Global Event Provides Platform to Build Brand and Support Strategic Business Priorities
Wellington, February 9, 2009 - MasterCard Worldwide and Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) have announced that MasterCard will become the Official Worldwide Partner and official payment system of Rugby World Cup 2011. The announcement was made in a joint press conference held today in Wellington, attended by Prime Minister John Key and Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully.
The Rugby World Cup is the crown jewel of the sport and a prominent global property – with television coverage of Rugby World Cup 2007 spanning more than 200 territories, reaching a cumulative audience of 4.3 billion viewers.
Rugby World Cup 2011 is being held in New Zealand for the first time since the inaugural event in 1987. Teams representing 20 nations will compete in 48 matches across several host cities during September and October. The final and semi-final matches are slated for Auckland’s historic Eden Park, October 22-23, 2011.
"Sponsorships represent a critical component of MasterCard’s global marketing approach, and we are proud to add Rugby World Cup 2011 to our roster of world-class alliances,” said Andre Sekulic, President, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard Worldwide. “We will leverage this unique platform to further deliver shareholder value by creating exclusive business-building opportunities for our customer financial institutions, while building MasterCard brand affinity by offering priceless experiences to MasterCard cardholders."
RWCL Chairman Bernard Lapasset remarked, "MasterCard is an iconic brand with global appeal and recognition and we are delighted to be working with them. In addition to demonstrating a commitment to helping grow the sport of Rugby through its grassroots campaign in New Zealand, MasterCard also delivers a proven track record of global sponsorship activation which combines strategy and creativity to drive business results."
Beyond its expertise in world-class sponsorship marketing, MasterCard also has a rich heritage of supporting the sport of rugby in New Zealand. Over the past six years MasterCard has been a sponsor of the New Zealand All Blacks team and last year it undertook a successful MasterCard All Blacks Roadshow which visited 20 towns and cities across the country.
"I would like to thank MasterCard who has come onboard as the Official Worldwide Partner of the Rugby World Cup 2011. New Zealand Rugby Union and the All Blacks have been lucky to have their support for the last six years, and as that level of support continues to grow with this sponsorship, the teams and fans can look forward to a great Rugby World Cup," said All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.
As part of the agreement, MasterCard secures a comprehensive rights and benefits package that allows the company to deliver value to customer financial institutions, merchants and cardholders, including the ability to access "Priceless" experiences linked to Rugby World Cup 2011.
The relationship with Rugby World Cup 2011 also provides opportunities to support a number of the company's strategic priorities, including:
MasterCard & Sponsorships
MasterCard boasts a diverse portfolio of business-building sponsorship platforms. The brand has expanded its sponsorship strategy to include alliances in lifestyle, entertainment, in addition to a traditional footprint in sports. Today, MasterCard's sponsorship strategy includes an array of strategic relationships each designed to drive shareholder value, build business for customer financial institutions and provide unique priceless experiences for MasterCard cardholders.
About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 18 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to http://www.mastercard.com.