On 13 May, The Famous Grouse leveraged its partnership with The British & Irish Lions by kicking off the next instalment of its ongoing ‘The Spirit of Rugby’ campaign with co-created content by RugbyPass, Wireless Group and News UK.
The whisky brand activation, which was strategised by agency Zenith, was spearheaded by a digital video ‘The Spirit Of Rugby’ series created by RugbyPass.
Using a blend of interviews and archive footage, the five episode series is hosted by former Scottish rugby star Jim Hamilton who interview Lions legends including Matt Dawson, John Bentley, and Jeremy Guscott and the spots explore the emotional stories of the team spirit which develops on a British & Irish Lions tour.
The ‘Spirit of Rugby: Episode 1’ 30-second trailer debuted on 13 May with the full first six-minute film launched the following day and RugbyPass will continue the momentum by delivering weekly player and match round-up articles as well as talent-led reaction videos.
The online spots, which are hosted on the RugbyPass website and amplified across the whisky brand’s social platforms with additional Lion related social content pieces, seek to create brand-linked rugby buzz in the lead-up to The British & Irish Lions Tour and the launch was timed to leverage spiking tour interest around the squad announcement and provisional match fixture release.
— The Famous Grouse (@thefamousgrouse) May 13, 2021
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) May 9, 2021
As #OfficialSponsor, we’ve got our own squad and a Ginger Grouse ready to toast to our new 2021 @lionsofficial line-up . Let’s cast an eye over our new recruits. Who are you most excited to see play in that South African sunshine? #SpiritOfRugby pic.twitter.com/Tmi6Pm84EN
— The Famous Grouse (@thefamousgrouse) May 7, 2021
As #OfficialSponsor, we’re waiting patiently in the wings for the @lionsofficial to announce the new squad. Think you’ve already guessed it? Retweet us with a player prediction from each nation! #SpiritOfRugby pic.twitter.com/hCA7JrAXcw
— The Famous Grouse (@thefamousgrouse) May 4, 2021
Following the online video series launch, a further activation phase will roll out on 7 June via a media partnership with The Times which will also release bespoke video content across its digital channels featuring former players Ugo Monye and Shane Williams discussing their own Lions experiences and what the spirit of rugby means to them.
A third phase of the campaign will commence on 26 June when The British & Irish Lions visit Murrayfield for a warm-up match against Japan and will see further content encapsulating the spirit of the tour roll out across the whisky brand’s own platforms.
During the tour itself, The Times will also host a brand-backed, ‘always-on’ premium native article on their website (refreshing after each game) as well as a supported feature in The Times magazine looking back at 1891 and the first team of British & Irish Lions to tour South Africa.
Plus, UK radio station talkSPORT will host live commentary of the Lions tour across talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 and its coverage will include radio spots driving the message that ‘The Famous Grouse is The Spirit of Rugby’.
“The Famous Grouse has been a supporter of the great game of rugby for over three decades, as we recognise and appreciate the sense of team spirit you see on the rugby field,” said Edrington Brands Boss Chris Anderson. “So, we wanted to create a content campaign that truly captures this sense of camaraderie, and to allow legends of the game to share their first-hand experience of the team’s remarkable play in South Africa. We can’t wait until rugby fans across the UK and Ireland get to see the content come to life and help us celebrate The Spirit of Rugby.”
Harley Dhillon, Business Director at Zenith, added: “It was clear to us from the get-go that RugbyPass and News UK would be the perfect partners for this campaign. They have made The Famous Grouse’s vision a reality, and have brilliantly helped us bring the best rugby talent direct to fans, who truly epitomise The Spirit of Rugby.”
As an official sponsor of The British & Irish Lions 2021 Tour of South Africa, the Edrington-owned whisky brand aims to ‘bring exciting content celebrating the camaraderie and spirit of rugby to fans across the country’.
This Lions wave of work within the ‘The Spirit of Rugby’ campaign follows on from November 2020’s The Famous Grouse work linked to the announcement of its official partnerships with Premiership Rugby, The British & Irish Lions, SA Rugby and Glasgow Warriors.
We’re so proud to be partnering with @lionsseries, @premrugby and @glasgowwarriors. Our love of rugby goes back a long way and we’re excited to bring you even closer to the action, and show you what it is to be the #spiritofrugby pic.twitter.com/m0CGhLoZDW
— The Famous Grouse (@thefamousgrouse) November 12, 2020