Wolf Blass’ England Rugby Platinum Club

Wolf Blass, which renewed its sponsorship as the official wine of England Rugby and the official wine supplier of the Rugby Football Union until 2012, digitally activated its rights via its Platinum Club using the tagline: ‘For the love of wine, for the love of the game’


An exclusive brand-owned members club, spearheaded online at www.wolfblassplatinumclub.com, Platinum Club is primarily a reward and loyalty initiative and thus the brand used its rights to offer an England Rugby ticket competition.


The ticket competition, which featured imagery from England rugby stars, aimed to drive membership of the club itself. The site, which features posts, sampling information and tips from brand wine ambassador Tom Portet, also has a major sports events calendar, as well as recipes and tasting notes’.


Wolf Blass also ran an online rugby-related consumer promotion in tandem with Waitrose at www.waitrosewine.com. This ticket competition offered seats at for the England v France match and was promoted via an email to 100,000 customers and a link with the RFU website and magazine.


This member-based loyalty initiative supports other aspects of the its sponsorship rights such as perimeter signage at Twickenham and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, sampling rights and ‘recommended wine’ status on RFU wine lists, for hospitality packages, in executive boxes and stadium bars.


Another interesting aspect of its rugby related work included using AdGates at London’s Waterloo Station. Connecting with City commuters and Twickenham-bound rugby fans, the brand ran ad executions on ticket gates/barriers, as well as LED screens and hanging banners throughout the railway station.


The brand’s attention will now switch to leveraging England’s bid for World Cup glory in New Zealand later in 2011.


The Foster’s owned wine brand has invested £2m in a sports-themed campaigns in the last 18 months. This strategy has ranged from TV spots, print ads, poster executions, online and in-store activity. In addition to rugby union, the brand also has UK sponsorship programmes with Cricket’s Ashes series, the Ryder Cup Golf, Royal Ascot and Queens Club Tennis.




Going to spaces where you target market is, rather than expecting them to come to you, is a challenge that sponsorship can help solve. But clever media thinking, such as advertising to travelling fans en route to matches, or offering benefits to exclusive club members also shows the brand is thinking carefully about the needs and activities of its core demographic.





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