Mastercard counts down six months until the start of Rugby World Cup 2019 with South African rugby legend

Johannesburg, South Africa – 13 March, 2019: Former South African player Bryan Habana is the latest rugby icon to be announced as a Mastercard ambassador for Rugby World Cup 2019TM. Habana, part of the South African team that won Rugby World Cup 2007, and one of the top test try scorers of all time, will help bring the tournament to life for Mastercard cardholders and its partners in the lead up to and for the duration of the tournament.

Habana joins Mastercard’s line-up of global ambassadors, namely Dan Carter, Michael Leitch, and Akihito Yamada, as fans start the six month countdown to Rugby World Cup 2019, which kicks off in Japan on 22 September.

“For me, rugby has been an incredible journey, one where I achieved my dream of representing my country – a country that inspired me to take up the game following South Africa’s Rugby World Cup win in 1995,” says Habana. “I’m really looking forward to working with Mastercard to personally engage fans, deliver priceless surprises and share memorable experiences designed to bring South Africans together over their love of the game.”

To celebrate the partnership with the world’s largest rugby tournament, Mastercard has created a solid strategy in collaboration with its South African customer financial institutions and retail partners to leverage its priceless assets, giving consumers the chance to win specially-curated experiences including Captains Runs, and hospitality with the Mastercard ambassadors.

“Rugby is a passion that transcends geographic and demographic boundaries, making the Rugby World Cup the perfect platform to engage, connect and inspire consumers in South Africa, and across the world,” says Beatrice Cornacchia, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Middle East and Africa, Mastercard. “As a proud partner to Rugby World Cup 2019, we look forward to Start Something Priceless in South Africa, working with our ambassadors to make this year’s tournament even more memorable.”

Mastercard is the Preferred Card and Digital Wallet partner of Rugby World Cup 2019. The announcement continues a highly successful partnership between Mastercard and Tournament Owners Rugby World Cup Limited, which began ahead of Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand.

About Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup 2019, Japan is the ninth edition of rugby’s showcase global event and the first in Asia. The world’s top 20 national teams will play in 48 matches hosted across 12 host cities for the right to lift the Webb Ellis Cup and be crowned world champions. Rugby World Cup is the sport’s financial engine, generating approximately 90 per cent of World Rugby’s revenues for reinvestment in the global game over the four-year cycle. The record-breaking success of England 2015 is enabling World Rugby to invest £245.8 million in the sport by 2020, eclipsing the previous 2013-16 £201 million investment injection by 22 per cent. All the latest news can be found at and via @rugbyworldcup across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
Birgit Deibele