Case Study

Smashing retail targets with Harlequins

  • 73% Increase in Revenue
  • 620K Impressions on Social
  • 11x Return on Investment

Each year, Harlequins Rugby hold a Big Game charity match at Twickenham Stadium and release a limited-edition rugby shirt to be worn by the players on the day. With the 18/19 edition featuring innovative Flash Technology from Adidas, how did Harlequin FC make sure they could unleash the full potential of the exclusive design and meet their retail targets? 

What were the main business goals? 

Harlequins wanted to get fans excited about the charity shirt and raise awareness for their Big Game 11 Charity Match.   

The design was inspired by Harlequins’ London roots.  It features industry-first Flash Technology which lights up when exposed to the flash of a camera.  

However the shirt would only be worn by players for one match, unlike in previous years when the charity shirt was worn for international matches, so the pressure was on to maximise the product’s lifespan. 

How did Red Hot Penny help Harlequins achieve success? 

We provided advisory and co-ordinated Harlequins’ retail and marketing activity for an integrated approach to the campaign. 

Our paid media team also managed PPC and paid social activity for the campaign. 

We attended an initial photo shoot with players to ensure the assets produced would be suitable for traditional marketing and online activity. 

Glimpses of the promo video was used in a 1-week teaser campaign across social platforms including YouTube, to build anticipation for the shirt. We also helped set-up a custom landing page to showcase the technology.  

We saw adult shirt sales storm early in the campaign, so adapted our strategy to create youth campaign assets by replicating the player photo shoot to help drive more youth shirt sales. 

During matches leading up to the charity game, we supported offline marketing efforts – specifically Harlequins’ stadium activation event. This gave fans the chance to get a branded picture with Harlequins players and mascots in the “Quick as a Flash” photobooth. 

What were the results? 

The charity shirt sold out through a combination of online and in-store purchases. 

The 18/19 campaign outsold the 17/18 campaign by 73% for revenue and 73.5% for quantity sold within the first quarter of our 18/19 campaign. 

Finally, Big Game 11 was a selloutand saw 80,000 people attendTwickenham Stadium where the team played in their Flash Technology rugby shirts.  

What our client said

Red Hot Penny really impressed us with their retail knowledge and furthermore their passion for our brand.

Our club motto is “Nunquam Dormio” (I Never Sleep) which underlines how important it is for us to continually evolve with the times and innovate.

This is why we chose Red Hot Penny to work with us to ensure we’re surpassing what our fans expect from us.

Amber Keel, Retail Manager Harlequins RFC

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