Rugby World Cup 2015: Sponsorship and what it means for Brand Value

With the Rugby World Cup upon us you can feel a certain sense of pride and patriotism in the air. In the marketing world sponsorship is the way to go and when better to do it than when the world is watching. Here are a couple of reasons why brands decide to sponsor the Rugby World Cup.

  • Sport sponsorship is one of the most efficient ways to promote brands and products through an emotional environment. Sponsors can gain high visibility and a comprehensive engagement platform for brand building and relationship management.
  • Rugby can be considered as a relatively clean sport comparing to others. For instance, last summer, the FIFA went through corruption investigation by US and Swiss authorities, which influenced negatively on its image. Olympic Games have been affected as well when China fired a senior sport official accused of corruption probe into Beijing’s successful bid for the 2022 Winter Games.
  • Some of the sponsors underline the social character of rugby as a great benefit. Steve Martin, Chief executive of M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, emphasized the clean reputation and a social side of the game as important incentives for sponsors: “The opportunity is in the social side – rugby is played in a very good, respectful way. The values of rugby are very strong and, as a result, there’s quite a positive response in the sponsorship market.”
  • Show me the money. While football rights are continually increasing, rugby offers an interesting alternative for brands searching for a strong headline sponsorship. The Rugby World Cup is the third biggest worldwide sport event behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup with the top tier sponsorship slot cost considerably lower than the two biggest events (the price of a slot in the Rugby World Cup is around £6.45m, while a slot in the FIFA World Cup is around £16m).

One of the biggest sponsors for the Rugby World Cup is DHL, a delivery firm. The brand decided to directly meet consumers instead of focusing solely on a B2B dimension. The brand is linked to rugby since the very beginning.

DHL sponsorship consists both of practical and emotional activities like shipping team equipment between stadia or inviting children from a rugby-playing nation to deliver balls during the game. They have three goals while focusing on sponsorship.

  • They aim at showing off its logistics by content,
  • Increasing employee engagement and provoking them to think about the values of rugby
  • And finally at raising brand consideration.

The company tries to present to the audience the idea of working with DHL in order to become a top-of-mind when it comes to choosing a courier.

Some of the other big sponsors for this year Rugby World Cup are:


Rugby seems to be a good choice in terms of sport sponsorship. The sport appeals to whole families, which is a great plus for a sponsor and thanks to its relatively lower costs it may be an efficient tool to enhance a brand.

We at 8Brand are standing firmly behind the boks and we are very excited to see what the sponsors come up with this World Cup.