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At 4 o’clock in the afternoon, on Sunday October 31, as the cool embrace of the last October evening envelops the sleepy suburb of Twickenham, time will stop.

There will be no apple bobbing at Kingsholm in Gloucester, or St James’ Park in Newcastle, or any of the other tournament venues.  The citizens of the twenty nations taking part in the Rugby World Cup will forget Halloween too. Witchcraft and wizardry of a human kind will fill their imaginations: David Campese’s superhuman acceleration; Jonny Wilkinson’s voodoo boot; Gareth Edwards’ gravity defying pass. From Buenos Aires, to Boston; from Brisbane to Bucharest, all eyes will be on Twickenham. Two teams will have earned the right to do battle, to create new heroes. The world will hold its breath before the first almighty crunch.

You can’t buy stuff like that.  Well… you can. Ernst and Young estimate the UK economy will benefit from hosting this year’s Rugby World Cup to the tune of £2.2 billion in economic output. Over 466,000 tourists will visit the UK during September and October (not universally regarded as our best months). This year’s UK GDP will expand by £982 million because of the Rugby World Cup.

The Rugby World Cup – waiting to be claimed (© Rugby World Cup Limited)
The Rugby World Cup – waiting to be claimed (© Rugby World Cup Limited)

Rugby values

Rugby is special. It gets into the heart of those who play and those who watch. There is no game like it: steeped in an amateur tradition, binding opposing players like brothers or sisters, it can only be won by teams – real teams. On a rugby pitch there is a place for all shapes and sizes and every mind-set. Individuals may stand out, but, deep down, everyone knows that without the anonymous ‘never-take-a-step-back’ front rows, no amount of jinking and skipping makes any difference. Rugby is played by men and women in 119 countries and its popularity is spreading.

Rugby business

The success of England’s Rugby World Cup competition rests on two things: the teams and the intellectual property. Both share one common value – belief in creativity.

Canterbury Limited are the tournament’s official clothing supplier, they also design and supply kits for the England and Ireland teams. Rob Sheldon, Global Head of Product and Innovation at Canterbury, stresses his company’s commitment to high quality design.

Our 111 year history provides a constant source of inspiration and guidance - crafted, quality, timeless, rugged & innovative values create distinction and providence; this has to come through in every garment we produce on and off the field.

Defining design

Just like the players they clothe, Canterbury put the hard yards into their design and IP development. When it comes to knitting together the fabric of deals and commitments that can reach a potential global audience of 4 billion, Canterbury’s IP is backed up with the legal certainty of design registrations.


Rob Sheldon adds

Rigorous insight gathering, informed the creative filters that shaped the Rugby World Cup kit - Look Better, Feel Better & Perform Better -  provided creative integrity for the design team to ensure that every innovation, material, panel & stitch added had to answer the fundamental question: - will this make the best, even better?

Trade mark England

David Wood is the CEO of Heavenly Branding Agency. He’s responsible for one of the most volatile IP products known to man: the brand of a rugby team – England.

‘Nitro-branding’ (Picture supplied by Heavenly Branding Agency)
‘Nitro-branding’ (Picture supplied by Heavenly Branding Agency)

‘Sports branding is branding with nitro,’ says David. For David the fundamental values of rugby, its camaraderie, its brotherhoods and sisterhoods of players, clubs and fans mean that opposing supporters and teams can share a joke and a drink with their opponents - despite the fact that the game itself can be, as David puts it, ‘brutal’. For him the England Rugby team isn’t branded by country – the team itself defines Englishness. ‘We stick together, we’re strong and we’re fair.’

IP delivers creativity

Teams, national brands, multinational sports companies, corporate sponsors, schools, clubs and national rugby unions, planners, builders, travel companies, airlines, TV companies, internet providers, marketing specialists, hotel chains and many more will have competed, cooperated and collaborated, through the Rugby World Cup, to deliver a global spectacle. All depend on their trade mark, design and other IP rights for the certainty they need to do business.

Intellectual Property is like a rugby pitch – it allows a game to be played. If you want to take part in the competition, learn the rules and play.

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