Cube awarded retail and merchandise supplier contract for RLWC2021
Cube Partnership, the UK-based sports retail business, has won the contract to be the official retail and merchandise supplier of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.
Cube will work in close collaboration with tournament organiser RLWC2021 and official apparel partner Kappa, the Italian sportswear firm, to operate bespoke official merchandise stores at each of the 61 matches across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments.
It will also design and operate the official RLWC2021 online store, which is due to launch in September.
Jonathan Neill, commercial director at RLWC2021, said Cube had, during a competitive tender process, stood out in "understanding, interpreting and sharing" the vision for the tournament.
He added: "Cube has significant experience and expertise in delivering world class merchandise programmes at other major global events and will enhance the match day experience for our hundreds of thousands of fans.
“We will work together to use merchandise to drive fan engagement in the build up to, and during, the tournament, whether it be in person at the stadia – or via the easy access to our online store.
"Our strategy will cater for a wide range of fans - both our core and loyal rugby league family and those who will come to the sport for the first time to support RLWC2021. We feel merchandise can play a vital role in helping meet our objectives.”
Andy Bough, Cube managing director, added: “From our first meeting we have been excited by RLWC2021’s ambition to be the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup ever and we look forward to playing our part in doing just that.”
In December, RLWC2021 issued a tender for partners to support the tournament’s licensing, merchandise and retail strategies.
Last month, Riverside Brands, the UK brand licensing agency, was unveiled as the exclusive licensing agent of the tournament, tasked with creating “leading and innovative” third-party collaborations and license agreements for the tournament.
Commercial activity is ramping up for the tournament, with the host broadcast services tender having gone live on Tuesday.
The deadline for bids is 13 August at 3pm (UK).
Last week RLWC2021 announced a “historic” partnership with the International Rugby League, the sport’s governing body, under which the pair will collaborate together on the sale of international broadcast rights. A tender for an agency to help with rights sales is expected to be issued in the coming months.
Other official sponsors signed up to date are law firm Eversheds Sunderland, logistics company Kuehne+Nagel, Manchester Metropolitan University and financial services giant Deloitte.