Leicester Tigers Delighted with Awards at Rugby Expo
By Community | November 16, 2012
Leicester Tigers’ home at Welford Road has been named Rugby Venue of the Year.
The club scooped a win double at the Rugby Expo awards in London with the ‘Tigers Family’ campaign also selected as Marketing Innovation of 2012.
Rugby Expo is the leading global conference and exhibition for both rugby codes and brings together representatives of unions, clubs, rights holders, brands, broadcasters, suppliers and innovators.
Leicester Tigers chief executive Simon Cohen said: “We’re delighted that Leicester Tigers topped the judging panel’s decisions in two categories.
“Welford Road is an iconic home of rugby. It is the biggest dedicated club rugby stadium in the country, with the biggest home crowds in the country, and we take huge pride in the number of world-class players who have played here either for Tigers or with visiting teams from across the UK, Europe and beyond.
“Our supporters were bitterly disappointed to learn that Welford Road would not host matches at the Rugby World Cup in England in three years’ time, not just because it means they miss an historic opportunity to witness Test match rugby at their own home ground, but also because they all appreciate that this is a superb rugby stadium and a great place to watch a game.
“The IRB chose to set its Rugby World Cup criteria based primarily on pitch size and facilities for players and media, whereas the supporters who attend games here prefer to focus on the entire package of matchday.
“From the judging panel’s decision to present us with the award as Rugby Venue of the Year, it seems a lot of people outside the club agree with that standpoint.
“Welford Road is a stadium built exclusively for rugby, the players reach the pitch through the crowd, the crowd are close to the action on all four sides, they generate great noise from the stands and it all helps to produce a top-class rugby venue and occasion here.
“We’ve hosted matches against international teams five times in the last seven seasons as well as welcoming England Saxons and age-group sides in that time, and of course host big crowds in the Aviva Premiership and in Europe week in week out.
“It is entirely appropriate that the award as Rugby Venue of the Year has been presented in the same week that we welcomed an international touring side to play here and enjoyed a top-class fixture with the Maori All Blacks which will live long in the memory of the supporters.”
The Marketing Innovation award recognises the club’s ‘Tigers Family’ campaign, especially in social media.
Tigers head of brand development Chris Rose, who accepted both awards on the club’s behalf at the Rugby Expo dinner in London, said: “There are huge levels of support for Leicester Tigers and we enjoy amazing loyalty from our supporters.
“There is support for Tigers all over the world as well as from our 14,000 season ticket holders and matchday crowds at Welford Road.
“The size of that following continues to grow, with our supporters welcoming new members of the Tigers Family at every home match. With more than 12,000 members in the Junior Tigers Club, we are also in a good place to continue to grow in the future.”