Rugby Cup Gets Master Licensee

Rugby World Cup has given Elite Sports Properties the global master licensing rights for the 2015 tournament, which will be held in England.

ESP has already appointed its first sub-licensee–Sportfolio–and will take on the global apparel license and partner with the Rugby apparel brand Canterbury.

A range of merchandise for the eighth Rugby World Cup will be available on the RWC beginning in May, but ESP is previewing some of the Canterbury items now at select stores in the U.K.

"The awarding of the master licensing rights is a key element of the Rugby World Cup 2015 commercial program. We are delighted to see official merchandise on sale three years out from the event, providing fans with the opportunity to engage with Rugby's premier event and purchase official product earlier than for any previous Rugby World Cup,” says Bernard Lapasset, chairman, Rugby World Cup Limited. “The success of the licensing program was one of the highlights of an exceptional Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand. It was a core element of the commercial program that underpins the development of rugby worldwide."