Memorandum submitted by the Welsh Rugby
Overall, Rugby World Cup 1999 staged by the
Welsh Rugby Union and its partners, the RFU, SRU, IRFU and FFR
was a considerable success. It produced moments of outstanding
quality on the field compounded by exciting and well-managed events
and festivals off it, promoting rugby as an athletic and spectacular
game, or an enormous sporting, human and commercial potential.
The 20-team, 41 match final Tournament was only
the tip of the iceberg, though, as nearly 70 Unions played over
130 matches in the qualifying rounds before the final tournament
started in the spectacular surroundings of the Millennium Stadium,
in Cardiff on 1 October, 1999. The WRU delivered the huge event,
regarded in terms of commercial potential and public appeal as
the fourth biggest in the world of sport after the Olympics, Soccer
World Cup and Athletics World Championships, with skill and confidence.
The mammoth event was planned and managed by
a Rugby event consultancy "Rugby Solutions Ltd." jointly
set in place by the WRU and the RWC. The following entities were
involved in the organisation of the RWC '99:
International Rugby Boardthe
Game's governing body.
Rugby World Cup Limitedbeneficially
owned and controlled by the International Rugby Board (IRB).
RWC Tournaments Limitedbeneficially
owned and controlled by IRB.
Host UnionWelsh Rugby Union
Limited and its partners (Sub-host Unions):
Scottish Rugby Football Union;
Irish Rugby Football Union;
Federation Francaise de Rugby.
Rugby Solutions Limited(RSL)
acting as Tournament Office.
(i) The roles of the entities are listed
Rugby World Cup Limited
is the owner of all rightsboth
commercial and Tournamentmarks and logos. Its duty is to
implement the commercial programme.
RWC Tournaments Limited
has been assigned the tournament
rights by RWCL. It contracts with the Host Union and, in the case
of RWC '99, the 69 Participating Unions. In respect of RWC '99,
it contracted Rugby Solutions Limited to perform a large number
of functions, which required a professional staff and administration.
Welsh Rugby Union Limited
as the Host Union for RWC '99, was
assigned the Tournament rights. Its duty was to organise the games
and venues, pay the tournament expenses, carry out various other
obligations under the Host Union Agreement and provide Accounts.
In consideration, it was entitled to receive the gate income.
It also contracted Rugby Solutions Limited to implement a number
of Host Union responsibilities on its behalf.
Rugby Solutions Limited
was the operational company which
undertook to discharge or assist, as appropriate, in IRB/RWC operational
responsibilities. It effectively became the RWC '99 Tournament
International Rugby Board
is responsible for the selection
of Host Union, deciding the number of teams and the format of
the competition, selection of referees and disciplinary functions.
The IRB has a number of rights and obligations under the Host
(ii) Obligations of the Parties
(a) Host Union (Welsh Rugby Union)
Hosting the tournament and participating
Making arrangements for the matches
and designating locations
Appointing organisers, medical officers,
venue managers, liaison officers, interpreters, the Secretary
for the Dispute Committee, Regional Tournament organisers
Providing facilities and services
for teams and officials
Facilitating the exercise of commercial
rights at each venue and training ground free of cost
Indemnifying RWCL against loss from
Undertaking obligations in relation
to the venues and training grounds
Implementing "clean stadia"
Waiving any claim for copyright on
all electronic coverage and commercial rights generally
Procuring similar waivers from Sub-host
Procuring compliance by Sub-host
Unions to the IRB/RWC agreements and policies
Arranging insurance on public liability
and medical costs
Issuing quarterly reports to RWCT
Non-disclosure of agreement terms
Non-disclosure of confidential information
(b) Financial and Accounts
Receiving the gate revenue (subject
to agreement with Sub-host Unions)
Paying the tournament costs
Providing audited accounts within
90 days of the final match
Providing RWC or its nominee complete
access to information upon which the audited accounts were prepared
Allowing RWC to audit the Host Union
Indemnifying RWCL against tax assessed
on its revenue
Being responsible for PAYE and national
insurance contributions for persons employed by it
Being responsible for VAT in respect
of gate revenue
(c) Travel and Accommodation
Arranging and paying for international
travel for teams and officials
Arranging and paying for domestic
travel for teams and officials
Making accommodation arrangements
for teams and officials
Arranging kit transportation
Providing stadium mapping
Complying with agreed ticketing policy
Providing RWCL with up to 50 per
cent of the tickets for each match
ticket design and printing
ticket allocation system
ticket distribution and payment
subject to agreed maximum prices
Providing RWCT no later than 1 November
1998 a breakdown of all tickets by price category available within
each venue including standing, sitting, private boxes, committee
boxes, VIP boxes, President's Boxes.
