The game of Rugby League was founded at the George Hotel in Huddersfield on 29th August 1895. The George Hotel has now been chosen as the location for the first National Rugby League Museum, opening in approx 2024.

Challenge

Banana Kick was briefed by Kirklees Council to propose a suitable activity to celebrate the anniversary of the foundation of the game, in a way that would adhere to the very tight Covid19 restrictions in place.

To further complicate the brief, it was not possible to use the George Hotel as a venue, due to its current condition.

Response

We wanted to create an experience for the fans and attendees that would truly celebrate the anniversary in Huddersfield.

Our idea was to bring all of the major trophies played for in Rugby League together for the first time to Huddersfield. Having created many sports activations, including a fan zone called #RLRocks for the Super League, we knew just how special fans would find this moment.

We approached all of the major governing bodies within Rugby League – The Rugby Football League, The Super League and also the Rugby World Cup 2021 organisers.

All these organisations were very supportive of the idea and, other than the Women’s Rugby World Cup Trophy (still in Australia), all trophies were available on the actual 125th Anniversary date.

We created an identity that could be utilised across all activity both on the day and in the future, reflecting Huddersfield as the birthplace of Rugby League

All these organisations were very supportive of the idea and, other than the Women’s Rugby World Cup Trophy (still in Australia), all trophies were available on the actual 125th Anniversary date.

We created an identity that could be utilised across all activity both on the day and in the future, reflecting Huddersfield as the birthplace of Rugby League.

Members of Kirklees Council, The Rugby Football League and Rugby League World Cup 21, addressed the VIP audience who could have their photo taken with 10 Key Rugby League Trophies including the Rugby League World Cup, Men’s and Wheelchair Trophies, the Betfred Super League Trophy and the Coral Challenge Cup.

Rugby To The Core: read how we planned and managed Kingstone Press Cider’s most ambitious sponsorship yet: their partnership with England Rugby League, Super League, Kingstone Press Championship, League One and the National Conference League.

During the afternoon 100 members of the public were also lucky enough to be able to take a unique souvenir photograph with the trophies away with them.

All aspects of event organisation was coordinated by Banana Kick, working closely with the Kirklees Council team, supported by the Rugby Football League.

Results

The event was a great success with senior representatives from all of the major stakeholders in attendance.

BBC Look North attended the event and led its news program with the Rugby League 125th anniversary.

The feedback from those who attended was very positive.

Huge thanks to Banana Kick – it was a joy for me to work with a company so professional who contributed so much and made this exhibition happen. To work with such lovely people with such commitment to doing a great job was an added bonus.”

Adele Poppleton, Head of Culture and Tourism at Kirklees Council

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