Global banking group HSBC has extended its title sponsorship of the World Rugby Sevens Series national team rugby union competition.
Under the four-year renewal, which covers the 2015-16 to 2018-19 World Rugby Sevens Series, HSBC also becomes the title partner of the Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series and the local title sponsor of all individual rounds, with the exception of Dubai. In Hong Kong, airline Cathay Pacific will remain as the co-title sponsor alongside HSBC.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. HSBC took on the sponsorship of the World Rugby Sevens Series in 2009 and its latest deal covers sevens’ debut in the Olympic programme at Rio 2016.
World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “HSBC has been central to the sevens success story and is totally aligned with our mission to attract and inspire new players and audiences. We are excited about this increased commitment and the certainty it provides over the next four years to grow our sport within existing and emerging rugby markets.
“We are particularly delighted that our flagship women’s series will be supported by HSBC over the next few years. Women’s rugby is one of the world’s fastest-growing team sports, with more than 1.5 million regularly playing and new participants being welcomed every day. The feats of our best female players on the series have been a source of inspiration to young players and the driving force behind ever-increasing popularity and profile.”
The 2015-16 season of World Rugby Sevens includes five new destinations among the expanded 10 host cities. Sydney, Cape Town, Vancouver, Singapore and Paris will all welcome a round for the next four years, while Glasgow, Tokyo, Port Elizabeth and Australia’s Gold Coast make way. The series will launch in Dubai on December 4-5 and conclude in London on May 21-22 next year.
World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper added: “Rugby sevens is experiencing record attendance, broadcast and commercial growth and is rapidly becoming a major driver of revenue for World Rugby to reinvest in the game. This schedule represents an exciting combination for World Rugby and one which we think will enable the sport to reach developing rugby markets, and therefore contribute to the continued growth of the game and its character-building values worldwide. It is great for players, great for fans and great for the ongoing prosperity and development of rugby sevens worldwide.”