Following the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, one jersey stood out and it has now been voted the ‘most successful’ product of the year by Japanese retail workers.
It was the best-ever performance of the Japanese Brave Blossoms as the hosts became the first team from Asia to reach the quarter-finals during a tournament that broke viewership, engagement, match and fan-zone attendance records.
Japan defied expectations by beating Ireland and Scotland as rugby-fever swept the host nation, leading to Japan’s jersey selling out in stores all over the country, with over 200,000 items being sold.
In a poll of over 1,500 sports retail staff across Japan, 80 per cent of employees chose the 2019 Rugby World Cup jersey as the ‘most successful’ product of the year, as well as the most ‘need to try’ product of 2019.
The jersey, manufactured by rugby kit supplier Canterbury, was a hit with fans in both Japan and around the world during the tournament.
Canterbury was the official apparel supplier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and provided the official match and training jerseys for: England, Japan, Ireland, Georgia, USA, Canada and Russia.
The Rugby World Cup 2019 licensing programme was the tournament’s largest and most successful ever.
With IMG signing more than 45 local and international licensees for the first Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia, pre-tournament sales of the official online store have outperformed those of the 2015 tournament in England by over 50 per cent.
In Japan, the level of Rugby World Cup interest almost doubled from 26 per cent in 2018 to 44 per cent in 2019, representing more than 50 million people.
46 per cent of the Japanese public thought the Rugby World Cup was the most exciting sporting event of 2019 (70 per cent for events held in Japan), compared to 25 per cent who disagreed, demonstrating the value of hosting to international marketing and national pride.