Wraps, wagons and watches: RWC sponsors join the marketing melee

The smell of sponsorship campaigns gone wrong is wafting around the country at the moment and, with just over two weeks left until RWC kick off, there are probably a few nervous sponsors hoping they don’t get flamed like Adidas and Telecom. But there’s little chance of that happening with Landrover, KPMG or recently announced official watch sponsor TAG Heur, which have all got in on the act.    

KPMG, the official supplier of accounting and tax advisory services to RWC 2011, announced its ‘Inside the business of Rugby World Cup 2011’ campaign, with a massive wrap on its Viaduct Harbour building in Auckland featuring the Samoan team (probably because they weren’t allowed to use the All Blacks) and the William Webb Ellis cup.

In addition to the building wrap, KPMG also launched a dedicated tournament website, www.insidethebusiness.co.nz, which reveals some of the insights and behind the scenes news generated around RWC 2011.

“Over the next few weeks and months, the Rugby world will be focusing on New Zealand with endless news stories and articles around the six week Tournament,” says Paul Herrod, chief executive of KPMG New Zealand. “At KPMG, we are proud to be at the very heart of the ‘business of Rugby World Cup 2011’, and we are excited to be able to share some of the insight and information relating to the business aspects of the Tournament with our clients and sports fans.”

“KPMG has been involved since 2006, working closely with RNZ 2011 and the IRB to ensure that all the planning and processes are in place to make this the best and most successful Rugby World Cup ever. Our team have been part of the crucial decision making and risk management involved with such a major international Tournament, including decisions following the Christchurch earthquake. “

To promote their campaign further, KPMG has joined forces with New Zealand team manager Darren Shand to “deliver a synergy between his role inside the business end of the New Zealand team with that of KPMG’s role inside the business of the Tournament”.

Elsewhere in sponsorship land, Landrover has delivered a special fleet of its big beasts and taken a few grip and grins at a ceremony at Eden Park to celebrate.

The official vehicle of the tournament has provided 30 specially customised vehicles with RWC branding, number plates and commemorative badging for tournament organisers and officials.

In addition to the vehicles being supplied to the RWCL, Land Rover is also supplying another 42 vehicles for Land Rover VIP and international PR/media use during the tournament, bringing the total number of Land Rovers and Range Rovers imported specifically for the tournament to 72.

The retail value of the vehicles is in excess of $NZ8 million and all of the vehicles will be sold via the Land Rover dealer network following the tournament.

Land Rover’s support of RWC 2011 and RWC 2015 builds on the company’s well-established, long-term relationship with rugby, having been the official vehicle of the British and Irish Lions in 2005 and 2009 and the official vehicle of both England Rugby and Premiership Rugby since 2002.

But wait, there’s more. Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer, which has long been associated with the world’s most prestigious sporting events and athletes like Maria Sharapova, Jenson Button, and Lewis Hamilton, is a pretty late arrival on the RWC sponsorship scene.

“Partnering with Rugby World Cup 2011, one of the largest international sporting competitions in the world is another demonstration of TAG Heuer’s dedication to elite sport. It is this legitimacy in sport and lifestyle that has helped drive TAG Heuer’s success as one of the most aspirational luxury brands in the world,” says Jean-Christophe Babin, chief executive and president for TAG Heuer.

Are there any more ‘official xxxx’ of the RWC left?


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