by the BBC, the Rugby World Cup’s partnership with Asahi demonstrated a remarkable transformation in the way brands engage with sports. Sponsors are no longer content with mere logo placement; they’re now actively shaping the fan and player experiences through innovative campaigns and tools. The Rugby World Cup and Asahi partnership introduced the world’s first official Rugby World Cup podcast at this year’s tournament. It’s a natural integration opportunity, that mimics the setting of fans discussing Rugby World Cup games over a beer. The podcast’s first episode generated over 100,000 views on YouTube and the guestlist featured some prominent names in world rugby.

Furthermore, World Rugby, in collaboration with Worldwide Partner Capgemini and Opta, unveiled three cutting-edge insight and analysis tools at the Rugby World Cup. These tools, including “Expected Points,” “Momentum Tracker,” and “Pitch Position Insights,” leverage data, technology, and AI to elevate the professional and fan discourse around team analysis. It’s a game-changer, that enabled fans to actively participate in more detailed discussions around the sport.

The Rugby World Cup has demonstrated that the era of passive “badging” is over; we’re now in the age of active and immersive brand engagement in sports.