IRB Rugby Sevens Campaign

The Challenge

In line with World Rugby’s ambitions for the global growth of Rugby, secure the inclusion of Rugby Sevens into the Olympic Sports Programme beginning with the 2016 Games.

The Outcome

The IOC voted to include Rugby Sevens in the Olympic Sports Programme, beginning with the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, with a resounding vote of 81 in favour and only 8 against at the IOC Session in October 2009.
World Rugby’s campaign was consistently regarded by expert observers as having the most professional and effective marketing and communications of the sports competing for inclusion in the Games.

VERO’s Role

  • Develop a compelling narrative to appeal to both the Rugby and Olympic communities
  • Create and implement an integrated communications and campaign strategy
  • Develop key messages based on Rugby’s shared values with the Olympic Movement: youth appeal, increasing strength of the women’s game, potential for smaller nations and the commercial and broadcast opportunities of Rugby Sevens
  • Ensure alignment of all campaign elements – including presentations, films and brochures – with the overarching narrative
  • Ensure key milestones – such as presentations to Olympic audiences and international Rugby Sevens events – were fully leveraged with media and decision-makers
  • Oversee the development, preparation and rehearsals for all major presentations to the IOC and Olympic Family
  • Develop a media toolkit for Rugby Unions around the world to create a positive environment within the Rugby community in support of the campaign
  • Advise on advertising campaign strategy and planning
  • Media training of World Rugby leadership and leading international Rugby ambassadors