How has the rugby world cup affected advertisers?


How England’s Rugby World Cup defeat has not only impacted national moral but also associated advertisers …

Whilst England’s loss against Australia resulting in their exit from the Rugby World Cup may have left sports fans dreams in shatters, the consequences of this loss are far more widespread. The Rugby World Cup is a championship which will generate billions of pounds. If associated with the winning team, brands may be able to increase both their popularity and sales. However, whilst tempting as this marketing strategy may be, there can also be significant losses if the team these brands target their marketing campaign at are defeated – a situation many UK brands are now facing. Brands such as Heineken, O2 and Marriott Hotels who invested heavily into the World Cup may now be experiencing vast commercial losses.

However, despite these expected losses, brands who associated themselves with the Rugby World Cup are remaining optimistic that their investment is not a complete failure. Opting to be tournament sponsors rather than team sponsors means that although the effectiveness of these campaigns may be reduced brands face no immediate end to their marketing campaigns. Furthermore, as most of the brands operate nationwide, hopes that Wales or Scotland may still be victorious allow for these marketing campaigns to work on the notion that a UK victory may still be possible. David Lette, UK premium brands director at Heineken, backs this notion “Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed incredible passion from supporters of all the participating nations; and we are sure that this will continue through the knockout stages, and on to a showcase final”. Finally, whilst it is evident that the Rugby World Cup brands will experience a decrease in profits, most remain loyal to the English team. O2, for example, stated they were “with England through the up’s and down’s”.

How are these associated brands dealing with the almost inevitable profit loss of England’s defeat then? In a quintessentially British fashion.

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