The announcement represents a further boost for Rugby Sevens as the sport marks the one-year anniversary of being voted onto the Olympic Games programme, starting with the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Under the unprecedented five-year deal, HSBC has been awarded title naming rights to the record-breaking IRB Series, which comprises tournaments in Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Australia, Hong Kong, England and Scotland. The Series will now be known as the HSBC Sevens World Series and will begin with the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens on December 3-4.
International Rugby Board President Bernard Lapasset said: “These are very exciting times for our Sport and this deal will benefit Rugby at all levels. The appointment of a market leader in the banking industry as title sponsor of the IRB Sevens World Series further enhances Rugby Sevens’ prominent stature as an Olympic sport with significant prestige and attraction within the global marketplace.”
“HSBC is an internationally renowned brand and a true champion of the development of Rugby around the world. HSBC has a massively successful history of working with its partners to develop the Game on and off the field through the HSBC Rugby Festivals and sponsorship of the Asian 5 Nations.”
“We look forward to working in close collaboration with HSBC to further the promotion of the Game in new and existing Rugby markets as we count down to Sevens’ Olympic Games debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, an event that will herald the beginning of another exciting chapter in the Rugby Sevens success story.”
Giles Morgan, Group Head of Sponsorship, HSBC Holdings, said: “HSBC has a long standing heritage in Rugby, and is excited about investing in such a thriving area of the Game. The addition of the HSBC Sevens World Series to HSBC’s current international Rugby portfolio will allow the bank to further engage with its customers and staff around the world. Through our continued investment in the grassroots level of the Game, which will be expanded to include Rugby Sevens, HSBC will be at the forefront of encouraging even more people to watch and play the sport.”
Rugby Sevens continues to go from strength to strength. For a fifth consecutive year a record global audience switched on to Sevens in 2010. Television broadcast coverage of the eight-tournament 2009/10 Sevens World Series reached 141 countries across six continents, with 34 broadcasters showing action from the most competitive Series to date, won by Samoa for the first time in the Series’ 11-year history.
The series also attracted record attendance figures with over 500,000 fans enjoying the unique event festival atmosphere.
2010/2011 HSBC Sevens World Series
Dubai – Dec 3-4 2010
South Africa – Dec 10-11 2010
New Zealand – Feb 4-5 2011
USA – Feb 12-13 2011
Hong Kong – Mar 25-27 2011
Australia – April 2-3 2011
England – May 21-22 2011
Scotland – May 28-29 2011