RBS Group, in a rare campaign that combines each of its individual consumer facing brands, announced in early January 2012 to launch this year’s grassroots rugby union initiative RugbyForce.
Developed in partnership with sponsorship agency Synergy and launched simultaneously at London’s Twickenham Stadium (with ambassador Tom Wood) and at Waunarlwydd RFC in Wales (with ambassador George North), RugbyForce is a nationwide community volunteer programme which helps local rugby clubs improve their facilities and safeguard their long-term future.
Last year the programme helped more than 400 clubs in the UK and Ireland and RugbyForce now exists across all four Home Union territories – Ulster Bank RugbyForce in Ireland, NatWest RugbyForce in Wales, and RBS RugbyForce in England and Scotland.
The aim of the launch campaign was to maximise PR exposure in order to drive more clubs to sign up for the programme before registration closes at the end of March. Each event had its own promotional mechanics working in tandem with the official launch announcement. For example, at Twickenham those English clubs signing up to the scheme before the first of England’s RBS 6 Nations games at Twickenham will win the chance to have their names printed on the steps of the famous stadium.
At Twickenham, Tom Wood spoke to a number of different media, including an exclusive interview with the Daily Telegraph and a live appearance on TalkSport, as well as branded pieces in the Birimingham Post and Sunday Mercury, and a host of other online and radio interviews. The campaign was launched with the names of three lucky clubs, and representatives from each were at Twickenham to provide further online media content and enable us to target local press from across the country.
While in Cardiff, Waunarlwydd RFC turned out in force to see George North, with around 100 kids and 60 adults attending. Media interviews went ahead with Swansea Sound radio, Scarlett FM radio, the Press Association, the South Wales Evening Post, the Daily Express, Rugby World and BBC Wales Radio & TV.