Magazine article Marketing

RFU to Open High Street Retail and Travel Outlets

Magazine article Marketing

RFU to Open High Street Retail and Travel Outlets

Article excerpt

The Rugby Football Union is to open high street retail outlets and launch a travel firm, in a bid to create a stronger brand identity for itself and explore commercial opportunities.

It will open a Rugby Store-branded outlet in an unnamed high street in the near future, a move that is likely to be quickly followed by a raft of airport and town centre concessions through a tie-up with a mainstream retail partner.

The move is the latest in a series of sports governing bodies moving into retail and merchandising. The strategy, unveiled by RFU chief executive Francis Baron, follows similar announcements by the Football Association and British Olympic Association to develop own-brand products and outlets.

"There is a clear gap in the market, which we aim to exploit," said Baron, who is in the process of recruiting a commercial director to oversee the RFU's marketing, sponsorship and media strategies.

The RFU's travel firm will initially focus on developing travel packages for rugby union fans wanting to see England tour and Six Nations matches. …

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