Journey to Japan: The ties that bind travel retail and the Rugby World Cup

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Travel retail and the great sport of rugby have a long history together, of triumph and tears, of pleasure and pain, and crucially, of helping others.

The Tax Free Rugby Association flourished during the early 2000s, with the annual rugby match between the French-dominated Latin Lovers and the Rest of the World team a tremendously well-supported event in Cannes. It was a positive initiative that led to much good-natured friendly rivalry (and occasional cracked rib) in the business.

Can the All Blacks back up their Rugby World Cup triumphs in 2011 and 2015? We’re offering you the chance to join us in Japan to find out.

The TFWA Touch Rugby Sevens Tournament which ran during the mid-2000s (an initiative driven by the late Alan Edwards) was also a popular event that brought players together, including both men and many women.

With the Rugby World Cup’s timing every four years in September and October, Cannes becomes the epicentre of industry support as major matches (including the final) have overlapped with the event.

Many who watched South Africa’s triumph (and England’s narrow, tear-stained defeat) in 2007 will have been part of a great night at the ‘Free of Duty –Rugby World Cup Final Travel Retail Party’, which memorably raised a lot of money for The Smile Train.

A once in a lifetime opportunity to experience Japanese ‘omotenashi’ through Shiseido, in partnership with The Moodie Davitt Report.

Our own rugby competitions have been among the best supported we have run, from the ‘Virtual Rugby World Cup’ charity promotion in 2011 (which raised US$33,000 for various charities) to The Great ARI Rugby World Cup contest in 2015. Entirely coincidentally, the trophy in both years was won by New Zealand, with the Men in Black going for a third title next year.

With the 2019 World Cup kicking off in Japan on 20 September, expect Cannes week to again play host to the drama and emotion that only rugby’s showpiece can draw out.

But wouldn’t you like to be in Japan itself for this experience of a lifetime? (And you don’t even have to miss Cannes.)

Well, courtesy of a partnership between Shiseido Travel Retail and The Moodie Davitt Report, you can join us. We’re offering the chance for two guests from the travel retail industry to visit Japan during the weekend of 26-27 October 2019. You and a partner of your choice can witness the true meaning of ‘omotenashi’ – the art of Japanese hospitality – in Tokyo and Yokohama, including five-star accommodation, business-class travel, transfers and cultural activities, while absorbing the atmosphere of a world-class sporting event.

To put your name forward for this unforgettable experience, simply take a photo of yourself at a Shiseido counter, anywhere in the travel retail world, and send it with your name and company to: before 28 October 2018.

Thanks to all who have entered to date (a small selection from across the world appears below), and we look forward to many more entries before a winner is drawn in coming weeks.

Up Uruguay: José Luis Donagaray, Secretary General of South American duty free association ASUTIL, takes his snap at Montevideo Carrasco Airport, as his country prepares to battle for World Cup honours next year.
Go Cymru!!! says Mark Lewis-Jones of CTD Marketing as the Welshman captures his shot at Duty Free Americas’ store at Panama Tocumen Airport.
Are Belgium even taking part? Well, Brussels Airport Company Retail Manager Yannick Vanroelen is determined to. Best of luck, Yannick.


Doing it the Dutch way: Sports-mad Johan Schölvinck of Market Square Consult at the Kappe Schiphol store at Amsterdam Schiphol.
Flying the Irish flag: Former ARI Chief Executive (and ARI-Middle East Board Member) Eamon Foley takes his chance with a photo on departure from Cannes, at Nice Airport. Below, Barry Geoghegan manages to capture this shot of Shiseido’s pan-airport advertising campaign at Dublin Airport.