Industry Shorts: World Rugby, Gilbert, Extreme E

18 Nov 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

World Rugby and Gilbert have unveiled the official Rugby World Cup 2021 match ball design.

Taking inspiration from the ‘vitality and connectivity’ of the tournament’s brand, the design includes a key single colour focal point on either end to ‘encourage player performance’. It also integrates the RipoRipo graphic, which carries cultural significance in host country New Zealand, and represents the water and the land.

Gilbert has made every Rugby World Cup ball since 1991, but the 2021 edition will be the first time that the brand has offered a full range of replica and supporter products.


Extreme E has appointed Telescope as its Official Audience Engagement Technology Partner.

The brand will support Extreme E’s fan engagement initiative, GridPlay, and will see Telescope deliver ‘voting solutions’ across the Extreme E website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, with similar plans to expand into streaming platform Twitch.

Extreme E’s GridPlay invites fans to vote for their favourite team, and those with the most votes will be able to choose their spot on the grid. READ MORE


The UK government is exploring avenues to get fans back into sporting venues across England before Christmas, according to multiple reports.

A government pilot scheme, which took place in August and September, was scrapped in October because of a rise in coronavirus cases which ultimately led to a second national lockdown.

Proposals to bring fans back could be linked to the government’s tier-system, which would enable a phased return of fans in tier one - and possibly tier two - areas of the country, when the wider lockdown is lifted. At the moment, that is scheduled for early December.


Equestrian sports network Horse & Country (H&C) has appointed WePlay to drive subscription growth to its H&C+ OTT platform.

The performance marketing agency adds H&C to its roster of sports streaming platform clients, which includes UFC, La Liga and ESPN. The platform offers on-demand highlights, training, entertainment and documentary content for equestrian fans.

The news follows WePlay’s previous appointment by the FIA World Rally Championship to support the growth of its OTT streaming platform, WRC+, while it also recently announced the arrival of former Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis as an Advisor to the Board.


British Cycling has appointed Leah Davis as an Independent Non Executive Director.

Davis joins the Board having previously led brand transformation, marketing strategy and digital output for Team GB at the BOA through the London 2012 and Rio 2016 cycles. More recently, she has set up Sporthouse Consulting, with a focus on delivering purpose driven growth and value in the sport and entertainment industries.

She formally began her role at British Cycling in September following the departure of Alex Russell, who served as an Independent Director for six years.


Broadcaster talkSPORT will has announced exclusive rights to radio commentary of England’s South Africa cricket tour.

The tour will include more than 60 hours of coverage across talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2, including the warm up games, preview shows and a daily podcast.

The broadcaster's cricket regulars, including Mark Butcher, Steve Harmison and Alex Tudor will be joined by England bowler Kate Cross and former South African players Shaun Pollock, Dane Vilas and Alfonso Thomas for the series. TalkSPORT Drive presenter Darren Gough will continue to present the Drive show but will also provide contributions to the Tour coverage.