The 2015 Rugby World Cup was one for the record books as the competition exceeded its revenue target of £250m, selling about 2.47m tickets in total. It was a definitely a record breaker as Wembley Stadium broke the record for the biggest ever Rugby World Cup attendance two times! The Rugby Football Union was even able to cover the costs of the cup, as well as make a £15m profit. Rugby World Cup’s chief executive, Brett Gosper, stated, “It broke every record on every metric we’ve got – viewing audiences, number of tickets sold, commercial values, sponsorship.” All in all, the Rugby World Cup was definitely a win for the Rugby Football Union, but it was not so good for the England Rugby team and their sponsors.
The England Rugby team weren’t the only ones to suffer an early loss as their sponsors suffered along with them. ITV reportedly lost £943,820 per game in advertising revenue with the England fall-out! The early defeat really cost their sponsors a lot as they spent millions of pounds supporting the team and associating themselves to the team. Despite the harsh loss, several sponsors still supported the team and even tried to downplay the expected commercial losses. Such brands included O2, Marriott Hotels, and Heineken. However, Heineken was still able to come out as a winner, a marketing winner in particular. With investing almost half of their marketing budget into activating their World Cup sponsorship, Heineken was able to secure the 500m exclusion zone and make sure that no other beer could be marketed near the stadium, a move that really seems to have paid off.
On the other hand, the All Blacks are one of the big winners as they dominated the finale and are now the first nation to win the Rugby World Cup three times and retain the trophy. Australia put up a great fight and came back midway through the second half 21-17 by scoring two tries and reducing New Zealand to 14 men with Ben Smith’s yellow card. But, the All Blacks showed their real strength as they succeed under pressure and took it all with a 17-point lead.
The 2015 Rugby World Cup is definitely a historic match, and one that will never be forgotten. But with a television audience of 25 million, a revenue of over £250m, a profit of £80m, 271 tries, 13 venues, 6000 volunteers, 13 venues, 48 matches, and 2.47 million tickets sold, with 98 per cent sold out, the Rugby Football Union are the real winners.