Consumer World: Sports fans understand the ever-increasing amount of commercial sponsorship in sport, but their loyalty is to their chosen team first, with the tournament and its main sponsor a distant second.

Nevertheless a prestigious brand being seen to support their sport (without elbowing its way into the spotlight) can add to the sense of occasion.

Brand World: There are very few beer brands that can claim global reach and awareness but Heineken is on that (very) shortlist. Despite tightening rules about connecting alcohol to sport, many of the world’s most important sports events still see the benefit. Heineken had already named Europe’s premier rugby club competition (The Heineken Cup), so a move up to World level was a logical next step.

Connection: The tournament uses a tight set of guidelines to govern the relationship between the sponsor branding and its own. Nevertheless we sought to create a sponsorship identity that would not be satisfied with simply sitting in the right place on a template. Instead we crafted a brand symbol that places Heineken at the heart of the tournament, incorporating the iconic Championship trophy, the Webb Ellis cup.

Success: Mark van Iterson, Global Design Director Heineken: Osborne Pike used their understanding of our brand’s iconography to deliver a thoughtful piece of sponsorship branding. The mark achieved the challenging objective of belonging equally to the brand and the tournament, and contributed to a successful promotional campaign around the event.