Providing best quality seats for
teams and referees participating
Providing for each team:
knock-out play off130
pool matcheight tickets
knock-out play off or final16
(iii) Rugby World Cup Limited
The obligations of Rugby World Cup Limited
A responsibility to licence marks
for the tournament for use by the Host Union.
A responsibility for implementation
of the following commercial programmes:
Information Technology/RWC Website
Marketing and Promotion
A responsibility for executing the
Host Union Agreement and the Participating Union Agreements (finals
and qualifying rounds)
A responsibility to organise and
pay for qualifying rounds and tournaments
A responsibility for drug control
A responsibility for managers' meeting
A responsibility for records and
A responsibility to provide an interface
with the IRB
(iv) RWC Tournament Limited
The obligations of RWC Tournament Limited
Granting tournament rights to WRU
Indemnifying WRU against tax on commercial
Specifying to WRU by 31 March 1999
its ticketing requirements by price category
Making available tickets not required
to the Host Union for all pool matches no later than 1 September
1999 and for knock-out matches by 1 October 1999, and for the
play off and final at a further date to be agreed.
(v) Rugby Solutions Limitedthe de
facto WRU Tournament Office
The obligations of Rugby Solutions Limited
Organising the tournament on behalf
of the Host Union
Carrying out the WRU's tournament
obligations as instructed
Acting as Tournament Director for
Providing an interface between WRU
and RWCT to avoid differences and promote good media relations
Devising, managing and controlling
Devising, managing and controlling
Integrating RWCT and RWCL's obligations
with the WRU.
2. DIRECT FINANCIAL
Rugby World Cup 1999, enjoyed by thousands who
participated, millions who attended and billions who watched,
has the role to generate the funds for the development of the
game worldwide. In this respect RWC '99 was the most successful
to date. The overall objectives of the RWC '99 commercial programme
were to achieve an income in excess of £70 million and a
gross surplus in excess of £45 million.
The Host Union made every effort to maximize
the gate revenue, which totaled in excess of £46 million.
The financial targets were achieved, and the success of the Tournament
has convinced several key international sponsors to consider extending
their associations with the event.
2.1.1 Gross RWC '99 Income (Source RWCT Ltd)
|Gross Revenue (£)
|Travel and tours
2.1.2 RWC '99 Profit and Loss Account
|Qualifying Rounds and Tournaments
|Direct Tournament Organising Expenses
|Legal and Financial Costs
|Direct contribution to IRB costsDublin
2.2 Host Union accountsTicketing and Marketing
Eighteen venues were used in total for the 41 gamesthree
in each of Wales, Ireland and Scotland, four in England and five
in France. The Match scheduling was devised substantially on the
basis of requirements of the players' welfare, with input from
broadcasters and the Host Unions, all of whom indicated a strong
preference for weekend games.
The scheduling of the pool stage of the finals was criticizedand
it has to be said that, although the criticism was somewhat legitimatewith
three or four matches taking place each weekend day, for two or
three days punctuated by gaps of several days when no games at
all took placethe scheduling of matches at weekends, not
only helped to reach a record cumulative TV audience of 3.1 billion,
but also helped the Host Union and its partners maximise the spectator
potential of the largest rugby stadia in the world.
The promotional effort of the Host Union and its partners,
though subject to some media criticism, was remarkably efficient,
given the comparatively limited resources made available by the
RWC. Figures suggest that awareness in the UK was near saturation
as the tournament reached its final stages, while the number of
spectators for the knockout stages was superior to the comparable
stage in the 1998 Soccer World Cup.
2.2.1 Marketing RWC '99
In the Home markets, RWC Ticketing Policy was the main marketing
document of the Tournament. Its role was to make available match
tickets to as many traditional and potential rugby supporters
in as wide as market as was obtainable. The other aspect of the
Marketing programme was to increase event awareness, both in the
UK and in the world, to maximise TV audiences.
Facts and figures:
the number of spectators exceeded the predictions;
an 85 per cent level of occupancy in the 19 stadia was comparable
with the best in the world;
the games were watched by soaring world television
the sponsors were delighted with the level and
quality of exposure;
the accreditation programme worked without a hitch;
the top quality media facilities serviced nearly
1,500 journalists, more than double the numbers in 1995;
the media information system Intra-Net linking
the 18 venuesa novelty in RWCwas a success, providing
a steady flow of Tournament News and Information;
the Internet operation has set extraordinary records
(a) Cumulative Viewership:
(b) TVViewership Distribution:
|53 per cent
|Central and South America
|11 per cent
|6 per cent
|19 per cent
|4 per cent
(c) Top 5 matches on TV (peak time):
|NZ v England
|Australia v France
|NZ v France
|NZ v Scotland
|SA v England
(d) Most popular TV event:
(Audience research immediately after RWC. Although the pattern
changes after each event, it is worthwhile emphasizing the strong
impact of an event of this magnitude on the average TV audience.)
