Rugby Travel and Hospitality (RTH), the joint venture between Sodexo and the Mike Burton Group appointed to manage the official hospitality programmes for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, is in the process of selecting caterers for the event.
There will be an appointed caterer supplying all staff for each venue, and though the proposal window is now closed, appointments have yet to be announced.
The company just released the first images of the flagship Twickenham Pavilion, which will be the largest hospitality structure ever created for a Rugby World Cup, covering the equivalent of one and a half rugby pitches.
With a capacity of 3,000 guests per match, the venue aims to be the most interactive structure built for the event, requiring 300 miles of electrical cabling for digital experiences.
RTH said there has been ‘unprecedented early demand’ for Rugby World Cup 2015 (RWC2015) hospitality, with sales expected to exceed those of the France 2007 tournament – the current record holder. Pre-sales have already surpassed all packages sold for the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Sandra Parkinson, head of client experience and innovation at the firm, said: “We are delighted with the high levels of sales and overall interest in the official hospitality programme for RWC2015.
“This level of demand has helped us achieve our goal of creating a truly unique and unforgettable hospitality experience with our Twickenham Pavilion. Rugby hospitality is an integral part of rugby, so we have had to work hard to create an experience that is unlike anything seen before at Rugby World Cup and showcases the first class delivery of a Rugby World Cup in England.”
As part of the preparations, RTH conducted a survey of 500 business representatives, which showed that over 80 per cent of senior business decision makers who buy corporate hospitality believe corporate hospitality at RWC2015 to be extremely effective at improving personal relationships between businesses and their clients.
Additionally, 71 per cent of those who are very interested in attending RWC2015 corporate hospitality believe they are likely to increase the amount they spend with the company they share hospitality with on products and services.
The majority of these business decision makers also indicated they would choose to purchase rugby hospitality over alternative options including international football, F1, horse racing or musical concerts.
Following Deloittes analysis which suggested the event would generate about £2.1bn for the British economy, VisitEngland described RWC2015 as a 'tremendous opportunity' for tourism and hospitality.