Campaign Of The Week - Leveraging The Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup: IRFU Sponsor Vodafone And Supplier Gilbert Launched ‘Ireland’s Ball’

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Vodafone Ireland, the official sponsor of the Irish rugby team, teamed up with sports equipment brand Gilbert to launch ‘Ireland’s Ball’ ahead of the Rugby World Cup. Launched to leverage the pre Japan 2019 friendly, warm up matches, ‘Ireland’s Ball’, which was developed in harness with creative agency JWT Folk, runs under the telco’s ongoing #TeamOfUs IRFU activation platform and revolves around a one of a kind rugby ball created to celebrate the diverse fabric of modern Irish society.

The campaign’s aim was to bring to life the idea that ‘regardless of who we are, where we’re from or what our background is, when it comes to Irish rugby, we all belong in the Team Of Us’.

The ball has been made with a bespoke grip containing the fingerprints of 32 different rugby fans – one from every county in Ireland – in order to symbolise this connection with one another and with Irish rugby and to unite the people of Ireland.

This ball has travelled to Japan with the team as a symbol of the Team Of Us support for Irish rugby from fans all across Ireland.

The physical ball itself is communicated and supported through a variety of assets including a microsite (, a content series, social and digital assets and a spearhead launch video.

This lead film was amplified across the usual online platforms, with additional supporting content

and a competition to win a trip to Japan.

The initiative was created for Vodafone Head of Sponsorship and Business Brand Gerry Nixon and sponsorship, brand and communications specialist Jane Lawrence by a team from JWT Folk.


This campaign follows in the footsteps of previous Vodafone initiatives within the brand’s overarching #TeamOfUs platform: including ‘Four Days In November’ from 2017 and has echoes of previous rugby related, ball-led initiatives such as HSBC’s local B2B Hi-tech Ball initiative for the 2019 Hong Kong Sevens.


Vodafone Ireland


JWT Folk



This case study originally appeared on Activative: which offers clients creative and strategic intelligence to fuel game-changing sports and sponsorship marketing.

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