The International Rugby Board have embarked on a major rebranding programme which will see the organisation becoming World Rugby from November 19.
Rugby’s participation has increased by more than two million to 6.6 million players over the past four years.
This is driven mainly by the game’s re-inclusion in the Olympic Games, the commercial success of the Rugby World Cup, the governing body’s development strategies and record investment, as well as strong and vibrant unions.
With rugby aiming inspire and engage new audiences and player, the rebranding reflects the organisation’s mission to build a stronger connection with fans, players and new audiences worldwide.
“Rugby continues to thrive, reach out and engage new audiences and participants in record numbers and the IRB has been at the heart of that growth,” said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.
“We are committed to furthering that growth beyond our traditional family and fan base with a public that expects to be entertained, informed and interacted with. This move is more than just a name change, it is a mission statement.”
The rebrand will not impact on Rugby World Cup 2015 branding or positioning, which will remain as it is with its iconic logo throughout the current event cycle.
“In a crowded global entertainment and sporting marketplace, the role of the IRB has evolved from Game regulator to Game inspirer,” explained IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper.
“With this we must continue to appeal to those who know and love the sport and its heritage, while attracting, engaging and inspiring those who have no connection with the sport across multiple cultures and languages around the world.”
“World Rugby collectively has the ingredients and tools to do just that. Rugby’s global appeal is founded and positioned on its unique character-building values and inclusive ethos and we want everyone to feel connected with the sport and Rugby’s ongoing success story.”
“World Rugby clearly aligns our name with our mission and allows us to organise new and existing consumer facing properties in a way that they will be more impactful and more appealing to the sport’s growing global fan base.”