MasterCard seals sponsorship with Rugby World Cup

MasterCard has signed a new deal to become the latest sponsor of the Rugby World Cup 2011. The credit card firm will be the official payment system provider for the tournament, to be held in News Zealand.

The move comes ten months after rivals Visa axed its multimillion pound global sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup after 12 years. Emirates is the only other partner currently involved in the tournament.

As part of the agreement with Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL), MasterCard has secured a rights and benefits package, allowing it to advertise its sponsorship to customers, financial institutions, merchants and cardholders. The company says it will do this under a “Priceless” experiences banner linked to the world cup.

Paul Meulendijk, head of sponsorships at MasterCard Europe, says: “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.”

MasterCard is also continuing its grassroots support for rugby in the host country, and maintaining its sponsorship of the New Zealand All Blacks team, which has been active for six years already.

RWCL chairman, Bernard Lapasset, adds: “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.”

The Rugby World Cup takes place in September and October 2011 and will attract a worldwide television audience of 4.3 billion viewers, broadcast in over 200 countries.

Teams representing 20 nations will compete in 48 matches across several host cities, with the final and semi-final matches scheduled to take place on October 23 2011 in Eden Park, Auckland.

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