New Sponsor Guinness Celebrates Women’s 6 Nations With England v Scotland ‘Sisters’ Spot

March saw Guinness celebrates its debut as the first ever official partner of the Women’s Six Nations with a new campaign based around the rivalry between two rugby playing sisters on opposing national teams.


‘Sisters’, a campaign developed in harness with agency AMV BBDO and released on 4 march (ahead of the game between England and Scotland on 16 March), tells the real-life story of sisters Harriet and Bridget Millar-Mills.


The sisters grew up playing rugby together, but chose to represent different national sides (England and Scotland) and went head-to-head against one another in the 2013 Women’s Six Nations championship.



The ‘Sisters’ spot was helmed by director Tubby Brother and runs in the UK and Ireland on VOD and social.


Harriet and Bridget themselves released a join statement at the PR launch for the campaign: “When we started playing the sport, we never expected to be lining up for opposing national teams. Although we’re rivals on the pitch and there has always been a competitive edge, we are sisters first and foremost and that friendship between us has always motivated us to be the best we can be at the game.”


As with its parallel work activating its new status as the title sponsor of the Men’s 6 Nations, this campaign falls within Guinness’ umbrella ‘Made of More’ brand platform and is the stout brand’s first campaign championing players from the women’s game.


“We are proud to launch the new ad ‘Sisters’ which celebrates the rivalry of two sisters in a unique situation, playing for opposing national teams,” said Guinness Europe boss Niall McKee.


“Harriet and Bridget have both had exceptional careers in rugby and no doubt the greatest experience was representing their country against each other in the 2013 Women’s Six Nations. We’re proud to be able to tell their story, especially in our first year as Official Partner of Women’s Six Nations.”


As the first sponsor of the Women’s Six Nation’s, this campaign is part of Guinness’ objective of raising the profile of the championship, improving both the player and the fan experience on match days.




2019 certainly seems to be a tipping point for women’s sports marketing and sponsorship activation around the world.


The signs of a sea change are evident across the sports landscape: from February’s Super Bowl LIII seeing so many female-focused inspiration and equality spots that it was nicknamed the ‘Women’s Bowl’ (see case study), to Nike’s much lauded Serena Williams narrated ‘Dream Crazier’ (see case study) and sponsor activations from the likes of Guinness and Remington/Manchester United (see case study) which leverage the women’s teams/tournaments as much as the men’s.


2019 is the first year of Guinness’ new six-year title sponsorship of the men’s Six Nations Championship as well as its debut tournament as the first official commercial partner of the Women’s 6 Nations and ‘Sisters’ follows on from the brand’s multi-strand ‘Guinness Clear’ and ‘The Purse’ men’s tournament activation (see case study).


Guinness’ big picture, top line objective behind the tie-ups is to use it to become ‘the world’s number one rugby brand’.


Of course, whilst we salute Guinness’ first Women’s 6 Nations work and its December 2018 decision to become the first ever official sponsor of the women’s iteration of the tournament, but if it wanted to demonstrate some genuinely equal gender commitment why is it running ‘Sisters’ on VoD and digital, while its male tournament equivalents also air on broadcast television and why didn’t Guinness become the title sponsor of the women’s tournament like it did the men’s?


Last year there was plenty of criticism when NatWest was named as the title sponsor of the 6 Nations with no matching deal for the women’s championship and the search for a women’s title sponsor goes on.


There is a powerful partnership with plenty of potential there that is as yet not being utilised.










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