Getting Rugby Ready

With Rugby World Cup 2015 just around the corner England Rugby Travel, the Official Travel Agent for the tournament, needed a campaign to engage with new and existing customers in the lead up to the event both to prompt further package sales and to build the feel good factor.

Our brief was to come up with a campaign that could be used through their digital channels and on social media which was to be based on getting supporters ‘Fan Fit’. We came up with the tongue in check approach with a series of exercises that were designed to resonate with supporters and to simulate practices that they might well come up against during the tournament like jumping up out of their seats to cheer, carrying drinks back from the bar and taking selfies with rugby legends <a href=””>essay writer</a>.

The results of the campaign showed and increase in interaction through their social media channels and no drop off in sales despite tickets going on general sale.

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Urban’s no myth

Last week, Premiership Rugby (the governing body of professional club rugby in England) launched a new community project called Urban Rugby Squad, a programme designed to give youngsters from non-traditional rugby communities a chance to experience the sport.

We at Grip Creative were delighted to be tasked with creating the brand for the programme, using the experience built up in community sports over the last 16 years. Our unique understanding of the way that professional sport works in the community, its many objectives, target audiences (both in terms of participants and funding partners) and the variety of assets produced during the lifetime of such programmes meant that we were the perfect choice for the job. (We’ve been working with the Premiership on this side of their business since 2002!)

An important part of the brief was to engage 14-16 year olds whilst not patronising them by using the usual graffiti effect so often used with younger audiences, whilst bearing in mind the importance for the sponsors to feel that they were involved in a CSR project – a tricky balancing act, it’s not just a case of jumping straight in with the colouring set, we do a lot of research before we begin the creative process.

The feedback from participants and sponsors so far has been incredibly positive with both sides commenting on the look and feel of the new brand.

To date we have worked on over 30 different programmes across sport developing brands to reflect the sports themselves and their various target audiences, producing all of the associated collateral from classroom assets, branded equipment and area branding to annual reports, funding proposals and awards events.

We wish the clubs involved every success with the delivery of this exciting new initiative.

To see other examples of our community work <a href=”″>click here</a> or get in contact and we’ll tell you more…

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Making a splash

This weekend sees our latest campaign for the Barbarians come to life at Twickenham Stadium when the invitational side takes on England.

We launched the first stages of the Barbarians v Argentina campaign a few months back with national press, email, social media and online assets and on Sunday we get things moving, quite literally, with the animated Twickenham Stadium graphics, as we gain access to the big screen and LED perimeter boards during the match.

As with all projects, we considered at the outset how the creative could be be brought to life to add impact if the opportunity arose further down the line (as it so often does, due to last minute availability of outdoor digital signage). Our forward-thinking and awareness of developments and opportunities has benefited numerous clients over recent years in this way as digital media eats away at print’s former dominance, particularly with outdoor and public transport space.

If you happen to be at Twickenham on Sunday you’ll be able to see the fruits of our labor, not to mention a cracking game of rugby…

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Hitz-Hitz hooray!

Premiership Rugby’s multi award winning CSR Programme HITZ gave out some gongs of its own this week at their inaugural Awards Evening, held at partners Barclays’ Head Office in Canary Wharf.

Grip Creative has been involved with the project – which tackles some of the greatest challenges facing young people today and gives them the skills to get back into education, voational training, apprenticeships, self-reliance and confidence – since its inception nearly five years ago, when we sat down with a group of teenagers in Hackney to design the HITZ id and help to bring their ideas to life.

The objective of the evening was to mark the amazing achievements of the project and its participants and we were tasked to make sure that event reached new heights in terms of its status and visibility in front of 200 distinguished guests. A full suite of event material was produced from electronic invites and info graph lanyards to the branding on the night, which included the presentation screens around the event and of course the main big screen itself.

The event, MCd by rugby commentator and former International, David Flatman, was a huge success with five worthy winners walking away with their awards and everyone at the event witnessing this hugely inspiring project take another massive step forward.

Picture: Pinnacle Photo Agency for Premiership Rugby

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Frightening success

We love it when a plan comes together, and that’s just what’s happened at Leinster with the launch of their multi-platform promotion of their home game against Edinburgh Rugby on 31st October.

