With the Rugby World Cup 2015 now in full swing Livewire, the Core Media-owned sponsorship and activations agency is publishing a weekly assessment of how various brands associated with both the tournament and Irish rugby are performing off the pitch.
The first instalment of RWC Insider shows that one of the leading partners of RWC2015, Heineken, has seen its brand awareness soar on the back of several advertising and marketing initiatives around the tournament.
“Heineken has spent a reported £20m (€27m) to be a top-tier Rugby World Cup 2015 Worldwide Partner. The brand has also spent considerable sums to leverage this partnership with a strong through-the-line campaign that centres around access to the captains’ coin flip before each RWC match. Already, after only 10 days of competition, Heineken is the sponsor that Irish consumers are most aware of. Heineken’s association with the Rugby World Cup has been especially effective with the coveted 18 – 24 year olds – placing 5% above the average awareness levels of all age groups,” according to RWC Insider.
Meanwhile Guinness, a partner of the IRFU, but not of the Rugby World Cup, also scores highly, particularly with the 55+ cohort. “The brand has been visible across most touch points with the latest iteration of the ‘Made of More’ campaign. Despite not being an official RWC partner, Guinness’s longstanding association with Irish rugby gives it the perfect platform to connect with Irish rugby fans with a heavy weighted campaign around the tournament,” it notes.
Likewise Aer Lingus, which also has a sponsorship relationship with the IRFU, has also seen its brand awareness soar only announced its partnership with the IRFU on April 30th. In that time the brand has painted two short haul Airbus 320’s with an IRFU livery, including representatives from all four provinces (Tommy Bowe, Robbie Henshaw, Rob Kearney & Conor Murray). It has also released a video featuring players and crew singing “Ireland’s Call” which has been viewed 978k times on Facebook alone.
“Already the positive effects of the partnership and activations are taking root. 54% of fans say they feel more positively towards the brand as a result of the sponsorship – which is higher than any other sponsor of the Irish rugby team. Only 7% of people state that they feel more negative towards the brand,” notes the report.
Looking at the online activities of rugby fans, RWC Insider notes that “much of the Rugby World Cup 2015’s UK media coverage has been focused on the England team and their performance, with 11% of Irish fans believing that England will go on to win the tournament. But smart brands should leverage the support in Wales, where 44% of the population regard themselves as ‘rugby supporters’, and 23% regard themselves as ‘rugby lovers.’ In the 90 days running up to the tournament, the Welsh searched for ‘Rugby World Cup’ 70% more than their English counterparts. But in the last 7 days, and after England’s defeat to The Dragons at Twickenham, the Welsh have increased their search and interest in the sport by a further 19% compared to English fans.”
In terms of which brands have scored on TV, RWC Insider notes that “Meteor reached the highest ad views (722k) during TV3’s halftime coverage of Ireland vs Romania on Sunday afternoon. The telco company beat Guinness’s 60 second ad which reached 700k viewers at the conclusion of the halftime break, and AIB’s solus ad which reached 700k viewers at the conclusion of the game. Meteor has taken advantage of the fact that rival Three is unable to feature its logo on the Irish rugby jersey due to RWC rights restrictions.
For the full report on week two of the Rugby World Cup 2015 click Here