Tissot Activates RBS 6 Nations Sponsorship By Asking Rugby Union Fans To #RespectTheRef

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Launched to leverage the kick off of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Tissot’s ‘Respect The Ref’ campaign highlights and supports the game’s referees and their role in ensuring the sport continues to champion the value of ‘mutual respect’


Tissot, which has a long-standing commitment to rugby and has the Official Timekeeper of the RBS 6 Nations for the last 5 years, aims to highlight the tournament referees’ role in maintaining mutual respect on the pitch.


Tissot’s  #RespectTheRef campaign is running through the 2017 RBS 6 Nations and fronted by world renowned Welsh international rugby union referee Nigel Owens.


The campaign is led by a spearhead spot hosted across the brand’s digital and social channels – including YouTube.



and it is also being amplified across other Tissot platforms: from its website (https://www.tissotwatches.com/)


to its Facebook page



and Twitter feed.




With further support from the endorser’s won social channels too.



The background to the campaign is based on Tissot research about how the game has been transformed from its amateur form to the professional era.


But its planning found that in the sport the theme of ‘respect’ is always prevalent and that rugby fans all hope that the values of this gentleman’s game where respect is the law will never change.


The campaign from the tournament’s official timekeepers also features Tissot’s new, exclusive RBS 6 Nations T-Touch Expert Solar limited edition watch and its PRC 200 RBS 6 Nations Official Watch.


Only 66 of these former watches – which feature technology with solar energy and 20 tactile functions (including a countdown timer, chronograph and weather forecast) – are being produced.


It also has the RBS 6 Nations logo engraved on the caseback and comes in a special watch box which includes a miniature rugby ball signed by Nigel Owens and a visual card featuring his quote ‘Remember the referee is always right, even when he’s wrong’.



‘There are many things that make that rugby unique and one of rugby’s core values is its ethos of respect for all in the game. It is imperative that we uphold this important value of rugby, I am delighted to work with Tissot and support #RespectTheRef,’ said Nigel Owens MBE at the campaign’s launch event.


‘The RBS 6 Nations Championship is the perfect partnership for Tissot as the sport of rugby demonstrates many of the core values of the brand, such as teamwork, respect, discipline and a love for sport,’ added François Thiébaud, President of Tissot.


‘Tissot is very proud of that and would like to contribute to upholding those values and the respect of the game with the campaign #RespectTheRef and the help of renowned rugby union referee Nigel Owens.’


Activative Comment:


This ref-led initiative supports Tissot’s other ongoing 6 Nations activation which spans game-relevant social content pieces,



work with (former) player ambassadors Will Greenwood and Andy Nicol



and in the brand’s online magazine, plus its round-by-round ‘Share Your #TopMoment’ competition incentivised by offering consumers who enter a chance to win a Tissot watch!



But with just 4,000 YouTube views since its 10 February launch we have to wonder quite how much engagement and effect this admirable ref-led respect initiative is having on rugby fans.


The referees have had a fairly prominent role in the tournament thus far, not least when French ref Romain Poite had to tell the England players ‘I’m the referee not the coach’ in reply to their questions about the rules during their hard-earned win over Italy’s innovative tactics.



Tissot has a fairly strong heritage in rugby partnerships.


As well as its sponsorship of the RBS 6 Nations Championship, it also partners with the TOP14, the European Rugby Champions and Challenge Cups.


Sports partnerships sit at the core of Tissot’s marketing strategy and it is also the official timekeeper and partner of several basketball properties including the NBA (see our NBA All-Star case study),




FIBA and CBA, plus the Tour de France and the UCI World Cycling Championships, MotoGPTM and the FIM World Superbike Championship in motorsport and it is the official timekeeper of the world championships of fencing and ice hockey and of the AFL.












6 Nations Championship







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