Sports business March 2017

World Cup winners

Firms set sights on the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Sports fans in Japan have much to look forward to, with the 2019 Rugby World Cup (RWC), the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the 2021 Kansai World Masters Games and the 2026 Asian Games all set to arrive on these shores. But more than just a feast of world-class sport, these events represent a major business opportunity. And now excitement is firmly building for the upcoming RWC.

On 17 March, the organising committee unveiled its vision for the tournament—to connect people throughout Japan and around the world, and to create an inclusive celebration of rugby, friendship and community. Preparations are now kicking into high gear, with several initiatives being rolled out to drive interest in the RWC, among them the Front Row supporters club, where fans can sign up to receive news and ticketing updates.

More than 400,000 visitors are expected to arrive in Japan for the competition and it is estimated there will be a ¥420bn economic impact across the 12 host cities. Clearly, the opportunity is significant.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) is also doing its part to drive awareness of the event and showcase the numerous business opportunities on offer. With the pool draw scheduled for 10 May, the chamber will be coming together with the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan—two other rugby-loving nations—at the Roppongi Hills Club 6pm to 8:30pm to broadcast the selection process.

This will be followed by a panel discussion on the implications of the results and what this means for various business services, including hospitality, ticketing, tours and travel. Executives from STH Group, who have exclusive rights to the hospitality and travel packages for the RWC, and the consultancy firm CSM Sports Entertainment will deliver their insights into the topic.

As the RWC draws closer, further BCCJ events will explore other areas and avenues for British firms looking to make the most of the competition.

And those readers looking to get into the RWC spirit are reminded that they are still able to get their hands on a limited edition RWC licence plate.