The graphics for the rugby ball to be used in the sixth Rugby World Cup, which starts in France tonight, have been designed by Mad River.
The Bournemouth-based consultancy was appointed to design the insignia for the ball by the International Rugby Board two years ago, following an unpaid creative pitch. Mad River beat design teams from Nike and former Rugby World Cup ball designer Gilbert to the contract.
The group was invited to pitch by the IRB having worked with the Board for the past six years on its awards ceremony. Gilbert, which designed the ball for all five previous Rugby World Cups, will manufacture this year’s ball.
The ball graphics feature a blue and green chevron pattern on a white background, with the IRB Rugby World Cup logo in the middle. It will be used in all 20 World Cup games taking place in France and the UK.
‘The IRB briefed us to emphasis the World Cup brand over the IRB brand,’ says Mad River creative director Simon Gater. ‘This was a challenge as the rugby ball is a difficult shape to work with, and we were restricted to painting only certain areas of the ball, because of where players make contact with it, and the way it looks in the air.’
The design has also been developed into a range of products including a replica ball, juggling balls and key rings.
The opening ceremony of Rugby World Cup will be held at the Stade de France later today, followed by the first match between France and Argentina at 8pm tonight.