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Raising the roof at the home of English Rugby

Raising the roof at the home of English Rugby

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With Great Britain hosting the Rugby World Cup later this year, Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby will become the focal point for the world’s media and a mecca for rugby fans from around the globe.

Being such a landmark on the sporting stage, Twickenham stadium is constantly looking for ways to maximise its presence and promote its significance as a historic sporting venue for international rugby.

When the marketing team at Twickenham wanted to update the rather drab concrete exterior of the stadium, it turned to the strategic vision and insight of Service Graphics, the UK’s leading provider of marketing and communications solutions, to transform the existing architectural structure into something that would project a strong identity.  The result, was a series of vertical banners printed on KAPA tech and supplied by Antalis, which were fixed onto the 51 vertical columns that circumnavigate the stadium.  This immediately transformed the building’s façade to create a dramatic visual identity that has since become a permanent feature of the stadium.

John Bayly, Account Director – Sport, at Service Graphics, explained:“Our brief formed part of the Rugby Football Union’s (RFU) vision to transform Twickenham stadium into ‘Fortress England’ and create a visual ‘noticeboard’ to profile and celebrate its triumphs and achievements over the years.”

The challenge for John and his project team was to find a substrate that was strong and durable enough to withstand the elements, while also being light weight for more flexible handling and installation onto the 32 metre high pillars.

Service Graphics was alerted to KAPAtech, a new and innovative lightweight foam board that is ideal for use with exterior applications.  With its pioneering composition of Polyurethane foam core and aluminium skins, KAPAtech provided the rigidity John was looking for while remaining extremely light in weight.

“The combination of the PUR foam coated in an aluminium skin and its lightweight composition made KAPAtech just the substrate we were looking for,” says John.  “The downside, was that the official launch date for the product would have delayed the start of the project.”

Fortunately, production of the substrate was brought forward by 3A Composites especially for the Twickenham installation, while Antalis cut the board down to size to help Service Graphics meet the tigh deadlines set for printing and installation.

Each of the 51 banners are printed to display all the victories of English Rugby over the years, with banners easily replaceable when new triumphs need to be added.

John continued: “When using a new and untried product there are never any guarantees as to how it will perform.  However the results have been fantastic.  Far better than we had originally anticipated. There has been no weather impact, and the smooth finish of the KAPAtech board means we can easily vinyl over the top to create temporary coverings when required, which is much quicker and more cost effective.”

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