World Rugby has announced a ‘transformative’ five-year partnership with Mastercard, which will become the founding Global Partner of the governing body’s Women in Rugby programme.
The deal will ‘accelerate’ the development of the programme, which the federation says will supercharge its ambitions for women in the sport of rugby.
The brand will focus on growing youth participation and raising the global profile of the women’s global competitions and calendar, as well as becoming the first Worldwide Partner for Rugby World Cup 2021 and Rugby World Cup 2025, as preferred card for both tournaments. It will also become the first Global Partner the WXV - the new annual global women’s competition due to start in 2023.
In addition to the partnership, World Rugby has launched a new Women in Rugby Team Powered marketing campaign which aims to inspire more women and girls to play and watch the sport by showcasing the position of rugby as the ‘ultimate team sport – on and off the pitch’. The campaign will showcase the ‘power of togetherness’, and deliver the message that a team is greater than the sum of its parts.
Mastercard will also be the exclusive partner of the Youth Unstoppables element of the Team Powered campaign and work to inspire young women and girls to get involved in the sport through a new digital content series championing inspirational women from around the world.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mastercard on board as our founding partner of Women in Rugby,” said Katie Sadleir, World Rugby Women’s Rugby General Manager.
“A core pillar of our ambitious Women’s Strategic Plan is to develop a strong and engaged portfolio of strategic commercial partners committed to long-term investment and support for the women’s game.
“I am also very excited by our new Team Powered marketing campaign, which encompasses all the incredible features of women’s rugby and will help us to build on the huge growing number of females involved in our sport in recent years.”
Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Mastercard, added: “Fostering connections and giving people the opportunity to grow their passions is what Mastercard stands for. We are honoured to support a sport as inclusive as women’s rugby that has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. Together with World Rugby, we look forward to creating programmes and experiences that get people closer to the game they love.”
Mastercard has been a long-time partner of rugby, across both male and female sides of the sport. The brand has partnered with the men’s Rugby World Cup since 2008 and the women’s competition since 2017 - amplifying its Priceless campaign - as well as having partnerships in place across club and grassroots elements of the game in recent years.