Print / Creative


The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) is the governing body for rugby in Wales. A not-for-profit organisation, it supports the development of over 300 member clubs, 4 professional regions, schools rugby and the elite national men’s and women’s teams at senior and age group levels.

Every autumn, a series of games are held at the Principality Stadium against teams from the Southern Hemisphere. In 2016, the series has a new sponsor, sports brand Under Armour, who are also the official kit suppliers to the Welsh rugby team.

The Brief

The brief was to produce an advertising campaign, which would not only sell tickets for the matches but also serve as a brand campaign for Welsh rugby as a whole.

We needed to unite the whole of Welsh rugby and to acknowledge that the success of the international team is built upon the hard work and dedication of many different people.


We looked at research that the WRU had carried out into what people thought of its brand and what rugby meant to them. Unsurprisingly, for a country that is often defined by the sport, rugby in Wales was not just seen as a game, but also part of the fabric of the country.

A series of manifestos had been developed for the volunteers, supporters and players. The wording from these manifestos was used as the basis to develop the creative approach.


No matter how small a contribution that someone makes, whether it’s a volunteer who cuts the grass at their local rugby club, a parent who stands on the touchline every Sunday, a coach who gives his time for free or a fan who attends every international match, without these people Welsh rugby at the very top level would not be where it is today.

The ownership of the game does not rest with the WRU or the Welsh rugby team, but rather with the Welsh nation as a whole.

Creative Strategy

Moving away from the traditional approach of using the players in the campaign, we decided instead to focus on the grassroots of the game in Wales and to show the ‘real faces’ of Welsh rugby. This meant picking characters in typical scenarios which happen every week of the season.

The WRU’s Club Operations team worked with us and our TV production partner, Wordley Productions, to select rugby clubs and people that would help showcase the broad spectrum of those who contribute to and who are involved in the game.

A set of scenarios were developed, which people would relate to, and a script which would connect with the audience. The TV advert builds to a crescendo of shots showing the players running out onto the pitch at the Principality Stadium and fans expressing their emotions. The advert ends with a call to action stating that tickets are now available for the '2016 Under Armour Series'. This is accompanied by the line ‘This is Welsh Rugby’ which was taken from the series of manifestos that had been written.

The print, outdoor, online and radio adverts include a second line that we came up with to convey the sense of collective ownership, pride and passion that people in Wales feel towards rugby; "This is our game".

A 60-second film was produced for use on the WRU’s website and social media channels. This was cut down to two 30 second adverts which ran on commercial stations within Wales. It also ran during the opening match of the 2016 Rugby Championship on Sky Sports.

"upriseVSI get it, they understand what is needed, they don’t get caught up in the big glitzy campaign they focus on delivering results through creative, clear and relevant marketing across multi channels. They are target focussed not award focussed, I highly recommend them and they will do all they can to deliver against your targets."

Craig Maxwell
Head of Group Commercial and Marketing,
Welsh Rugby Union

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