One Minute With... Rob Sharp, Pulse Group

Rob Sharp, managing director at Pulse Group spoke to Event about the agency's work with England Rugby for the Rugby World Cup, as well as its plans for 2016.

Sharp delves into the work Pulse Group did for England Rugby during the RWC 2015
Sharp delves into the work Pulse Group did for England Rugby during the RWC 2015

How did Pulse win the contract for the RWC? 

England Rugby’s 2015 (ER2015) Tournament Guest Programme contract was won in a competitive pitch process that was awarded in July 2014. Alongside our sponsorship and hospitality experience, our creative concept was central to winning the contract. 

We presented a hospitality experience centred around 'The Spirit of Rugby'. At the heart of this experience we delivered a clear message to guests, which underpinned the sport’s key values of discipline, passion, solidarity, integrity and passion.

What did you do there, and what were your personal highlights?

We designed, installed and managed 13 royal boxes and the official hotel on behalf of the tournament organisers as well as 14 VIP boxes for Emirates including two in Twickenham.  

This included organising and managing all of the guest logistics and ticketing, and looking after VIPs throughout England and Wales on a daily basis. The Twickenham royal box was at the heart of the concept, and it was replicated consistently by us across the other 12 stadiums.  

Over three floors we completely transformed Twickenham with an overlay sculpture, which was 25 metres tall and central to the atrium. It displayed the 20 competing nations' union logos spiralling around five columns of light, and represented the core values of rugby.

This was so successful and popular that the Rugby Football Union (RFU) have requested it remains a part of the legacy of the tournament. As a rugby fan this is something I am very proud of.

Apart from your own work, what brand experiences really stood out for you across the tournament?

I saw a lot of experiential activations, none of which really stood out. It was the usual ‘stick your head in here’, ‘jump in this’, ‘put your face in this position' and ‘don’t forget to smile’ that seems to be the given now. 

For me the stand out performance was from the sport presentation and stadium overlay teams at ER2015. Quite rightly the carefully constructed and enhanced stadium experiences had a lot of investment and it made the experience absolutely unforgettable. 

The action inside the stadium was presented in such a way that it was impossible not to create an electric atmosphere despite the hosts being knocked out. Hats off to those guys. As a massive fan of the sport, the tournament did an incredible job to engage the fans.

What can you tell us about Pulse Group's plans for 2016?

Our success and creativity at Pulse continues to propel the agency into the forefront of decision makers globally, and with new offices opening around the world we are in a great position for 2016. We have some incredibly exciting news soon to be announced, however all I can say at this stage is watch this space.

More Rugby World Cup stories: 

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