adidas has announced it is extending its commitment with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) in a move which will be celebrated across the game in New Zealand.

As Principal Partner, adidas has reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to all levels of rugby, making direct investments into the community game as well as support for our national teams.

This extension will continue the long-standing partnership through to 2023, marking an exceptional 24-year relationship that has been critical to the success of rugby and New Zealand's teams in black over the last quarter century.

The announcement of the new deal was made at today's launch of the All Blacks' new "special edition" jersey in Auckland, as excitement builds for the DHL New Zealand Lions Series.

Simon Cartwright, Senior Director at adidas Rugby, said adidas was thrilled to be announcing its commitment to New Zealand Rugby for another four years.

"It's an absolute honour and privilege to extend our relationship with New Zealand Rugby. Their dedication to delivering the best rugby players the world has ever seen is second-to-none and we're ecstatic to be working alongside them."

NZR CEO Steve Tew said they'd enjoyed "an exceptional and prosperous relationship" with adidas since the first deal was signed in 1999.

"We see adidas not just as a sponsor but a real partner in our game. In financial terms, this deal extends the most significant sponsorship deal in our history, and the importance of adidas's investment to all levels of our game shouldn't be underestimated," Tew said.

"The partnership helps ensure our game is healthy from the bottom up - from Small Blacks to All Blacks - with a portion of the income tagged to our community game. We are delighted that our Principal Partner will continue to work alongside us for the good of the game right through to 2023."

Under the deal with NZR:
• adidas holds the position as Principal Partner of New Zealand Rugby and Principal Sponsor of the All Blacks
• Supplies apparel, boots and equipment to all New Zealand's teams in black, including the All Blacks, Black Ferns, Black Ferns Sevens, All Blacks Sevens, Maori All Blacks, the New Zealand Under 20 and New Zealand Schools
• Helps fund community rugby activities across the country

RAM Hand-to-Hand Couriers has joined the SA Rugby family of partners as the official courier services supplier to SA Rugby and the Springboks, it was announced on Monday.
RAM and SA Rugby agreed a three-year partnership that will see the Johannesburg-based company ensure that rugby gets whatever it needs wherever it is.

Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, said he was delighted to add another new partner to the rugby family.

"It is always exciting to see a new company partnering with rugby and the Springboks, doubly so when they're a household name such as RAM," said Roux.

"People would be astonished to learn how much a fast-moving sports business like rugby needs to move urgent packages around the country and the world at the last minute and to have a partner with RAM's track record on board is very reassuring.

"They're in the delivery business and together we hope to deliver the right kind of results that South Africa expects this year."

David Lazarus, Joint Managing Director of RAM Hand-to-Hand Couriers said: "We're thrilled to have the opportunity to be associated with the SA Rugby and our Springboks.

About RAM Hand-to-and Couriers

RAM is the only South African courier that doesn't use subcontractors within the borders of South Africa and an unsurpassed track record of delivering securely, intact and on time.

With more than 40 hubs across Southern Africa, over 1 800 vehicles and a team of around 3000 trained personnel, RAM takes pride in assuring you that if you choose us as your courier partner, your package won't leave our hands until it's delivered safely.

Aside from reasons such as our modern fleet, state-of-the-art track and trace technology, cutting edge Handheld Device and sophisticated IT Platform as well as our ability to offer liability cover at favourable rates, there are softer issues that have led to our success – commitment and loyalty.

Website: www.ram.co.za
Facebook: Ram Hand-to-Hand Couriers
Twitter: @OfficialRAMsa

Southern Palace Group of Companies have signed on as an Associate Sponsor of the Springboks, SA Rugby announced on Friday.
In terms of the agreement, the SPG group will be entitled to have their company logo on the left panel of the Springboks' match day and training shorts.

SPG is a wholly black owned and South African managed diversified industrial holding company, established in 2002 with interests in numerous well-established businesses. Since then it has built up a track record of successful investment transactions.

SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, said SPG's associate sponsorship agreement for the national team is an indication of local companies' confidence in the Springbok brand.

"We are delighted that SPG has joined the national team as an Associate Sponsor as the Springboks stand at the beginning of a new journey under the captaincy of Warren Whiteley," said Roux.

"It is always exciting when a local, proudly South African company joins our proud family of sponsors. SA Rugby and the Springboks are looking forward to a successful partnership with the SPG group."

Lucas Tseki, Group Chief Executive, Southern Palace Group of Companies, said: "We are delighted to partner with SA Rugby, as our partnership will offer the Group a platform to collaborate with a well-established brand to nurture the company's young, innovative and dynamic brand into the South African and Global stage; and through our products and services we can offer SA Rugby a transformative edge off the field.

