Rugby World Cup 2019 Official hospitality: The review
With the tournament now a fading memory, STH Japan looks back on the success of hosting Asia’s first Rugby World Cup Official Hospitality programme, and how it brought fans a once in a lifetime experience.
After six weeks, 45 games, 2,196 points and a little over 3,600 minutes of rugby, it was South Africa who were crowned champions at the end of the tournament. It was perhaps a fitting end in which the underdog often shone through. There was a win for Uruguay over Fiji in the group stages, host nation Japan stunned fans by finishing top of Pool A, England dethroned three-time Rugby World Cup winners New Zealand, before themselves being conquered by South Africa who proved too strong.
The tournament stretched from the north to the south of Japan, covering 12 regions across the country. The locals fully embraced the tournament, with World Rugby revealing a record 99.3% attendance across the tournament, and 1.84 million tickets sold. The official hospitality programme was just as successful, selling over 130,000 tickets and bundling them to sell 63,809 hospitality packages. 70% of customers coming from Japan, and the remaining 30% from the rest of the globe.
“The commercial ticketing programme has been one of the major success stories for Rugby World Cup, enhancing the tournament experience for hundreds of thousands of Rugby fans from all around the world and financially contributing to the continued global development of rugby through World Rugby’s investment programme.” World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont
The hospitality programme was a huge operation and a challenging one in Japan. The hospitality concept is still relatively new and therefore stadiums do not have extensive hospitality capabilities. Unlike they do in the UK for example, where we provided hospitality for Rugby World Cup 2015. However, our team of experts tackled the challenge face on and created the hospitality facilities either building them from scratch or sourcing facilities which wouldn’t normally hold hospitality. With 10 types of packages made available for fans, this meant we needed 47 differing venues across the country to cater for all, totalling 233 hospitality sessions taking place over the six weeks. The packages ranged from private suites to contemporary lounges. The most popular package was our flagship structure: The Webb Ellis Pavilion and Suites.
Located adjacent to International Stadium Yokohama, The Webb Ellis Pavilion and Suites combined contemporary hospitality with the best quality dining experience and a top category seat, the best available to purchase for consumers. It was a mixture of an open restaurant and 18 private suites. There was vibrant entertainment including appearances from legendary guest speakers as well as live performances. Exquisite food and beverage options were specifically selected by our in-house catering experts who carefully crafted the menu for over 18 months.
The structure stretched to approximately 3,850 m2 and reached 7.4m at its highest point. This was one of the largest temporary structures to be built in Japan of its kind and combined work of local and international expertise to fulfil this project. This package hosted just under 9,000 guests throughout the seven matches played in Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama City. Construction began on 1 June 2019 and took approximately 120 days to build and fit out the interior to bring the Pavilion to life.
Simon Jefford, STH Japan CEO said: “We are very proud of delivering such a hugely successful hospitality programme, but also to have introduced the concept of sports hospitality to the Japanese market. We look forward to continuing to bring exceptional hospitality experiences to our customers in Japan.”
Sports Travel & Hospitality Japan (STH) is the leading provider of sports hospitality and premium spectator experiences in Japan. Learn how you can be part of world-class hospitality today:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +81 3 4500 6211