(e) TV Summary
In the UK, ITV broadcast 96 hours to a cumulative
audience of 223 million.
Nearly 70 per cent of the UK population (15 years
plus) watched some RWC coverage on ITV.
Only Olympic Games (Atlanta'96) have achieved
a broader TV distribution than RWC'99 (on par with Formula 1).
In Wales 150 promotional trailers were shown prior
to RWC on ITV 1 (HTV).
The coverage involved 24 live matches on ITV 1,
that is a total of 77 hours of RWC (including the highlights)
and 17 matches live on ITV 2.
In addition, the regional station HTV Wales has
given blanket coverage, with live matches, previews and highlights.
The news coverage on both HTV Wales and BBC TV has been equally
HTV were the only ITV region to carry South Africa
v New Zealand live, other than ITV 2 digital.
The www.rwc99.com site hit a peak period of traffic
in the week ending 16 October. During this week 43,713,643 successful
requests were made on the site, at an average of 400,593 pages
viewed each day.
The number of successful requests fell to 6,982,689
in the week 7 November to 13 November, at an average of 84,362
pages viewed each day.
During the Finals Tournament 1 October to 6 November,
approximately 164 million successful requests were made on the
site. During this period over 10 million pages were viewed at
an average of nearly 280,000 per day.
2.2.1(iii) Promotion and advertising
The increased awareness in the event following promotion
and advertising campaigns:
|72 per cent awarenes
|89 per cent awareness
|91 per cent (near saturation)
|after 7 November (final on 6 November)
In the UK, the RWC logothe second most recognised
global event logo (after the Olympics circles).
The prescence of the RWC logo on products increased propensity
to purchase by 20 per cent (UK TV viewers).
As a result of RWC'99, the sport of rugby rose in the list
of the UK's most popular sports from:
seventh positionbefore the event to;
second position (behind soccer) after the event.
By and large the success of the ticketing strategy was reflected
in the large numbers of spectators attending matches, an average
72 per cent occupancy, which compares favourably with other major
sporting events. According to the RWC Ticketing Policy, the majority
of tickets for each match were distributed by the Host Union to
its Constituent Clubs and Affiliated Associations and to those
Clubs and Associations of its Sub-Host Unions for onward sale
to their members. The remainder of the tickets for each match
were allocated to Unions in membership of the International Rugby
Board, to Overseas Supporters wishing to travel to the Host Union
via packages purchased from the Official Travel Agents world-wide,
via Hospitality Packages available throughout the Host Union,
to the Media and to RWCL's Sponsors and Suppliers.
2.2.2(i) Ticket prices
Ticket pricing proved a contentious area, once the media
had quoted the headline figures of £150.00 for a top-priced
ticket for the final. In reality there were only ever 4,618 tickets
at £150.00 reflecting the Unions' policy of setting realistic
ticket prices below the maxima set by RWCT. The pricing policy
adopted by the Unions resulted in the average price for a ticket
being priced under £30.00. The SRU and IRFU maintained their
normal policy of allocating tickets to juniors at reduced prices
and the Treasurers of the five Unions agreed to charge the disabled
for the price of one ticket for two including the helper. The
Treasurers of the five Unions agreed the bands and prices on 2nd
2.2.2(ii) Spectator attendance overall
|Number of Spectators
|Play-off, Final Tournament
Average attendance for knock out stage (QF,SF,PO,F) of 66,830
exceeded that of the last Soccer World Cup (France '9861,000).
Attendance reached 72 per cent of the total stadia capacity.
Average attendance for the Tournament 41,700, an increase
of 25 per cent over RWC'95 (Soccer World Cup France'98 average
2.2.2(iii) Spectator attendance in Wales
Nine matches (seven at the Millennium Stadium, one in Llanelli
and one in Wrexham).
Total attendance 500,000.
Average match attendance 56,000 (highest in the Tournament).
Pool matches 295,300.
Capacity knock-out matches 227,500.
Average attendance knock-out stage 72,500 (highest in the
2.2.2(iv) Host union income
Ticket sales formed the base of the Host Union revenue, which
after deduction of the expenditure for hosting the Tournament,
was divided in equal shares between the Five Unions (see below).
