Kiwis in Spain Blog

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2022 05 Espana VS Classic All Blacks

Kiwis in business series: Kiwihouse Rugby, Interview with Paul Nicholson

We will be showcasing a Kiwi-run business on a regular basis. The first business we interviewed was Kiwihouse. Zoe sat down with Paul Nicholson, co-founder of Kiwihouse to learn more about who they are, what they do and what is on the agenda this year for the company.

Zoe asked five simple questions…

1. What is your business about?

If you were to ask Kiwihouse who they are, the answer is simple, they are a group of professionals with a shared love and passion for rugby.

Kiwihouse beginnings…

In 2017, the All Blacks won the Princesa de Asturias award. The All Blacks representatives in attendance performed the haka to his Majesty the King and Queen, and those who tuned into the awards ceremony. This moment gave New Zealand great exposure here in Spain. Soon after the awards, Paul went and saw New Zealand Rugby with different ideas to help continue to build on this exposure.

Paul Nicholson Kiwihouse Co-Founder

In 2017, the All Blacks won the Princesa de Asturias award. The All Blacks representatives in attendance performed the haka to his Majesty the King and Queen, and those who tuned into the awards ceremony. This moment gave New Zealand great exposure here in Spain. Soon after the awards, Paul went and saw New Zealand Rugby with different ideas to help continue to build on this exposure.

From here, Kiwihouse was born.

The first project was the All Blacks Clinics, with involvement from New Zealand rugby union player, Brad Linklater. The first clinic launched in Madrid in July 2018 and sold out within 24 hours, and the second in 2019 in Granada.

2. Rugby isn’t the most popular sport here in Spain but it is slowly growing in popularity. What is Kiwihouse doing to help promote the game in Spain?

Apart from the big events that Kiwihouse are involved with, Paul wanted to connect back to grassroots rugby. They set up a rugby club here in Madrid in September 2022, where they have had 160 kids join. None of these kids had ever played rugby before in their lives but have now fallen in love with the game. 

The rugby club’s point of differentiation is that the coaches who have been involved either represent Spain or have previously represented Spain.

Starting with baby rugby sessions for 2 – 3 year olds, the club numbers continue to grow with children in the under 6s, under 8s and under 10s categories. The focus is to start them young and to build the confidence with a high intensity contact sport over the years.

Rugby is considered as a sleeping giant by the President of the Spanish Rugby Federation, Juan Carlos Martín, which Paul agrees with. Even though Spain has only been to one Rugby World Cup back in 1999, there is a lot of potential for rugby to grow. But there needs to be involvement from everyone to give it the push it needs; institutions, clubs, players and parents.

Rugby does have a lot of competition but there is a big opportunity here for success and growth.

3. What has been your biggest business highlight for you?

Like many of us Kiwis who were able to attend the Classic All Blacks vs. Spain rugby match in 2022, Paul said that the most moving moment for him was hearing the New Zealand national anthem played at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium and then the haka being performed in front of a crowd of 40,000. The crowd absolutely loved it and it was a great image for New Zealand.

This year’s, “The Match” rugby match between Spain and Argentina is the big focus for Kiwihouse. Tickets for the game are sold on

4. Spain is playing Argentina on 26 August 2023, what can we expect from the game?

This match will be the last game that the Pumas will play before facing England in its first group Game at the RWC. Argentina are taking it very seriously and it is highly likely the starting 23 will be the same players that will be starting against England. For Spain it will be the first time that they have faced a Tier 1 nation of this calibre in many years. Let´s hope that this will be the first of many games for Spain against Tier 1 nations to help them improve over the coming years.

The Match is being played at the Civitas Metropolitano stadium in Madrid which is a world class stadium. The stadium includes many VIP areas which can be enjoyed from as little as 62.50€ per person. Regular tickets are available from 30€.

5. What is the plan for the Rugby Sevens?

After the success in both Málaga and Sevilla with them hosting the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in 2022, Madrid finds itself hosting the first World Rugby Sevens Series Grand Final in 2024. This momentous event is hosted by World Rugby and the City of Madrid with some involvement from Kiwihouse.

Kiwihouse has really helped to bring more exposure to the game and we are excited to follow along to see what they have planned for the coming years.

Tickets are still available for the Spain vs. Argentina rugby match on Saturday 26 August 2023. You can find here and you can follow Kiwihouse on Instagram @_kiwihouse_

Zoe Romero Ransley

For the Kiwihouse business listing click above.

