Client Stories – Rugby League World Cup

In late 2016, England were chosen as hosts for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. (The event would ultimately take place in late 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

As the event began to draw closer, Bay Media entered discussions with the event organisers and various city councils regarding tournament advertising.

The Event

The 2021 Rugby League World Cup was set to be a massive event, with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments being held concurrently, and as centrepiece events where all participants would be paid equally. 32 teams from 20 nations would compete across 61 matches.

The initial bid for the event was bolstered by £25 million of UK government support, as part of a commitment to the Northern Powerhouse. The large majority of all matches would therefore be held in northern towns and cities.



Our conversations included the councils of Newcastle, Leeds, York and St Helens, along with the organisers of the world cup. The tournament would be an important event for the towns and cities involved, and the various stakeholders required a supplier who could deliver an appropriate outdoor tournament advertising campaign both reliably and at scale.

Bay Media were a natural fit, having exclusive rights to lamppost banner advertising in each of these locations, and significant experience supporting large sporting events. Our previous campaigns have included the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and the London Olympics.

We were delighted to be selected as the supplier of choice, and a plan was put in place for the event.

A small selection of banners used in Newcastle
The Designs

Given that this would be the first world cup combining the various tournaments into a single event, it was important that the women’s, wheelchair and men’s events receive equal representation.

The brand identity for the event would need to unite all three tournaments, whilst remaining modern and eye-catching. Brand consultancy Mammoth were selected for the job, and ultimately created a bold and comprehensive range of designs for the event.

The designs included a purple colour palette which was chosen for its ‘neutral’ aspect – being neither feminine nor masculine, and a colour not representative of any of the event’s nations or teams.

Each tournament would be represented with its own banner design, incorporating its respective colour in a swirling ribbon element utilised across the entire branding.

In addition, some councils chose to welcome visiting nations to their city with bespoke national banners. These referenced the primary branding styles of the event, but made use of unique colours and icons to pay tribute to the various attending countries.

Lamppost banners used in Leeds
The Locations

As the sole provider of lamppost banner advertising in Newcastle, Leeds, York and St Helens, Bay Media were able to offer a wide range of potential tournament advertising sites. We can also offer useful data including footfall on given streets, estimated views of each banner and the general demographic of a chosen area.

Ultimately, around 125 banners were utilised across these four towns and cities. They were placed in strategic locations, such as Newcastle’s Quayside and Gallowgate, and the streets around Leeds’ Headingley Stadium and St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium.

The majority of the banners would remain in place for a period of 6 weeks, beginning in advance of the event in order to help build awareness of and interest in the tournaments.

The Result

Following sign off on the designs, the banners were printed and distributed to our installation team in stages. Then, armed with the banners, brackets, a cherry picker and detailed installation maps, our installers carefully put up the banners in the agreed locations over the course of several nights.

To demonstrate a job well done, our team provides photographic feedback for each banner once completed. The installations went without a hitch and the outdoor advertising was in place.

During the subsequent weeks, the banners functioned as a highly visible means of advertising for the event. The range of designs ensured that the local population were made aware of all three tournaments, and the volume and proximity of the banners allowed the messages to be delivered with maximum impact.

Lamppost banners are an abundant format, and when used in volume they are highly effective in building anticipation for an event. Raised banners help promote a carnival atmosphere, revitalising a street or city with splashes of colour and a fresh appearance.

We were delighted to support the event and to see the success of the banners. The hard work and creativity from those involved ensured highly effective campaigns whilst the world cup itself was a resounding success.


Bay Media are an out-of-home advertiser operating across the UK. We are the biggest provider of lamppost banner advertising, also offering roadside 6 sheet posters and ‘AirDressing’ displays in regional shopping centres.

Find out about other sports projects we’ve worked on here, or feel free to contact us to find out more.