As England prepares to host this year's Rugby World Cup, RFU's Jane Barron talks us through the licensing and retail programme set score big points this year.
How has 2015 been for RFU in the licensing space?
2015 has been a strong year for RFU in the licensing space, working alongside CPLG the brand has gained valuable cross-category activation with many retailers in the build up to England hosting Rugby World Cup 2015 ; and recently held a retailer and licensee inspiration day at Twickenham Stadium which was a huge success.
England Rugby product is now gaining real prominence in stores across the country, with Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, Sports Direct, Mothercare, Aldi, M&CO and Shop Direct all stocking core ranges.
The RFU’s own retail business at Twickenham remains strong, as does its online offering www.englandrugbystore.com with official online retail partner Kitbag Limited.
The RFU’s licensing programme currently includes over 40 best in class licensees, and new deals for 2015 have seen the addition of publishing, electricals, FMCG, accessories, and training equipment partners all hoping to capitalize on the desire of the nation to associate with the iconic England Rugby rose.
Are there still product areas you feel RFU would be a great fit for?
There is a world of opportunity for the England Rugby brand, and we feel that it would be a instantly attractive fit across many product categories. Our recent collaboration with British artist Doug Hyde has shown how versatile the brand can be, and we will seek to further the game’s influence in popular culture in imaginative ways.
The digital world also offers many product opportunities for RFU licensees and supporters, and interactive channels are a key focus for us as we broaden our reach.
What do you look for in a partner for RFU?
When looking for a partner for the RFU, we want a partner to strive to seek out exciting ideas to innovate the brand, surprising and delighting supporters in new ways.
The England Rugby brand is more than just a logo. It is all the things that make England Rugby instantly recognizable, respected and special. It’s how we look, how we sound, how we talk and we look for potential partners to represent the core values that set rugby apart.
Teamwork and enjoyment are both key to a successful relationship, and we are looking for partners who share our ambition to promote the unifying power of the brand.
What does next year have in store for RFU with regards to licensing?
There are 12 million followers of rugby in England and the popularity of the game continues to increase both here and internationally, with the increased profile of the England Rugby brand in the legacy of the Rugby World Cup 2015 set to bring added focus to the RFU and CPLG’s future licensing strategy.
Twickenham stadium is regularly a sell out during the QBE Internationals, RBS 6 Nations, Aviva Premiership Finals and European Club matches. Rugby Sevens also remains hugely popular with Twickenham hosting the London Sevens, part of the annual HSBC Sevens World Series.
Our goal is to continue the programmes growth amongst a wider demographic and retail spectrum, and build upon the success of 2015 to deliver a 365 day programme, capitalising on all major events in the rugby fans calendar.
To learn more about the licensing opportunities with RFU please contact Daniel McGeehan at CPLG at firstname.lastname@example.org