London Sevens: Darth Vader storms Twickenham
Rugby Football Union ups its marketing campaign ahead for galactic-themed finale of the HSBC Sevens World Series
As the HSBC Sevens World Series reaches round six in Hong Kong this weekend, England Rugby has upped its marketing campaign with a new TV ad for the ninth and final round at Twickenham.
The ad sees Star Wars villain Darth Vader stare down England 7s captain Tom Mitchell in the Twickenham tunnel before leading out his stormtroopers into a packed stadium.
A galactic theme has been chosen for the two-day event at the home of England Rugby, which attracted more than 113,000 spectators in 2014 with a record-breaking 75,000 sell out on the Saturday.
2015 promises to take fans on a ride into galaxies far, far away with a weekend of action that is bigger, better and louder.
Sophie Goldschmidt on the Marriott London Sevens
The finale of the world series falls in a bumper month for Twickenham bosses, with the European Champions Cup and Aviva Premiership final also at the stadium, and the expectations are that the Marriott London Sevens can surpass last year’s monsters-themed event.
Sophie Goldschmidt, England Rugby chief commercial and marketing officer, expects the 2015 finale to be bigger and better than ever.
“We have chosen a galactic theme for the 2015 Marriott London Sevens and the famous faces from Star Wars will really help bring this to life in and around Twickenham Stadium,” said Goldschmidt.
“The atmosphere here at Twickenham is part of what makes the tournament so successful and such a big hit with fans.
“Last year’s event was a cracking weekend stuffed full of fantastic rugby action, some wild moves, both on and off the field, and some brilliant fancy dress efforts.
“2015 promises to take fans on a ride into galaxies far, far away with a weekend of action that is bigger, better and louder.”
The series makes its annual pilgrimage to Hong Kong for three days from Friday, one of the most-anticipated rounds on the calendar, before heading to Japan next week.
Guinness PRO12 leaders Glasgow Warriors then host the penultimate round at their Scotstoun Stadium home, expected to be for the final time, on the second weekend of May, before the most exciting show in rugby heads south to London for 16-17 May.
Looking for a first world series title since 2009, South Africa lead the standings with 93 points from the opening five rounds, but the top three are separated by seven points with reigning champions New Zealand (88) and Fiji (86) close behind.
The world’s best sevens nations also have an extra incentive with the top four from this year’s world series securing automatic qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, where Rugby Sevens will be inaugurated.
Simon Amor’s England, who were selected to qualify for Great Britain, are currently in fifth place with 68 points, three points behind Australia.