The Rugby Company

Building a luxury sports brand that was ‘Born of Rugby’

The Rugby Company

www.therugbycompany.co.uk

Staak was chosen to assist a fledgling company find its feet in the most competitive of fields. 

The Rigby Compnay - Born of Rugby

Brand Development

We were excited to work with The Rugby Company at the very start of their story. In a project that would cover brand consultation, a full identity design and building an e-commerce platform, it was refreshing to receive a brief with the freedom to influence all aspects of brand creation.

It was evident from meeting the owners of the company that their love for the sport was the driving force behind the enterprise. Their enthusiasm was infectious and after our first meeting and introduction to their garments, we were eager to be part of the wider team!

When we got the nod from the ‘captain’, we started to conceptualise what the brand visuals needed to represent and how this could be achieved. We were keen to enforce the sport’s own themes of inclusivity and brotherhood, combining these with what the company stood for – quality, locally crafted garments which celebrated the greats of the game.

Soon, we began to hone-in on the mythical creature of a griffin (as one does). This was chosen as it represents strength and unity, as well as being featured on the Rugby School insignia. After all, it was here Webb Ellis originally picked up the ball and “with a fine disregard to the rules of football, ran with it”, inventing the game played and loved the world-over today.

The result of this was the creation of a classy and timeless logo mark which would prove to be adaptable across print and packaging as well as digitally-focused applications.

Screen capture of therugbycompany.co.uk
Screen capture of therugbycompany.co.uk

Building Home Advantage

We were asked to provide a new digital home for The Rugby Company - a platform which would not only display their product in the best light but also showcase the backstories of the featured players. For this we conceived of a separate player’s section to house long-form narratives, keeping the shop pages clean and functional.

The other main consideration was to improve the user experience of the site. We vastly improved the loading times by keeping assets light. We streamlined the checkout experience with a customised build and considered every device from the design stage. The result is a responsive, fast-loading site with an instinctive user journey.

We also studied other retailers of premium sportswear. We noticed the photos really came to life when given some depth so we gained a new member of the team (in the shape of a mannequin), on which we would take angled shots to give an accurate representation of the jerseys before focussing on the fine details The Rugby Company set themselves apart by featuring.

Screen capture of therugbycompany.co.uk

Packaging

For a luxury garment, packaging is not merely a method of housing and protecting the product, it’s an opportunity to introduce some theatre, to reinforce the quality of what’s within and to arouse the senses with different textures.

Every jersey is delivered in a (reassuringly heavy) rigid-walled giftbox. The recipient will first see the griffin glimmer before them as the spot-gloss emblem catches the daylight, they will then find a small pull-ribbon, which upon lifting, releases the magnetic closure hidden beneath.

At this stage they’ll be greeted with a collector’s kit comprising of a certificate of authenticity as well as some other surprises you’ll only ever discover if you become part of The Rugby Co. family and treat yourself to an order.

Finally, with the ‘paperwork’ out of the way, patterned rose-gold tissue paper bound with a wax seal surrounds your hand-crafted jersey delivering a luxury experience you would expect from a couture fashion house.

The Rugby Company App screen
The Rugby Company App screen
The Rugby Company App screen

Social/Building an Away Crowd

Any team (or company) has to build a loyal following to survive. What starts as a few family and friends can someday grow to a stadium of die-hard fans. It was our job to get the ball rolling.

A pillar of this platform was to showcase the manufacturing processes and ethos that goes in to every garment. It was important to the brand that we get-across to fans and potential customers the characteristics that make the label unique, namely:

  • Being manufactured only miles away from the birthplace of the game
  • Using local craftspeople and more traditional methods which are increasingly a rarity
  • To underline the quality and care that goes into every stage of production

By establishing these principles throughout posts on all social channels and combined with low-cost marketing campaigns, we managed to deliver a genuine following of like-minded, passionate rugby fans.

Of course, social networks are key but that’s not the main place our customers are situated.

We don’t see positions, we see brothers.
Each yard of this hallowed turf we earn as one.
Every sinew screaming in the scrum, every tackle
we gladly absorb so the ball remains moving,
so we remain moving.
All this because we are Born of Rugby.