American Marketer


Land Rover scouts for Rugby World Cup mascot

June 17, 2015

Land Rover rugby campaign Land Rover rugby campaign


British automaker Jaguar Land Rover is embarking on a 100-day tour of Britain and Ireland to drum up excitement for the Rugby World Cup 2015 and locate a mascot.

Young rugby players aged seven to 13 will be eligible for the mascot position, a move meant to keep enthusiasm in the sport high within youth leagues. Land Rover's leadership on this mission attests to the brand's ongoing support of rugby and will garner widespread goodwill for the brand as it goes from place to place.

"For Land Rover to give youngsters the chance to become a mascot for Rugby World Cup 2015 is incredibly special and a once in a lifetime opportunity for the lucky few who get selected," said Kelly Brown, former captain of the Scottish national rugby team and Land Rover ambassador, Edinburgh.

Not a scrum

Just like the FIFA World Cup, the Rugby World Cup takes place every four years. This year's tournament will take place between Sept. 19 to Oct. 31 and is hosted by Britain.

Twenty countries will compete in this year's tournament, and Russia is the only country from the previous tournament that will not be returning, having been surpassed by Uruguay.

Rugby collision courtesy of World Rugby Cup

Rugby collision courtesy of World Rugby Cup

Understandably, Britain is celebrating the imminent of arrival of the tournament, counting down the days with a series of events.

As a lead sponsor of the world cup, Land Rover will play a prominent role in these efforts, further cementing its relationship with rugby.

Leading up to the event, the automaker will be traversing Britain and Ireland promoting rugby. Among the efforts, the brand will select a mascot for the tournament.

Young rugby players are asked to undertake one of three challenges. The first involves singing a rendition of a national anthem from of the teams competing. Next, applicants can offer words of inspiration to a particular team captain. Finally, they can explain to Land Rover how they would welcome a nation that is competing to Britain.

Land Rover ambassador Kelly Brown

Land Rover ambassador Kelly Brown

The mascot auditions will be reviewed by judges, including Land Rover ambassador, Kelly Brown, and other rugby stars.

Throughout the 100-day tour, Mr. Brown will travel in a Land Rover Defender with the Webb Ellis Cup, the tournament trophy, tantamount to the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Land Rover Defender

Land Rover Defender

Earned marketing

Land Rover routinely touts its rugby merits and evangelizes for the sport.

For instance, the automaker bolstered its position in the world of rugby by becoming the presenting partner of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour 2014.

The tour traveled to 15 countries over the next 13 months, giving the automaker the chance to ingratiate itself in emerging and mature markets. The auto brand’s commitment to rugby is just another example of Land Rover’s adept positioning efforts, embracing lifestyles that mesh with its brand image (see story).

Similarly, Jaguar Land Rover sponsored the first Invictus Games last year, which gave sick or wounded service members the opportunity to compete in a number of sports.

Three hundred veterans from 13 nations competed in eight events ranging from archery to swimming. Elevating these competitors to an international stage helped to spread awareness about the many challenges facing veterans when returning from active duty (see story).

The brand's attempt to inspire rising rugby players will probably impact the sport for years to come.

"It is fitting that Land Rover has chosen grassroots rugby to find the majority of these mascots." Mr. Kelly said. said. "The next generation of players can’t fail to be inspired.”

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, staff reporter on Luxury Daily, New York