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A Hospitality War is Reportedly Breaking Out Ahead of the Rugby World Cup

Photo: Forbes.com

According to The Observer, Bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants are vying with each other to win the rugby pound, during a tournament expected to add almost 1 billion Pound Sterling to the United Kingdom’s GDP. “With almost half a million international visitors expected for the event, more than any previous Rugby World Cup, the 11 host cities are looking to profit,” writes Jamie Doward. Fifteen fan zones – all selling food and drink –  have been set up around the country allowing tens of thousands of spectators to gather in front of giant screens. For those who want something more exclusive, many bars are doing ticketed events – sometimes attended by former stars – so that fans can enjoy unrestricted views of the big screen.

“Unsurprisingly,” adds Jamie Doward, “given the oval ball’s close relationship with beer, brewers are jostling to associate their drinks with the tournament. Several have developed their own limited edition brands. Burton Bridge brewery has the Tasty Tackle, Black Sheep brewery has Blindside and Adnams has launched Prop Hop. But their efforts pale beside that of chief sponsor Heineken, which has taken special measures to extract maximum value from its 20 million Pounds m sponsorship of the tournament.
Under the terms of the deal, not only is Heineken the sole brand sold in the stadiums, it is the only one that can be marketed within 500metres of them”.

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Sport Intern.

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