RFU adopts player focus to tackle media setbacks

RFU: England rugby coaches Stuart Lancaster and Graham Rowntree
RFU: England rugby coaches Stuart Lancaster and Graham Rowntree

The Rugby Football Union (RFU), the governing body of the sport in England, is overhauling its marketing activities with plans to put player accessibility and "integrity" at the heart of its fresh approach.

Following a disastrous 2011 for the national side, Sophie Goldschmidt, RFU chief commercial officer, admitted in an exclusive interview with Marketing that the organisation needed to improve its marketing approach.

She said it had ‘learned a lot’ from England’s World Cup campaign, when the team was the subject of a wave of negative media coverage surrounding events on and off the field.

The RFU will unveil a series of campaigns this year, including a 6 Nations push. The RFU is ‘focusing on three key areas:  discipline, integrity and teamwork,’ she added.

Goldschmidt, a former NBA and Women’s Tennis Association marketer, who joined the RFU last year, said player accessibility would also be important, arguing that there have been ‘too many barriers’ between them and fans in the past.

The RFU website will now focus on England players, with features such as interactive content, extended profiles, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage.

The RFU also plans to open up training sessions to the public, in an attempt to foster stronger ties between players and supporters.

This is a crucial 12 months for the RFU because it aims to announce key sponsorship deals ahead of the 2015 World Cup, to be held in England.

While its sponsorship deals with O2 and Land Rover are up for renewal this year, the governing body has signed GlaxoSmithKline-owned brands Lucozade and Maxinutrition as official hydration and sports nutrition partners.

The agreement, which extends to 2016, marks the first joint deal by the two brands since GSK acquired Maxinutrition in 2010.

The pair will be official partners for a range of England teams, including the seniors, women’s and sevens sides.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers