World Rugby and its licensing partner IMG hope to repeat the consumer product success of the pre-COVID Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.
For that reason, World Rugby has inked a deal with the same retail partner, Legends, for the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.
The partners say World Rugby enjoyed record-smashing sales of official merchandise at the Japan event, making it an easy decision to keep on Legends as its Official Retail Partner.
“Our ambition is to deliver a world-class experience for rugby fans in France in 2023 and Legends will help us achieve that mission, bringing their expertise and comprehensive experience to the table to deliver an outstanding event,” said World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin. “Through a network of official retail stores covering all hosts venues and cities, we will innovate together and give fans a tangible memory of what promises to be a spectacular tournament on and off the pitch.”
Legends will operate all the official retail stores for Rugby World Cup 2023 in venues and celebration areas located within the host cities.
Two flagship stores in Paris and Marseille are also set to open in August 2023. In line with World Rugby’s mission to create an exceptional fan experience, the physical stores will be stocked with merchandise featuring all 20 participating teams, exclusive event memorabilia for men, women and children, as well as a large range of official licensed products including official replica jerseys, and the official Gilbert match ball.
“Legends is proud of its long-standing relationship with World Rugby, and we are excited to once again bring fans a spectacular retail experience and expansive offerings for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France, a location where Legends has a growing presence and commitment,” said Legends Vice President of International Retail, Victoria Hawksley.
The upcoming event is also a landmark achievement for World Rugby, marking the 200th anniversary of the sport, so it is expected to generate even more interest in the event and in licensed merchandise.
As well, the Rugby World Cup 2023 will see changes as the organization is making sustainability a key goal. The organization says this championship “will set new standards in social responsibility, inclusion and sustainability for a major rugby event, with one of four key pillars focusing on respecting and protecting the environment.”
As the official retail partner, and in line with World Rugby’s Environmental Sustainability Plan 2030, Legends says it will support all environmental initiatives with the delivery of a retail operation for Rugby World Cup 2023 consistent with the company’s ongoing standards of delivery throughout its global business.