NRL’s ‘Whole Of Game’ 2013 Season Launch Campaign

The 2013 National Rugby League (NRL) season is kicking off in Australia and New Zealand and is promoting itself with an integrated marketing campaign called ‘Rugby League’s Got A Hold On Me’.


At the core of this multi-layered initiative, which includes fan-customisation and team tailoring elements, is a partnership between the rights owner and Australian R&B singer Jessica Mauboy to create a league anthem – a re-mix of the classic Etta James track ‘Something’s Got a Hold On Me’.


The league song, which has been released by Sony Music and is available for download, provides the central point of a spearhead TV spot.


With both 60- and 30-second versions, the commercial aims to be entirely inclusive: it features star players from the national teams, the Telstra Premiership and the Holden State Of Origin, as well as officials, volunteers, fans, amateurs and young under six players from the Coles Backyard League.



Mauboy, who partnered with Cowboys, Maroons and Kangaroos playmaker Jonathans Thurston for a season (and campaign) launch event at Sydney’s The Star, is herself a bona fide rugby league fan (and she certainly looks like she can spin a pass).


‘The NRL is my game, I love it,’ says the singer who is a Cowboys and Queensland fan. ‘Performing two years ago at the NRL Grand Final was a career highlight, so to be part of the advertising campaign for the season is incredibly special. I find the spirit of the players and the NRL to be inspiring and I am really proud to be part of Sony’s association with the game.’



The TV work is accompanied by retail activation, outdoor, press, radio and digital campaigns that have been developed in partnership with award-winning advertising agency MJW and Sony Music Entertainment Australia.


This ‘whole-of-game’ brand promotion take a ‘top-to-bottom’ approach in order to celebrate the sport’s unique power to bring people together, unite them and enrich their lives. And thus to further broaden its reach and widen the appeal of the game.


The work focuses on an all-inclusive love of the game and the creative that stretches across all age groups and genders, the international and professional games and includes refs and volunteers, as well as players, fans and players.


In the spirit of inclusivity and accessibility, the campaign offers fans and general consumers the chance to edit their own versions of the ads by creating personalised mash-ups by dragging and dropping in extra highlights footage of their own favourite teams and players.


Rugby league fans simply visit the NRL.com/2013 website where they can edit and upload their own personal version of the commercial (which they can then share via Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms).


The multi-element campaign has also been structured to enable individual NRL teams to tailor executions to fit their own markets and community programmes (as well as with the NRL’s partnerships which include the Men of League Foundation, Harvey Norman Women In League and other charity initiatives.


‘There’s an exciting new edge to this year’s campaign which promotes the incredible work of our players in the community, junior registrations, our State Leagues as well as the Telstra Premiership, Origin and international Rugby League,’ says NRL General Manager, Marketing and Commercial,




On the surface the creative may not look that ground-breaking or original – packed as it is with smiles, sunshine, happy children, energy, fast edit on-field action and call-to-arms.


But perhaps that is inevitable with executions seeking mass reach and top-to-bottom engagement.


But where this campaign does show innovation is through the spread of its reach, its inter-connectivity, and personalisation and for its ability to acts as a customisable tool for clubs and fans alike.


It certainly tickets plenty of boxes.


Not just because it features plenty of sponsor logos in the TV spot.


Nor because it has a fresh frontwoman who both creates content for the campaign and actually has a synergy with the sport too(Mauboy follows in the footsteps on Tina Turner and Jon Bon Jovi in singing NRL anthems)).


But because it connects across ages and genders, spans the professional and the personal, it is both national and parochial, it has content to takeaway, and is customisable, downloadable and shareable.




NRL Website



Download NRL Jessica Mauboy Anthem ‘Something’s got a hold on me’ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/som..


NRL Make Your Own Ad



Telestra NRL 2013 App





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