JOE kicks off major rugby strategy with ‘House of Rugby’ show

As part of its wider rugby content strategy and ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, JOE has today unveiled its new rugby show, House of Rugby, hosted by James Haskell, rugby royalty Mike Tindall and presenter Alex Payne.

Alex Payne and James Haskell in the House of Rugby studio

House of Rugby is recorded in a purpose-built studio in JOE’s London HQ. The weekly show comes in the form of both a video and audio series as well as being supported with articles and live events for fans. It will analyse the biggest talking points in the world of rugby and aims to take the audience behind the curtain to reveal what it’s really like to be in the dressing room.

JOE has partnered with Guinness for the show, with media planning has handled by Carat and negotiated through The Story Lab, both part of Dentsu Aegis Network.

Payne, Haskell and Tindall will be joined in the studio by other household rugby names such as Nigel Owens, Mike Phillips, Nick Kennedy, Nick Easter and more. Ex England Sevens Captain and fellow pundit and commentator Rob Vickerman was the guest for episode one.

Hosts Alex Payne and James Haskell with guest Rob Vickerman

Rugby fans can listen on all major podcast platforms, and watch on YouTube. Show highlights will also go out on JOE’s social media channels, including the ‘RugbyJOE’ Instagram channel. Each episode will be accompanied by written features.

House of Rugby is the first of a number of major rugby projects at JOE, which will go live over the coming weeks and months.

JOE’s Head of Content, Evan Fanning, commented: “It’s a massively exciting moment for JOE to launch House of Rugby. We have been working on our rugby strategy over recent months and with less than a year to go to the World Cup in Japan it’s the perfect time to launch the show. In James Haskell and Mike Tindall we couldn’t have found two better, more engaging personalities and they will be beautifully guided by the best presenter in the business in Alex Payne.”

“From the success of Unfiltered and Boys Don’t Cry, we know how to deliver shows to mass audiences across multiple platforms, in a way no one else is doing. We’re excited to bring a truly unique approach to rugby coverage in the UK.”

JOE’s Managing Director, Gavin Johnson, added: “House of Rugby exemplifies JOE’s strategy of creating top quality, professionally produced original shows across multiple platforms. It’s all about delivering content that appeals to our highly valuable young male audience, and we are doing exactly that with House of Rugby – across video, audio, the written word and live events. Working with GUINNESS through the Carat team has been a seamless process as we share not just brand values, but a heritage in the world of Rugby.”

 As part of the partnership, and in an industry first that sees franchise shows created for both UK and Irish markets, JOE’s Irish counterpart is launching ‘Baz & Andrew’s House of Rugby’, hosted by Ulster and Ireland legend Andrew Trimble and ex-Munster winger Barry Murphy. The first episode went live on Monday.

Colum Campbell, Senior Brand Manager at Guinness, said: “It’s great to be teaming up with JOE on House of Rugby. GUINNESS has a long and deep association with rugby and we’re constantly looking for new and innovative ways that we can connect with rugby fans from across Ireland and the UK, and celebrate the bonds that make rugby so special.”

Dee Levison, Client Director at Carat said “We are excited to be working with JOE on this partnership with GUINNESS. We see this as a great opportunity to leverage Guinness’ heritage in rugby and the JOE audience across both UK and Ireland.”  

House of Rugby is one of a number of new multi-platform shows created this year by JOE. Most recently, JOE launched ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ with Russell Kane – a show that aims to get men talking about the things they don’t usually talk about. Series two kicks off in November. JOE’s critically acclaimed ‘Unfiltered’ will also return for a second series in the coming weeks with a brand new host, after James O’Brien stepped down due to contractual commitments.

You can subscribe to House of Rugby here, and watch on JOE’s YouTube channel. You can follow all the action at #HouseofRugby on social media.


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