2019 Rugby World Cup

Crouch, Touch, Pause & Engage!


TVNZ partnered with Spark Sport to bring the Rugby World Cup to New Zealand on Spark Sports new online sports platform. Our challenge was to create New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup Hub in a small internal studio space.


The studio was bisected into two areas the ‘box seat’ used for the main anchors and interviews, and ‘the pitch’ complete with grass turf where the presenters could link directly to the venue, analyse statistics, present AR explainers, teams rankings and game replays.


We took our inspiration from Japanese design principles. The floor design was a Hinomaru (the circle of the sun), a white floor with a red rostrum representing the Japanese flag. The sharp line desk housed Fujisan – Mount Fuji – the tournaments key icon and revered and respected by the Japanese for its spiritual importance. For the rest of the studio we used a combination of woods inspired by hinoki, a native Japanese cypress used for building traditional structures likes temples and shrines, and whites (a peaceful colour symbolising truth) which we lit with reds (strength and passion) and yellows (bravery) tying it into the overall graphical look, making it feel lush and colourful and unlike your typical sports set.


The concave desk was designed specifically to integrate AR technology on to the front of it. We scanned in textures from the set and used HDR lighting information to integrate the augmented 3D models seamlessly into the studio space. We created countdowns, scores, quiz questions and the Webb Ellis Cup all animating out from the rostrum, seamlessly blending graphics into the real world.


On the pitch we had a large 12m video wall that we could display graphics and video links. The pitch was also home to our more complicated augmented reality such as maps, stadiums, player profiles and detailed AR explainers. We were also lucky enough to scan all of the New Zealand players in 3D allowing us to use them in the augmented space in an innovative way never seen on New Zealand TV before.



Executive Producer – Denis Harvey
Design Director – Jacob Slack
Lead Designer – Mark Fleming
Designer – Nick Henderson
Designer – Leon Senf
AR Designer – Dity Maharaj, Declan Norris, Matthew Bellamy
Set Builder – Brett Schwieters
Production Management – Denise Maylin, Josh Wolfe