World Rugby has announced details of a transformative five-year partnership with Mastercard to accelerate the development of Women in Rugby, which will supercharge the international federation’s ambitious Accelerating the Development of Women in Rugby 2017-25 strategic plan. The ground-breaking partnership will deliver a series of firsts, with Mastercard becoming:
- The founding Global Partner of World Rugby’s Women in Rugby programme, exclusively focusing on growing youth participation and raising the global profile of the women’s global competitions and calendar.
- The first Worldwide Partner for Rugby World Cup 2021 and Rugby World Cup 2025, as Preferred Card for both tournaments.
- The first Global Partner of WXV, the annual global women’s competition due to start in 2023.
In addition to the partnership, World Rugby has launched its new Women in Rugby Team Powered marketing campaign. It aims to inspire more women and girls to play and watch the sport by showcasing our belief that women’s rugby is the ultimate team sport – on and off the pitch – and how, through the power of togetherness, a team is greater than the sum of its parts.
The new campaign and Mastercard partnership build on strong foundations, with women’s rugby experiencing unprecedented growth in recent years – more than 2.7 million women and girls are currently playing globally, making up a quarter of the world’s playing population. Latest Nielsen Research for World Rugby has reported women’s rugby is on the rise with interest in established markets up to 45 per cent and in emerging markets to 27 per cent, a 15 per cent and 22 per cent increase since 2018, respectively.
Katie Sadleir, World Rugby Women’s Rugby General manager today said: “We are thrilled to welcome Mastercard on board as our founding partner of Women in Rugby. A core pillar of our ambitious women’s strategic plan is to develop a strong and engaged portfolio of strategic commercial partners committed to long-term investment and support for the women’s game.
“I am also very excited by our new Team Powered marketing campaign, which encompasses all the incredible features of women’s rugby and will help us to build on the huge growing number of females involved in our sport in recent years.”