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London Irish

London Irish approached us to help create a campaign for their move back to London from Reading, to help them navigate the difficult waters of moving away from a fanbase that they have played in front of for over a decade, to a brand new stadium in Brentford in an area that is already congested with rival Rugby clubs.

Our objectives were to raise the profile of London Irish and connect with a new and existing audience in equal measure. Traditionally rugby club campaigns have targeted a stereotypical sport aesthetic – focussed on the speed and aggression of the game, but they fail to engage with the wider demographics that Rugby as a sport really resonates with – families.
Sport & Leisure

Their nickname ‘The Exiles’ already nods to the club’s heritage as a home away from home for nomad Irish men and women. Today it is still appropriate; showcasing their strength as a club for anyone and everyone to belong to, regardless of status, ethnicity, gender or background. It’s a timeless rallying cry – if you’ve ever felt like an outsider, London Irish Rugby Club is the place for you.

With all this in mind, we elevated the nickname, to create ‘The Exile Nation’. Showing that London Irish stands for more than just being an isolated exile. Instead, we are exiles together, making up one big like-minded nation, that cannot be contained by the location of a stadium. Together we believe in each other, the hard work and the value that diversity, culture and experience bring to the game.

The language of nations is made up of symbols, flags and culture. London Irish already had the symbol – the brand logo. They also had the culture – the exile mix of Irish exuberance, English organisation and global player flare. Now, it was time to bring that language to the fore for their brand and campaigns to come, to change the narrative from The Exiles to The Exile Nation.

Armed with a new brand platform, we developed the story, so it could be leveraged across a messaging framework that spoke to a variety of different target groups, ensuring that we tapped into their collective shared vision, culture and aspirations. Because after all, The Exile Nation is built on togetherness, and the strength of individuals working as one.

The campaign launched in line with the Season Ticket sales opening and has been hugely successful, with a mix of collateral across London billboards, tube station barriers, buses and social media banners. Season ticket sales have broken records for London Irish, local uptake has been positive and existing fans and team members have proactively been supporting The Exile Nation by organically promoting the hashtag #ExileNation. With the ultimate aim of welcoming more loyal members to the “Exile Nation”, the long-term partnership will continue to build on the strength of what the campaign has already achieved together.

Luke and the team perfectly interpreted the aim of our project and devised a campaign thatwas not only visually exciting but was built on a strong concept with opportunities to developand become synonymous withour brand.

katy bigos, marketing manager, london irish rugby club