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New Study Highlights Benefits of Rugby Corporate Hospitality

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With Rugby World Cup 2015 official hospitality packages on sale since 1 February 2014, Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) has welcomed initial findings of a new study that highlights the positive benefits of rugby corporate hospitality on UK businesses and client relationships.

Demand is set to be high for the wide range of official England 2015 hospitality experiences and the independent study, commissioned by the sole official provider Rugby Travel and Hospitality Limited (RTH) and produced by SMG Insight/YouGov, surveyed 500 UK business representatives who both purchase and receive corporate hospitality.

The study revealed that receivers of corporate hospitality believed it to be twice as effective as advertising as a tool for business generation with new and existing clients. In addition, almost 60% of respondents believed that purchasing corporate hospitality for RWC 2015 would increase their business recommendations from clients.

Other key findings from the research include:

Over 80% of senior business decision makers who buy corporate hospitality believe corporate hospitality at RWC 2015 to be extremely effective at improving personal relationships between businesses and their clients

71% of those who are very interested in attending RWC 2015 corporate hospitality believe they are likely to increase the amount they spend with the company they share hospitality with on products and services

In fact, the majority of these business decision makers indicated they would choose to purchase rugby hospitality over alternative options including international level football, F1, horse racing or musical concerts

The official hospitality programme has been a major success story of the Rugby World Cup commercial programme, with more than 150,000 packages sold across the previous two tournaments, delivering 20% of the commercial revenues that the IRB has driven back into the development of rugby worldwide.

The official hospitality programme for RWC 2015 aims to make the memorable unforgettable, with a range of options from never-before-seen-at-Rugby chalet style hospitality, through to private corporate boxes to all new shared spaces.

The findings represent a further boost for an England 2015 tournament that is set to raise the commercial bar while some 400,000 travelling fans and a television audience in more than 200 territories will experience a nationwide celebration of rugby, its character-building values and the host nation.

The showcase event will also provide the financial engine for the development of rugby worldwide, with the IRB committed to investing a record 180 million in participation, player welfare, tournament, development and high performance programmes across its 119 national Member Unions.

RWCL Managing Director Brett Gosper said, "These findings demonstrate the significant prestige and popularity of Rugby World Cup in the global business marketplace and are a strong endorsement of what promises to be a truly spectacular England 2015 tournament. Rugby is a major player in the global sports industry with an annual turnover of 1 billion and continued strong investment from broadcasters, sponsors and commercial hospitality within the Rugby World Cup programme enables the IRB to invest record sums in a sustainable future for what is now a truly global sport. Our partners like to be able to see their investment playing a key role in inspiring more men, women and children to play the sport in new and existing Rugby markets worldwide."

Andrew Burton, Chief Executive of Rugby Travel & Hospitality Limited, added, "With Rugby World Cup 2015 set to be the biggest-ever Rugby tournament and the third largest sporting event in the world, there is an exciting opportunity for companies to use corporate hospitality as an effective business generation tool. Already, we have received unprecedented demand for official hospitality with more than double the level of interest at this stage than for all previous Rugby World Cup Tournaments. This demonstrates not only growing confidence in the UK economy but also indicates that Rugby World Cup 2015 is set to be the showcase global sporting event for corporate hospitality."

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