Ideas for the Halloween campaign started flowing back in late July when we were briefed by the marketing team on their focus areas for the season ahead. Armed with the knowledge of their key matches and events, we were able to put together a creative plan comprising of key images and messages for everything from matches to awards dinners, retail offers to the season ticket campaign for 15/16. This was followed by an exhaustive photo-shoot getting all the player shots we needed in one hit, minimising costs to the client and demands on the players’ time. This also meant that the marketing team could concentrate on their day-to-day tasks knowing that we always had our eyes further down the line, something which is so important during a busy and frantic season.

The Halloween creative was a fun one for us to do and allowed us a departure from the more serious, rugby-focussed creatives used for many of the other events. For Leinster, the Halloween game is a real event, aimed at families, students and friends looking for a night of spooky entertainment alongside the main spectacle of the rugby itself, with fancy dress competitions, Halloween games and fire performers among the activities planned.

As well as preparing creative for their standard internal channels (website, e-shots, social media, Big Screen and printed media), we also produced a digital campaign to coincide with the printed adverts appearing in the national press.

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Let’s get digital

We’ve been closely monitoring outdoor media space over the last few years and the digital revolution is picking up pace. At the side of the road the traditional poster sites around the capital, in all their wooden glory, are slowly making way for the new metal substructures to hold digital boards and expect this to be a more common sight as the more flexible and instant media continues to make more sense to both the likes of CBS and JC Decuax and the companies buying the space (just drive along the M4 into Central London to see) and what is fast becoming the norm in Central London is quickly spreading outwards.

Over the past 24 months we’ve seen our client requests treble in terms over digital media with 48 and 6 sheets, big screens, Stadium LED perimeter signage and Stadium TV all increasing in demand but it’s not as simple as just animating your previously static creative. Each site and format has differing requirements depending on its location, footfall and speed of viewer passing and that’s key when trying to maximize your ROI .

A recent example was a project for World Club 7s where we had to prepare assets for the Twickenham Stadium Big Screen, LED Perimeter Boards, Platform Digital 48 Sheets and Station Digital 6 Sheets (see above), all with different requirements but all aiming to get and hold the attention of the public. On top of that we provided a joined up approach linking these assets with online assets, traditional print, social media and national press to ensure a consistent approach.

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Dressed to impress

At the beginning of May, Leinster Rugby held their annual Awards Ball at The Mansion House in Dublin and once again it was the event to be at. After the success of last year’s evening, Grip Creative were keen to ‘raise the bar’ to exceed the client’s and their sponsors’ and guests’ expectations. Preparations began back in August when the photoshoot took place for the advance marketing material but the real work began once the venue was confirmed and discussions took place on the media being used on the night. With a 30 metre letterbox screen booked and a detailed consultation with the provider, we set about producing a layered presentation that would utilise the technology available.

An animated background was overlaid with a series of images and graphics to put together one of our most eye-catching event displays to date, one that had the guests talking and the client smiling.

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World domination

The Rugby World Cup Countdown officially began today with 500 days to go before tickets go on general sale for the much-anticipated tournament being held on UK soil for the third time. Grip Creative’s own World Cup countdown started much earlier as we have been busy working with England Rugby Travel – the tournament’s Official Travel Agent – since last year, launching their campaign back in January when they went on general sale a whole nine months before they get released via the ballot system.

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In it to win it

Following on from an isolated project during the Barbarians v Fiji fixture, Grip Creative were appointed as the creative agency for this year’s Barbarians v Australia fixture at Twickenham in November. With a digital campaign kicking off the activity, national press, outdoor and affinity assets are set to follow as well as getting access to Twickenham’s crowd-facing technology at the summer’s major events.

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Dreaming of a sporty christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, it was time to get the tree in position and start giving it the Grip festive treatment. Shunning comformity, we replaced tinsel with football scarves and baubles with tennis balls, all carefully punctured  and strung by hand. (A very time-consuming process that was made easier by being serenaded by Bing Crosby and Wizard while sipping mulled wine!)

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