HOST UNION INCOME
3. IMPACT ON
The staging of the World Cup in Wales provided the WRU with
a marvellous opportunity to capitalize on the development work
undertaken by its Rugby Directorate during the past five years.
It was understood from the outset that the glamour of the Cup
and its proximity will add a great impetus to the enormous developmental
effort put in place by the WRU, in its desire to put the game
in Wales on a very sound basis and re-launch Wales as one of the
major playing powers on the world stage. The number of participants
in the Game in Wales, at the end of 1999, grew by a staggering
6,000 youngsters, a fair result of the efforts put in by the WRU
Directorate and the main developmental charity in Welsh Rugby,
the Dragons Rugby Trust.
The Ball Relay, a community-based event that was run in over
2,000 schools and 300 rugby clubs across Wales, involved 55,000
youngsters. Nearly 5,000 runners carried the Ball, attending 200
festivals and local events throughout the Principality.
The success of the event was secured by the close co-operation
from the Unitary Authorities, The Sports Council for Wales, Ford
Motorcar Company and Coca Cola Company as RWC sponsors clubs and
schools and many local sponsors and private individuals who gave
their time free.
The theme of the festivals was the introduction to and development
of rugby skills among young people. As a direct result of this
event, all clubs in Wales who run teams between the age 8-16 have
agreed that the last Sunday of each month should be devoted to
development of individual and unit skills, rather than to the
playing of matches. In a word, the quantitative effort to increase
numbers has been doubled up by a qualitative thrust to improve
skill and understanding.
4. ECONOMIC IMPACT
The figures branded are, of course, an extrapolation of a
wide-range marketing-research effort undertaken by the Welsh Tourist
Board. They do not include the considerable contribution of the
actual impact of the Millennium Stadium project. The Wales Tourist
Board was a key partner of WRU in a combined marketing effort
to promote Wales. The specific objectives were:
to maximise the short-term benefits of the tournament
by seeking to increase the number of visitors and their spending
to enhance the competitive position of Wales as
a destination for overseas visitors by using the tournament as
an opportunity to raise the profile of Wales and improve the image
overseas, thereby securing lasting economic and tourism benefits.
The strategic targets of the WTB included securing an additional
55,000 visitors (20,000 domestic; 35,000 overseas) in 1999 and
an associated spend of £12 million. Its budget for the operation
was £1.97 million.
£83 million into the economy of Wales, with
a £4.4 million additional potential from return visits. WTB).*
331,000 visitors to Wales (WTB).*
RWC generated 480,000 bed-nights in Wales, the
majority in South Wales.
80 per cent of the visitors came to Wales during
that period, because of RWC.
RWC sponsors Guinness experienced a 15 per cent
(year on year) uplift in business volumes across both the on and
off-trade during October 1999.
ITVhost broadcaster UKachieved a
year on year network ad revenue increase of 16 per cent between
October '98 (£222 million) and October '99 (£258 million).
* Source: WTBWelsh Tourist Board.
The Management Team of RWC '99, who operated with the support
of hundreds of officials and administrators, both, professional
and amateur, from the five hosting Unions worked for three years
to put together the nuts and bolts of the huge logistic undertaking
of the finals.
The Host Union, felt that despite a number of imperfections,
inevitable mistakes and mostly invisible shortcomings, the achievements
far outweigh the drawbacks and RWC '99 was a tremendous success.
Despite all that, the Tournament, the Five Nations format
was subject to a fair amount of criticism in the UK and Australian
media. However, it has been plainly clear that, despite its shortcomings,
the Five Nations structure had been the cornerstone of the Tournament
success story. the fact that the big matches were played in the
largest rugby stadia in the world, with the size of the smaller
venues being tailored to match the relative crowd-appeal of the
lesser matches, enabled a record 1.75 million spectatorsthree-quarters
of a million more than in 1995to watch live RWC action.
Proper planning and co-operation between the Host Union and
local authorities enabled RWC matches to be played in front of
sell-out crowds in hotbeds of rugby of the likes of Llanelli,
as well as soccer strongholds like Wrexham. The sell-out crowds
at Stade de France and Twickenham for matches involving teams
other than France and England respectively were powerful statements
about the drawing power of RWC, which, at its fourth Tournament
has matured into a remarkably powerful competition. Even by taking
into account the poor attendances at four pool matches in Scotland,
the average number of tickets sold, as percentage of the total
capacity of the 18 venues, was a staggering 85 per cent.