RFU plans to ‘reinvigorate’ face of rugby

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has committed itself to overhauling rugby with an eight-year strategic plan to reinvigorate the sport’s image and make it more accessible, with the key objective of winning the World Cup in 2007.

The RFU plan, “Putting England First”, promises to invest £50m in developing world-class players and £155m on grass-roots rugby. There will also be £1m Lottery funding for local authorities to develop the game.

The RFU plans to exploit the England brand through e-commerce development, a TV production and travel company, the expansion of merchandising by taking the Rugby Store onto high streets across the country and by developing a leisure complex at its Twickenham stadium.

RFU commercial director Paul Vaughan says: “The team is performing well and playing an attractive game. We have to exploit that. We need to modernise the image of the game to make it more open and accessible – especially at grass-roots level.

“Rugby has about 9 million supporters. We are the next biggest group after football.”

– The BBC is set to secure the TV rights to England’s autumn home rugby internationals from BSkyB. The deal was worth £87.5m three years ago.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here