Corporate Hospitality Research as Sales Begin

Dublin, Jan 31, 2014: With Rugby World Cup 2015 official hospitality packages on sale from February 1, Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) welcomes initial findings of a new study that highlights the positive benefits of Rugby corporate hospitality on UK businesses and client relationships.

Demand is set to be high for the wide range of official England 2015 hospitality experiences and the independent study, commissioned by the sole official provider Rugby Travel and Hospitality Limited (RTH) and produced by SMG Insight/YouGov, surveyed 500 UK business representatives who both purchase and receive corporate hospitality.

The study revealed that receivers of corporate hospitality believed it to be twice as effective as advertising as a tool for business generation with new and existing clients. In addition, almost 60 per cent of respondents believed that purchasing corporate hospitality for RWC 2015 would increase their business recommendations from clients.

Other key findings from the research include:

• Over 80 per cent of senior business decision makers who buy corporate hospitality believe corporate hospitality at RWC 2015 to be extremely effective at improving personal relationships between businesses and their clients

• 71 per cent of those who are very interested in attending RWC 2015 corporate hospitality believe they are likely to increase the amount they spend with the company they share hospitality with on products and services

• In fact, the majority of these business decision makers indicated they would choose to purchase Rugby hospitality over alternative options including international level football, F1, horse racing or musical concerts

The official hospitality programme has been a major success story of the Rugby World Cup commercial programme, with more than 150,000 packages sold across the previous two tournaments, delivering 20 per cent of the commercial revenues that the IRB has driven back into the development of Rugby worldwide.

The official hospitality programme for RWC 2015 aims to make the memorable unforgettable, with a range of options from never-before-seen-at-Rugby chalet style hospitality, through to private corporate boxes to all new shared spaces, with energy and excitement at the heart of the experience.

Full details of the Rugby World Cup 2015 hospitality programme can be found at www.rugbyworldcup.com/hospitality and further information regarding the report and its findings can be obtained through RTH via the contact details below.

The findings represent a further boost for an England 2015 tournament that is set to raise the commercial bar while some 400,000 travelling fans and a television audience in more than 200 territories will experience a nationwide celebration of Rugby, its character-building values and the host nation.

The showcase event will provide the financial engine for the development of Rugby worldwide, with the IRB committed to investing a record £180 million in participation, player welfare, tournament, development and high performance programmes across its 119 national Member Unions.

RWCL Managing Director Brett Gosper said: “These findings demonstrate the significant prestige and popularity of Rugby World Cup in the global business marketplace and are a strong endorsement of what promises to be a truly spectacular England 2015 tournament.”

“Rugby is a major player in the global sports industry with an annual turnover of £1 billion and continued strong investment from broadcasters, sponsors and commercial hospitality within the Rugby World Cup programme enables the IRB to invest record sums in a sustainable future for what is now a truly global sport. Our partners like to be able to see their investment playing a key role in inspiring more men, women and children to play the sport in new and existing Rugby markets worldwide.”

Andrew Burton, Chief Executive of Rugby Travel & Hospitality Limited, said: “With Rugby World Cup 2015 set to be the biggest-ever Rugby tournament and the third largest sporting event in the world, there is an exciting opportunity for companies to use corporate hospitality as an effective business generation tool. Already, we have received unprecedented demand for official hospitality with more than double the level of interest at this stage than for all previous Rugby World Cup Tournaments. This demonstrates not only growing confidence in the UK economy but also indicates that Rugby World Cup 2015 is set to be the showcase global sporting event for corporate hospitality.”

Research Methodology: The study was commissioned by RTH through SMG Insight/YouGov, an independent research provider, to gauge the effectiveness of sport hospitality as a business development tool. Opinions were collected from decision makers from 500 UK companies who are regular hospitality purchasers and attendees.

In addition to the direct impact on business relationships, RTH’s investment in securing the rights to RWC hospitality makes up approximately 20% of the commercial revenue generated by Rugby’s showcase Tournament for reinvestment in the development of the Game globally by the IRB. Between 2013 and 2016 the IRB will be driving £180 million into participation, player welfare, tournament and high performance programmes across its 119 national Member Unions.

About Rugby World Cup: Rugby World Cup is the financial engine behind unprecedented investment and growth in Rugby worldwide. The net Rugby World Cup surplus from the commercial success of France 2007 and New Zealand 2011 has enabled the International Rugby Board to invest more than £150 million in the Game between 2009 and 2012 and commit an anticipated injection of more than £180 million between 2013 and 2016 to underwrite a large range of major funding initiatives including annual national Union grants and strategic investments focusing on growing participation and increasing competition across all 119 national Member Unions affiliated to the IRB.

About RTH: Rugby Travel & Hospitality Limited are the exclusive providers of official hospitality at Rugby World Cup 2015. After successfully delivering the official hospitality programme for Rugby World Cups 2007 France and 2011 New Zealand, RTH have been appointed the official hospitality provider for the next two Rugby World Cup tournaments in England in 2015 and Japan in 2019. For further information on hospitality packages which officially go on sale on Saturday February 1, please visit www.rugbyworldcup.com/hospitality

About England 2015: Rugby World Cup 2015, hosted in England between September 18 and October 31, will be a celebration of Rugby and its unique character-building values, exciting and inspiring the nation and the world to play and support the Game. England Rugby 2015 are the Organising Committee for Rugby World Cup 2015 and will deliver the six-week tournament, hosted in 10 English cities and in Cardiff, Wales. Thirteen match venues will play host to the 48 games that will celebrate and engage over 2.5 million spectators, including more than 400,000 international travelling fans. —- IRB

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