Following record-breaking official merchandise sales at Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, World Rugby, via their master licensee IMG, has appointed Legends as the Official Retail Partner and operator for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France next year.
Taking place from 8 September until 28 October, the pinnacle event in the men’s fifteens game will build on the phenomenal spectator, media and commercial success of Japan 2019 where Legends served as the Official Retail Partner and operator.
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.
Rugby World Cup 2023 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 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.
It has been 16 years since France last hosted the tournament, and Rugby World Cup’s 10th edition is expected to be spectacular on and off the pitch. During the tournament’s seven weeks, international fans and the French public will celebrate togetherness in rugby’s 200th birthday year. (1823-2023).
World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin said: “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. 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 Vice President of International Retail, Victoria Hawksley added: “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.”
About World Rugby
World Rugby is an international federation and a global movement comprising more than 500 million fans and 7.69 million players within 129 national member federations affiliated through six regional associations.
Located in Dublin, Ireland, World Rugby’s purpose is to grow rugby by making it more relevant and accessible, with a vision of a global sport for all, true to its values. The driving force behind the sport’s significant growth has been World Rugby’s portfolio of major events, from the flagship men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups and U20 Championship, that celebrates the future stars of the sport, to the excitement of the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens and HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series which are instrumental in attracting new fans.
The financial success of the men’s Rugby World Cup enables World Rugby to invest record sums in the development and growth of the sport from the playground to the podium, ensuring that the sport is as accessible and enjoyable for as many people as possible. Between 2020-23, the international federation will invest more than £565 million in the sport.
About Rugby World Cup France 2023
Rugby World Cup 2023 will take place in France from 8 September - 28 October with matches played in nine venues across 10 host cities. The tournament will be the 10th men’s Rugby World Cup and the second to be hosted by France after a memorable event in 2007.
RWC 2023 will take place in a year when the sport celebrates 200 years since Rugby School pupil William Webb Ellis was credited with inventing the game of rugby football by showing “a fine disregard for the rules” in catching the ball and running with it in 1823.
RWC 2023 will set new standards in social responsibility, inclusion and sustainability for a major rugby event, targeting four key pillars for the tournament’s legacy: acting for sustainability and circular economy, supporting education, training and employment, respecting and protecting the environment and promoting inclusivity by being a champion for gender egality.
The showpiece event in men’s 15s, Rugby World Cup 2023 will feature 20 teams – 12 of whom qualified directly by finishing in the top three in their pool at Japan 2019 and eight from a global qualification process – with 48 matches played across 51 days.
IMG is a global leader in sport, events, fashion, and media. The company manages some of the world's greatest athletes and fashion icons; owns and operates hundreds of live events annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in licensing, sports training and league development. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company.
Founded in 2008, Legends is a premium experiences company with six divisions operating worldwide – Global Planning, Global Sales, Global Partnerships, Hospitality, Global Merchandise, and Global Technology Solutions – offering clients and partners a 360-degree data and analytics fuelled service solution platform to elevate their brand and execute their vision. Currently, Legends works with marquee clients across business verticals including professional sports; collegiate; attractions; entertainment; and conventions and leisure. We are the industry leaders in designing, planning, and realizing exceptional experiences in sports and entertainment. For more information, visit www.Legends.net and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @TheLegendsWay.