It is the ultimate sporting sliding doors moment. But if England are able to lift the Webb Ellis Cup, Mark Borkowski, a PR expert who has represented Diego Maradona, Michael Jackson and brands such as Virgin and Cadbury, predicts that England players will easily treble any earnings from sponsorship and marketing opportunities in the short term – and insists they will never be out of work again.
“There are two overriding factors in play,” he says. “First there’s social context of what we’re going through as a nation with Brexit, which makes people desperate for any form of relief,” he says. “People wake up to the B word. They go to sleep hearing the B word. The country is divided. In the middle of all this crap winning the Rugby World Cup would be a huge piece of good news and naturally magnify the attention on the team.
“Then there’s rugby union’s strong connection with the professions. Sponsors will want these intelligent young men to represent their brands. Broadcasters will snap them up once they retire. And there is also a lucrative career on the corporate and after-dinner circuit for any sporting hero with a story to tell. These players will never be out of work again.”
England’s 31-man squad have already earned £137,220 each for making the final and victory against South Africa would be worth another £41,298 a man. Yet those figures will pale into insignificance compared to the millions that will come their way in commercial spin-offs in the years ahead providing they are successful.
But winning is everything. As Borkowski points out, those England players who played only in the 2007 final defeat to the Springboks have nowhere near the commercial clout of the Clive Woodward side that lifted the World Cup in 2003.
Read full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/nov/01/england-players-rugby-world-cup-money