Canterbury is embracing this year’s Rugby World Cup as a platform to promote inclusivity and togetherness in the sport.
Now in his fourth year with the brand, Simon Rowe, Head of Sports Marketing, believes that Canterbury has the potential to be the big brand winner of the tournament that starts in Japan today – and that, to do so, the brand must live and breathe the values of the game.
“We’re there positioned in our own right as the world’s number one rugby brand, at the biggest rugby tournament in the sport”, says Rowe. “There are two layers to our approach – providing the best kit for the teams, 35% of which are kitted out in Canterbury, and then our partnerships with the unions and federations enabling us to create a range of merchandise for the fans to enjoy and help them show their allegiance.”
It’s fitting, then, that the brand’s campaign focuses on bringing rugby lovers together in celebration. Rowe says, “We recently launched our ‘Be Part of it’ campaign, which has been created using our comprehensive understanding of the rugby consumer and focused on how they can join the conversation surrounding the game. It’s a chance for us to use our position, not just in terms of rugby, but also in terms of our commitment to growing the game in society. All of our marketing activity involves engaging with our consumers and encouraging people to ‘be part of it’.”
The campaign, created by Pentland Brands in-house creative agency, will see fans that stand shoulder to shoulder with players and officials to bring to life the inclusivity of the rugby community. Featuring digital activations on the canterbury.com Rugby World Cup Hub, OOH advertising and an extensive social media campaign, the campaign will encourage rugby lovers at all levels to ‘be part of it’.
The brand’s sponsorship strategy involves partnering with players and governing bodies, with Canterbury revealing the new home and away kits for the England and Ireland teams in July. “The sponsorship element is about partnering with organisations and teams that really reflect our ethics, values and purpose as a business”, says Rowe. “Sponsoring teams and athletes is about Canterbury providing people with an opportunity to engage with a sport they love.”
After extensive product testing and insight-gathering, Rowe believes that the key to talking to the right consumers is through the values of the game. “The one thing that defines Canterbury and makes it different is our core and our purpose. Our core is based in making stylish, crafted products that are built to last and our brand has an ability to focus on what makes the sport special, which is the players and fans. That’s why we’re putting of our efforts into creating the right type of products for the fans who are living and breathing the game.”
The Rugby World Cup begins today, with the final taking place on 2nd November.