All Blacks Tours is a dedicated travel company exclusively appointed by the New Zealand Rugby Union to manage official All Blacks supporters’ travel. They offer fans a range of supporter tour options, with packages available to all All Blacks annual events and international fixtures.
Coming off the back of a successful Rugby World Cup (RWC) campaign in 2015, All Blacks Tours were determined to become New Zealand’s Official Travel Agent for RWC Japan 2019. Pitching against tough global competition with more scale and larger budgets, they won the bid, but only after agreeing to a stretch sales target of 12,500 tickets.
They faced four key problems that their marketing strategy had to fix: no Kiwis travel to Japan, they had to sell 12,500 tickets within 20 months, the average package price was unaffordable to most rugby fans and they had a limited budget.
All Blacks Tours knew they needed to capitalise on early interest of RWC 2019, so decided to turn the problem into an opportunity. How could they make their sales opportunity as long as possible, even if they could not control when tickets were made available?
They created a new marketing campaign called ‘Play Advantage’ to invite Kiwis to reserve their tickets before they were actually available to buy. This created a pre-registration window to generate a database of qualified leads that they could harvest for sales.
The front-loaded strategy was risky and made stakeholders unsettled. But with great risk often comes great reward. They achieved a considerable increase in revenue compared to the previous RWC 2015 campaign. With less than a year to go, All Blacks Tours has sold their allocated 12,500 tickets and have made New Zealand the only country to ask World Rugby for more tickets to sell.