Digital marketing to be central to England's rugby World Cup

Paul Vaughan: chief executive of England Rugby 2015
Paul Vaughan: chief executive of England Rugby 2015

Organisers of England's rugby World Cup 2015 will try and lure rival Rugby League fans while digital marketing will be central to the promotion of the event, says Paul Vaughan, chief executive of England Rugby 2015.

Vaughan was speaking at a recent industry conference in Barcelona.

He said: "The biggest shop window in the game for us is the World Cup. It could be possible for us to target rival sports with marketing campaigns. One obvious possibility could be rugby league fans, for instance."

"Marketing will begin in earnest this year", he said, citing the live TV pool draw in November which will decide the fixtures ahead of the World Cup.

After this there will be a focus on "cost-effective" digital marketing, Vaughan said.

Digital marketing is likely to involve England Rugby 2015, working with top individual rugby union clubs across the country-such as Harlequins, Saracens and Northampton to target specific fans geographic areas and specific sports.

Possible targets include fans of rugby league, which are primarily located in the north of England and are a different demographic to rugby union fans.

Further marketing activity includes 2015 World Cup matches streamed through rugby websites.

Crucial to the success of 2015 will be to "make sure we target UK as primary market", while the global rugby market will "be easy to reach with digital marketing", Vaughan said.

A major global TV advertising campaign is unlikely to happen because of its expense.

The 2015 tournament will run from 4 September to 17 October, when the final will be played at Twickenham.

Other matches will be staged at grounds around the country including Old Trafford, Anfield, and in Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

Hosting the 2015 Rugby World Cup is estimated by accountancy firm Deloitte to be worth £2.1bn to the British economy.

Executives organising 2015 have also been keeping a close eye on the organisation of London 2012.

Vaughan said: "We are learning from 2012... be it ticketing, security, [or] transport."

Follow John Reynolds on Twitter @johnreynolds10

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