"Our slogan of driving tomorrow bodes well with the SA rugby team who are driving towards building a winning and world class rugby team on the field," added Tseki.

About the Southern Palace Group of Companies

As a wholly black owned and managed South African company, Southern Palace is a diversified industrial holding company with interests in numerous well-established businesses including steel products manufacturing and recycling, automotive trading and manufacturing, real estate, technology and telecommunications.

Southern Palace offers a solid foundation and years of wisdom, underpinned by unparalleled success in corporate financing and investing into new ventures. The unique differentiator of Southern Palace is its:

• Capacity and ability to transform investments;
• Active involvement and committing human capital to its investments;
• Long term investment focus;
• Integrated network and relationships to optimize value across the value chain.

Some of their past and present investments include Scaw Metals Group, MAN Truck and Bus Centurion, Altech Fleet call, Altech Alcom-Matomo, Altech Motorola Radio Distribution, Teljoy Business Systems, Canvas and Tents Manufacturing, Growthpoint Properties and Huawei Technologies Africa and recently Concor (formally known as the Murray & Roberts Infrastructure and construction platform).

The Varsity Match joins esteemed rugby company with its appointment of Rhino as Official Ball Partner and Official Training Equipment Partner, the trusted Official Supplier of the current British & Irish Lions for their 2017 tour of New Zealand in both of these product categories.

The partnership will see both Oxford and Cambridge use the highest-level Rhino training equipment for their match preparations throughout the season as well as Rhino becoming the official training and match ball for the iconic Varsity Match contests at Twickenham on Thursday 7th December 2017.

Representing a further extension of Rhino's current agreement with the annual Battle of the Blues, the partnership follows last month's announcement that Rhino Teamwear would be supplying on-field, training and leisurewear apparel to both clubs as well as on Varsity Match day for both the men's and women's teams. As part of the three-year agreement, Rhino will now also become an overall Official Partner of The Varsity Match.

Former Oxford Blue and Rhino Group CEO Reg Clark said: "Rhino is delighted to become an Official Partner of The Varsity Match – one of the game's great historic occasions, in an agreement which encompasses our full product offering – balls, training equipment, teamwear and apparel. We believe no other rugby brand in the world can offer this full range of products. We are also looking forward to working closely with both OURFC and CURUFC throughout the seasons, and to linking with as many college sides at the Universities as possible."

David Searle CEO of The Varsity Match Company said: "The Varsity Match is delighted to secure a further partnership agreement with Rhino – a brand synonymous with the highest levels of the game. They have a proven track record with the leading teams in world rugby and we are very excited Oxford University RFC and Cambridge University RUFC will benefit further from their equipment quality and expertise."

The Varsity Match joins a star-studded stable of global rugby brands to be supplied equipment, rugby balls and teamwear by Rhino.

Rhino's partners include The British & Irish Lions (balls and equipment), England Rugby (equipment), Welsh Rugby Union (equipment), RBS 6 Nations (leisurewear), Rugby Europe (balls). For more information visit The Locker Room at RHINO.DIRECT

The 31st Women's Varsity Match and 136th Men's Varsity Match is set to take place at the home of England Rugby, Twickenham Stadium, on Thursday 7 December 2017, with tickets pre-sale set to go on sale soon at www.thevarsitymatch.com.

World Rugby and Mastercard have announced that the global payments leader has renewed as a Worldwide Partner for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

Mastercard, who delivered and celebrated priceless experiences for a record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2015 in England, are partnering with rugby's showcase event for the third successive time and will again be the Preferred Card and Digital Wallet for Japan 2019.

With the pools confirmed and fans around the world starting to plan their Rugby World Cup 2019 journey, Mastercard will again create priceless experiences for its cardholders and fans, building excitement in advance of an event that will see the sport break new ground in Asia. The payment leader will also be supporting the tournament's ticketing programme.

The announcement completes the inventory of six Worldwide Partners, which has been delivered in record time and with record value, underscoring Rugby World Cup's strong global commercial appeal as teams and fans prepare for the first Rugby World Cup in Asia.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "Rugby World Cup 2019 is set to be a very special and ground-breaking event that will reach beyond our traditional audiences to inspire and attract new fans and participants, and our Worldwide Partners are at the heart of the story.

"We are delighted to be renewing our highly-successful relationship with Mastercard and look forward to generating many unforgettable experiences and moments for rugby fans worldwide. We know that Mastercard will make it priceless.