Kiwihouse Rugby reached its five year milestone in 2022. Below you can see how far Kiwihouse has come in such a short time and what has been achieved post the COVID-19 era.


October 2017

Historical Event in Spain

In 2017 representatives of the All Blacks were recognised with the prestigious Princesa de Asturias award. The haka that was performed on stage in front of his Majesty the King and Queen struck a tone with every Spaniard.


Kiwihouse was founded

Kiwihouse was formed in 2018 off the backdrop of what happened in Asturias and most importantly the symbol that best represents New Zealand – the game of rugby.

August 2018

All Blacks Clinics Launch

New Zealand Rugby partnered with Kiwihouse to launch the first All Blacks Clinic whereby 100 places were sold out in less than 24 hours. Media coverage was achieved on a national basis.

September 2018

All Blacks Clinic Madrid

Over 100 teenager rugby players enjoyed one week of coaching by former All Black players and coaching staff. All the players left fully enriched. As former All Blacks (Anthony Tuitavake and Bull Allen) explained to them “better people make better rugby players!”


AIG 100 year centenary

In 2019 AIG the principal sponsor of the All Blacks celebrated its 100 year anniversary through a series of events which Kiwihouse was engaged to deliver. We welcomed to Madrid former All Blacks Charles Piutau and Malakai Fekitoa to assist with local activities in conjunction with AIG.

September 2019

All Blacks Clinic Grenada

In the summer of 2019 Grenada hosted the All Blacks Clinic in the high performance training centre in Sierra Nevada. This centre was strictly for high performance athletes, so it was a privilege for our participants to share an environment alongside other high profile Spanish athletes. Anthony Tuitavake returned to Spain and was joined by another All Black great Hosea Gear.

October 2019

Spain vs Classic All Blacks Launch – The Match

Kiwihouse sells 37,000 tickets within six weeks! In Q3 of 2019, the Spanish XV Team needed to play more matches and Kiwihouse was asked to look at potential opponents. The following project was born. THE MATCH – A first match between the Classic All Blacks and the Spanish Leones at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium was launched.

February 2021

The Madrid 7s Tournament

In February 2021, with the suspension of the World Sevens Series from March 2020, Kiwihouse was appointed by FER and World Rugby to organise and run a two-week International 7s Tournament. The Madrid 7s International Tournament was attended by 12 international teams, with 6 men’s and 6 women’s teams.

January 2022

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Malaga & Seville

The men’s competition had 15 participants in both venues, while the women’s competition had 11 in Malaga and 12 in Seville. More than 800 people lived together in a bubble for two weeks, respecting and guaranteeing all the sanitary measures in force, which allowed the tournament to take place as normal.
In the men’s draw, South Africa won in both Malaga and Seville, while in the women’s draw, the United States dominated in Malaga and Australia in Seville.

May 2022

Spain XV vs Classic Blacks Match

On 21 May 2022 the Wanda Metropolitano was dressed in rugby and the Leones faced the Classic All Blacks for the first time in history. THE MATCH was attended by approximately 40,000 spectators and was broadcast on television in both Spain and New Zealand on Movistar’s VAMOS and SKY channels. In the week leading up to the match, the city of Madrid gave the Classic All Blacks a warm welcome and Kiwihouse organised numerous activities.

August 2023

Spain XV Rugby Selection vs. Argentina XV Rugby

On August 26, 2023, the second edition of ‘The Match’ was held at the Civitas Metropolitano stadium in Madrid that saw the Spanish XV Rugby Selection, Los Leones face off against Argentina.
The fixture was an official event of the Spanish Rugby Federation celebrating it’s centenary and, in addition, served as preparation for Los Pumas, who participated from September 8 to October 2023 in France at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Work with Kiwihouse

PR, Sponsorship & Marketing

Find out why you should connect your corporate brand with rugby…
Through our combined professional experience we have constructed our inherent capabilities specifically designed to use rugby as a tool to enrich both brands and sport. Rugby could just be that differentiator that will allow for competitive advantage.
Connecting a brand to the core values of rugby requires a strategic review and activation in order to maximize your investment.
Kiwihouse offers the outsourcing services for marketing and communication to Rugby Clubs, Sports Organisations and other stakeholders; a complete package that includes the search, management and activation of sponsors, social media communication strategy and internal and external communications.

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