SA man to market WC in England

2014-10-11 00:00

A DURBANITE is heading up one of the key elements of next year’s Rugby World Cup.

Rob Wingrove (34) is head of marketing for Rugby Travel and Hospitality (RTH) running the biggest programme of its kind for any event in the UK including the last Olympics.

Wingrove grew up in Umbilo and went to St Henry’s Marist Brothers’ College in Glenwood.

After doing a BA in social sciences at Varsity College he headed for the UK in 2001 “and fell into a job in marketing”. After working on several campaigns for Sony and IBM he worked with various advertising agencies on campaigns for big brands PlayStation, Bulmers Cider and Microsoft.

Then he got a telephone call. “They were looking for someone who was into sport and with a range of marketing skills.” And since June 2013, Wingrove has been working across the road from the home of rugby, Twickenham stadium.

Wingrove’s “love affair” with rugby began back in 1995 when he was 15 when South Africa scored their historic world cup victory. “We had a really old TV and my dad went out and bought a new one to watch the match that morning … After that I was really hungry to get into sport. So when I was offered the World Cup job it was a no-brainer,” he said.

“Any large tournament such as the Soccer World Cup or the Olympics allocates tickets for corporate and VIP hospitality. It’s my job to market the World Cup experience.”

Outside the UK travel packages are marketed and sold via appointed agents — in South Africa it’s the SA Rugby Union. “South Africa is a really, really big part of the programme,” said Wingrove. “It’s our third biggest market after the UK and New Zealand.”

Over two million people are expected to attend the World Cup, which will be played in 13 stadiums across the UK and will see rugby played for the first time in the Olympic stadium. South Africa have a date there with the U.S.


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