What Businesses Can Learn from the the 2023 Rugby World Cup Bids: Meeting Tender Requirements

Tendering in Focus: What Businesses Can Learn from the the 2023 Rugby World Cup Bids – Meeting Tender Requirements

The 2023 Rugby World Cup will be the tenth that nations will meet to decide the Web Ellis Trophy on the 200th anniversary of the sport’s ‘invention.’ The hosts will be drawn from Ireland, France or South Africa; all of who have submitted strong bids. So what can businesses from the sole trader to large corporations learn from these bids and apply into their own tenders. This series will explore just that and make suggestions on how to improve your tenders.

Meeting Tender Requirements (Part 1)


Meeting tender requirements may seem obvious:  but many tenders by firms often fail to adequately meet all of the tender criteria and objectives and are therefore simply ruled out. The bids for 2023 present how to do this in a way that meets and exceeds the requirements and eliminates risk in the mind of the buyer. The following example at the first tender requirement and demonstrates how this has been delivered by the three rugby nations.

Bid Requirement 1: Venues and Infrastructure Commensurate with a Top-Tier Major Event

This is exceptionally strong in the South African bid with the magnificent Capetown Stadium (above) dwarfed by the FNB Arena in Johannesburg which holds almost 95,000 fans. While Ireland can’t outdo South Africa or even France in terms of overall capacity, they have a proposition that both meets the criteria and draws out specific key benefits that potentially compensate for the gap in capacity. Ireland’s bid places emphasis on Croke Park; as the third largest stadium in Europe (after the Camp Nou of FC Barcelona and Wembley in London). The Irish bid also draws on inclusiveness involving stadia in both Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and in both traditional rugby venues such as the Aviva (Dublin), Kingspan (Belfast) and Thomond Park (Limerick); alongside Gaelic Athletic venues including Pearse Stadium (Galway) and Casement Park (Belfast).

The French bid will also exceed criteria with the Stade de France (Saint-Denis on the outskirts of the Paris); Stade Veoldrome (Marseille); Parc des Princes (Paris); Parc Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon) and Stade Pieree-Mauroy (Lille) all boasting 50,000 and higher capacities. The crowing glory is the 81,338 Stade de France; a stadium that boasts both the Rugby and Football World Cup Finals in its back catalogue.

So what’s the learning? These bids not just meet the criteria they exceed it and draw out significant benefits. The South African bid will accommodate more fans than any previous World Cup; a benefit they raise and highlight. If you stand in the shoes of the buyer, wanting to grow both rugby and the Rugby World Cup this South African benefit aligns with this aspiration and as such provides a compelling case on this primary requirement. At the other end of the capacity scale, Ireland place emphasis on meeting the requirement but they know they lie third in terms of capacity, so they draw on a wider range of linked benefits while critically demonstrating they meet the criteria. The cross-cutting nature of the stadia and the possible global television reach of some 80 million diaspora are highlighted as very strong benefits. The lesson here is that even where the Irish bid on this criteria appears, at first glance, to be at a disadvantage there is opportunity in tendering to turn a potential drawback in to advantage.  What each bid does well is to understand and communicate the full range of benefits of their nation’s products and services. Now, ask yourself this; how well does your business do this when tendering?

Want to know how to do this click here.

Next in the Series: How the Three Nations have Removed financial risk from the mind of the buyer.