In pictures: The RWC experience where players are the brand

Athlete talent company Hiro is set to offer fans a unique Rugby World Cup (RWC) experience, where they will be able to rub shoulders with some of the sport's best players.


The company has devised Hiro House, a pop-up space by London Bridge Underground station that will open its doors for every game throughout the six-week tournament. 

The talent

"Our job is to create an experience that other hospitality companies in rugby don’t provide," Hiro’s chairman, David Hornby told Event.

The point of difference is the talent – rugby players from across the UK as well as New Zealand, Canada and Australia have all been confirmed to host events, which will include live screenings, food and beverages, during the tournament.

More than 30 ex-rugby stars have been confirmed to appear, including Lewis Moody, Andy Gomarsall, Craig Chalmers and Alix Popham.

By utilising their own ‘brand’, the players will introduce games and discuss tactics, offer commentary and chat with attendees. 

The hospitality

Hiro is in talks with beverage brands to supply the venue, and they could potentially operate pop-up stalls within the space. It is also considering partnerships with sporting brands, particularly those with a rugby-centric focus. 

The venue will work with an exclusive caterer to supply the food, however details around this remain under wraps.

Guests can expect the food and beverage offering to be tailored around Hiro’s target audience of primarily corporate B2B brands.  

The pop-up is described as a private members’ club in that guests are required to pre-book - they cannot simply walk into the venue as they would their local pub. Rugby fans from across the globe are invited to attend. 

A long-term concept 

Hiro House was first launched in May, and Hiro is looking to expand upon the concept post-RWC

"We want to raise awareness of what we are doing so that businesses get an idea of how they can use us moving forward," says Hornby.

"The Hiro House experience will provide us with a platform for the Hiro brand and proof of concept for the [Hiro House] project."

He adds that the experience "might well pop up at other sporting events" such as the Six Nations. 

Hornby joined Hiro as chairman in July, and earlier this week he announced his departure from agency Smyle following a five-year tenure. 

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