Opinion: Are brands missing an opportunity with the Rugby World Cup?

Phil Boas, director of brand engagement at Paragon, believes brands are missing a major opportunity to bring their corporate events to life during the Rugby World Cup 2015.

Rugby's Biggest Year gala dinner
Rugby's Biggest Year gala dinner

The Rugby World Cup is in town and over the next few weeks there is going to be a lot of excitement up and down the country and of course a lot of press coverage detailing the highs and lows for the home nation teams.

While the sponsors will be working hard to activate their partnerships, it never ceases to amaze me that companies who hold corporate events don’t also look to capitalise on these world-class sporting occasions.

At Paragon, we understand that the Rugby World Cup and other major sporting events such as Euro 2016 and the Olympics next year are also something that can be leveraged for the corporate event market. Sales people, clients and colleagues are all very used to (and some might say slightly bored with) the usual standard set up of a sales conference, internal get together, analyst presentation etc.

You know the drill – coffee, some speakers and PowerPoint, then some lunch, some more PowerPoint, maybe a 'motivational speaker' and if you are lucky a drink or two after the event.

However, gobal events like the Rugby World Cup are a fantastic opportunity to hold your usual event and shake it up a bit, add excitement, raise attendance levels and create a buzz. We have had some great success with our clients holding something like a sales conference on the day of an England game. An afternoon of seminars and sessions, followed by dinner hosted by a couple of ex England players, a Q&A with them and then a screening of the game.

We always see a real energy and buzz throughout the day with people genuinely engaged with the 'work' part of the day and our clients tell us that this engagement leads to more effective results. Does the fixture date not work for you? Ex-players can create a theme for your event, which you can incorporate into a launch or an event celebration; it’s a great way to link your brand to the occasion.

The draw for Euro 2016 is in December, so take note of the big games that are relevant to your audience and then challenge your agency to create an event for you that can leverage the game and make your event bigger and better.


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