The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is to launch its first advertising campaign later this year, capitalising on the popularity of the sport following the English World Cup victory last year.
Although England rugby stars such as Jonny Wilkinson have been used extensively to promote brands like Tetley in the wake of England’s World Cup victory, the RFU has never attempted to promote the game through traditional advertising.
The RFU has appointed Lowe as its first ad agency, without holding a formal pitch, with Initiative Media chosen to handle its media planning and buying.
An insider at Lowe says the agency will work on various parts of the RFU brand, including generating interest in the England team as well as driving sales in domestic competitions.
Lowe’s first task will be to create a &£1m press, poster and viral campaign to promote a range of high-profile games, including the Powergen Cup Final, the England v Barbarians match and the Emirates Airline London Sevens.
The RFU has embarked on a range of commercial ventures since winning the Rugby World Cup last November to generate funds and sustain interest in the game. In February, the RFU launched a soft drink brand containing a mixture of grape and elderflower juice called Swing Low Sweet Chariot (MW February 5).