Westfield London to show Rugby World Cup

The lines between shopping, entertainment and events will blur further this autumn, with Westfield London’s digital screens set to broadcast Rugby World Cup action.

Digital out of home (DOOH) media operator Ocean Outdoor has secured a partnership with ITV Sport to broadcast highlights and live England games from the tournament, which takes place in Japan between 20 September and 2 November.

Sixty second clips will be broadcast on screens throughout the 2019 World Cup, starting on September 20 when Japan play Russia, up to and including the final on November 2.

Westfield will show the entire England versus France game live on its large full motion screen in Westfield Square, on Saturday 12 October from 9.15am. Under the terms of the wider deal, highlights of the tournament will be carried across multiple large format digital screens operated by Ocean Outdoor in six UK cities.

Ocean’s head of content and sponsorship, Kevin Henry, remarked: “Ocean’s latest partnership with ITV enhances our live and sports highlights DOOH coverage, giving fans and audiences unprecedented access to the action as it happens.”

During the year, Ocean has also broadcast live horse racing, Formula E racing and tennis coverage from Wimbledon.

Broadcasting live sport on big screens is just one of the ways retailers and shopping centres in the UK are evolving, as they look to find new methods of driving footfall to their premises at a challenging time for the industry.

In-store and centre events are becoming a regular way of attracting crowds, with businesses like Hobbycraft, Sweaty Betty and Neal’s Yard developing a cult following by offering crafting classes, exercise sessions, and cosmetics workshops respectively.

Consumer electronics titan Samsung also opened up a new 20,000 sq ft space in London’s King’s Cross on 31 July, which is positioned as more of a location for community events and classes, rather than a store for selling products.