World Rugby has launched a new ‘Women in Rugby’ brand identity, stating that the development of the women’s game represents the single greatest opportunity for the sport to grow in the next decade.
Women in Rugby will be backed by a landmark global campaign, ‘Try and Stop Us’, and is aimed at driving increased participation and engagement among fans, audiences, players and investors in the women’s game.
The global campaign, developed with the support of national unions and regions, uses imagery and the inspiring stories of 15 women and girls involved in rugby at all levels of the game from around the world. The case studies tackle how these women have challenged barriers to participation and demonstrated how rugby has empowered them to get where they are today, both on and off the pitch.
The campaign has been launched as the World Rugby Council convenes with 17 female members in position for the first time. This represents the largest-ever representation of women on Council, following the governance reform that was introduced in 2017 as a result of World Rugby’s strategic global action plan, ‘Accelerating the global development of women in rugby 2017-25’.
Participation levels in women’s rugby are at an all-time high with 2.7 million players globally – making up more than a quarter of the global playing population – and a 28% increase in registered players since 2017. For the second year running, more young girls have got into rugby globally than boys and more than 40% of rugby’s 400 million fanbase are female.
World Rugby Chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, said: “We firmly believe that the development of women in rugby is the single greatest opportunity for our sport to grow in the next decade, which is why we are proud to share our exciting new brand identity.”
“Not only is women’s rugby experiencing unprecedented growth around the world but we are well on the way to realising our vision of a more equitable game for all through the implementation of our ambitious strategic women’s action plan, which is having a transformational effect on all areas of the game.”
“From the highest levels of the sport’s governance to grassroots participation, we are wholly committed to driving gender-balance and ensuring that women have equal opportunities both on and off the field, driving increased involvement and engagement in the women’s game from fans, audiences, players and investors.”
The brand proposition will underpin all women’s rugby activity, giving it its own identity and playing a central role in inspiring more women to get involved in the sport, growing the global fan base and attracting more investment into the game.
The campaign has already transcended the world of rugby, gaining support from high profile individuals from the wider sporting and international community, including 39-time grand slam tennis champion Billie Jean King, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Dame Heather Rabbatts DBE, the first female independent director of the Football Association.
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “By launching this unique brand identity and proposition we are demonstrating our unwavering commitment to growing participation and exposure for women’s rugby around the globe, a core strand of the women in rugby action plan.”
“The campaign – Try and Stop Us – is a call to action designed to drive engagement with the women’s game by showcasing unstoppable women in rugby around the world. It focuses on celebrating the unique values of rugby and aligns with our overarching message, Rugby Builds Character. We want to communicate to every female across that globe, that when you choose to start playing rugby, it has the power to make you unstoppable.”