Greene King - From Novice to Ruckstar

The Six Nations Rugby Championship not only captivates millions with its thrilling matches but also inspires countless individuals to engage with rugby, a sport renowned for its camaraderie and cultural significance. A unique initiative, spearheaded by rugby union legend Ugo Monye and rugby novice Jake Quickenden, sought to explore this engaging sport’s depths and demonstrate its accessibility to newcomers. Their journey, supported by Greene King, highlighted rugby’s potential to unite diverse groups and foster friendly fan environments, challenging the barriers to sports participation.

Campaign Objectives:

  • To dispel myths about the complexity and inaccessibility of rugby for beginners.
  • To showcase the friendly nature of rugby fans and promote the sport as a means of cultural education and social connection.
  • To encourage the British public, especially novices, to consider rugby as a welcoming and engaging sport to follow and play.

Key Insights:

  • Easiest Position Perception: 37% of respondents perceived the Wing position, Ugo Monye’s specialty, as the most accessible for beginners. This initiative aimed to validate or challenge this belief with firsthand experiences.
  • Friendliness of Rugby Fans: The campaign underscored the finding that 40% of respondents view rugby fans as the friendliest, surpassing tennis and football, attributing to rugby’s unique community spirit.
  • Cultural and Social Benefits: Highlighting that 40% believe the Six Nations Championship offers cultural insights and 52% feel more inclined to initiate conversations during matches, the campaign showcased rugby’s role in fostering community and understanding.

Media Engagement and Coverage:

Leveraging the appeal of Ugo Monye and Jake Quickenden, the campaign achieved significant media exposure, with a total reach of over 205 million through 353 coverage opportunities. Notable platforms included SIREN, BBC Coventry and Warwickshire, BBC WM, ITV Anglia TV, and Sky News Radio, each featuring discussions about the Greene King Six Nations tour, the sport’s welcoming fan base, and the cultural insights garnered from watching the games.

Impact and Outcomes:

  • Increased Rugby Interest: The campaign significantly boosted interest in rugby among novices and casual fans, with many expressing a desire to learn more about the sport and even try playing it.
  • Enhanced Cultural Appreciation: By touring the Six Nations host cities and experiencing the sport in various cultural contexts, Ugo and Jake illuminated rugby’s role in promoting cultural appreciation and understanding.
  • Community Building: The emphasis on the friendliness of rugby fans and the potential for sports to unite people underscored the campaign’s success in fostering a sense of community and belonging among viewers and participants.


“From Novice to Ruckstar” transcended being a mere sports promotion campaign to become a cultural movement, celebrating rugby’s inclusivity, its capacity to unite diverse groups, and its role in facilitating cultural exchange. Through the journey of Ugo Monye and Jake Quickenden, the campaign vividly illustrated rugby’s appeal not just as a sport but as a bridge between cultures, a conduit for social interaction, and a testament to the power of sports in creating a more connected and understanding world.