In 2018 England won the honour of hosting the Rugby League World Cup in 2021. With the event fast approaching and as their thinking evolved, it became clear to the team that the brand needed to evolve also. Driven by an ambition to elevate this event on an international stage, to raise the profile of Rugby League, to captivate and connect with audiences locally and globally, and to live up to the promise of being ‘The Biggest and Best Rugby League World Cup Ever’.
The trophy has been the traditional symbol of the Rugby League World Cup for many years – it’s the global pinnacle of Rugby League, coveted by each and every nation. The identity has been created using the trophy’s ribbons to embody the three tournaments (men, women and wheelchair with red, orange, and yellow) and to symbolise our close connection to fans, nations, communities, teams and players.
The ribbon symbolises the connection to the world cup and to the world. It’s our visual metaphor to represent the brand, creating an identity that flexes out into a brand system that unites cities, countries and fans. The continuous ribbon creates the perfect link between teams, hosts, nations and events. It bends, travels and creates shapes building a unique visual language that not only identifies the RLWC—but differentiates it.
Uniting the 3 tournaments into one world-class event gave us the ability to create a brand that reinforces the mantra of ‘One Game. Together’ – while providing the teams, nations, hosts and partners with a platform to inspire and engage audiences at every touch point.
Positioning the Tournament Rugby League is very much a community sport – down to earth and genuine – ‘The Rugby League Family’ is something you will hear a lot when you start to connect with people in the sport. With this being the first time that a major World Cup tournament will feature a men’s, woman’s and wheelchair tournament at the same time – we wanted our positioning to reflect that.
To emphasise the uniqueness of this tournament we created a positioning that would work for everyone connected with the RLWC2021 – the internal RLWC team who are working so hard to make this tournament a global success, and the external audience; the fans from around the world, national team players and staff, host cities and local communities. The positioning also had to resonate with associated RLWC2021 initiatives such as the legacy programme and the mental health charter.
Bold and Brave; these are the personality traits that characterise the RLWC family, that act as the call to action for everyone within it. Bold and brave defines the attitude and the behaviours, and creates the driving force that brings us together to achieve the ambition of leaving a positive lasting legacy – for our sport and our country.
Our rich colour palette, personifies our values of inclusion and diversity. The main purple tone strikes a neutral balance as it is neither feminine or masculine, and since no national team uses purple we felt it was the one colour to unite all nations behind the tournament.
Short-Hand Identity – Small size, big impact. There will be times where the main identity will be unsuitable due to format/legibility so we have created our short-hand version. The short-hand identity is bold and impactful, communicating the key message while remaining compact and versatile.
Our brand is focussed on communicating a belief in unity and diversity and the ambition of the bold and the brave to leave a long lasting legacy – beyond the stadium.
In 2021 let’s embrace the game, be part of world cup of everyone and experience ‘The Power of Together.’
“Rugby League isn’t just a sport. It’s a community. And one that takes care of its own”