"Significantly, the inventory of Worldwide Partners has been secured in record time and with record value, which speaks volumes about the global prestige of the tournament as we accelerate towards the exciting prospect of a first Rugby World Cup in Asia and ensures a strong platform for the continued global development of the game."

Mastercard Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Raja Rajamannar added: "This ground-breaking event is a fantastic opportunity for us to engage cardholders and enable them to experience the energy of rugby in ways we have not yet imagined. In 2015, we had a blast turning the world oval and are thrilled to be back again for Rugby World Cup 2019."

As part of the agreement, Mastercard will look to package 'Priceless' access and experiences such as man of the match, helping fans to get closer to the tournament and the athletes they love. Mastercard will also provide an exclusive incentive for cardholders to use their Mastercard when purchasing Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets.

Mastercard completes the line-up of six Worldwide Partners: Emirates, Heineken, Land Rover, Société Générale and DHL and Canon as an Official Sponsor with attention now turning to the sponsor category, where interest is extremely high.

To find out more about Rugby World Cup 2019 and to receive advance notice of special ticketing and merchandise information, Join the Front Row today at www.rugbyworldcup.com/supporters.

Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) is pleased to announce KFC as the Official Quick Service Restaurant of this year's tournament.

As an Official Partner of the RLWC2017, KFC will receive integration through key assets including brand messaging via the video referee board during try referrals and virtual on field signage at matches played in Australia and New Zealand.

The RLWC2017 and KFC are also working together on a number of fan engagement initiatives and activations to be rolled out during the five-week tournament.

Andrew Hill, RLWC2017 Chief Executive Officer said: "We are delighted to welcome KFC, one of the world's most recognizable brands, as the Official Quick Service Restaurant of the Rugby League World Cup 2017.

"KFC SHARE OUR VISION FOR WANTING TO CREATE A FUN AND ENGAGING EVENT EXPERIENCE FOR FANS THROUGHOUT THE TOURNAMENT, WHETHER THAT'S IN VENUE OR THROUGH THE BROADCAST OF GAMES AROUND THE WORLD."

"KFC joins an extensive lineup of commercial partners who are all committed to working together to ensure that we deliver the best ever Rugby League World Cup to existing and new supporters of International Rugby League."

CATHERINE TAN, KFC CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER SAID: "KFC IS EXCITED ABOUT PARTNERING WITH THE RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP AND BEING PART OF THE SPORT'S PINNACLE INTERNATIONAL EVENT."

"This association is a natural extension of our partnership with the NRL and the rugby league community across both Australia and New Zealand."

The RLWC2017 will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand with three pool matches in Papua New Guinea from 27 October – 2 December 2017 and features 14 teams, contesting 28 games, in 13 cities. The tournament will be the biggest event in the region during 2017, with an estimated event record of 450,000 fans expected to attend the RLWC2017.

Tournament tickets and information at RLWC2017.com

Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) is pleased to announce Lion as the Official Beer Partner of the tournament in both Australia and New Zealand, with their flagship brand, XXXX GOLD, to be known as the Official Beer of the RLWC2017.

XXXX GOLD and other Lion products will be available in hospitality suites and functions at all RLWC2017 fixtures played across the co-hosts, plus official events held throughout the five-week tournament period.

This partnership will also see XXXX GOLD conduct consumer promotions through their on premise network across Australia, giving rugby league fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to 'Toss the Coin' with team captains before key RLWC2017 matches. This partnership does not include naming rights on any jerseys or attire.

Andrew Hill, RLWC2017 CEO said: "Lion has been long-time supporters of rugby league in both Australia and New Zealand at all levels of the sport, and we are pleased to welcome them as the Official Beer Partner of this year's Rugby League World Cup."

"LION'S POPULAR XXXX GOLD BEER HAS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH ELITE DOMESTIC RUGBY LEAGUE COMPETITIONS FOR OVER TWO DECADES AND THROUGH THIS PARTNERSHIP, CAN NOW ADD THE GAME'S PREMIER GLOBAL TOURNAMENT TO THEIR PORTFOLIO."
"We look forward to working with Lion to deliver the best ever Rugby League World Cup."

Matthew Windsor, Lion Customer Director for On Premise, is thrilled about the partnership saying: "We are really excited to bring the number one mid strength beer in Australia to adult Rugby League World Cup fans. Mid strength beers are a popular fixture in venues across both Australia and New Zealand, and Lion are proud to bring XXXX GOLD to rugby league fans to enjoy responsibly."

The RLWC2017 will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand with three pool matches in Papua New Guinea from 27 October – 2 December 2017 and features 14 teams, contesting 28 games, in 13 cities. The tournament will be the biggest event in the region during 2017, with an estimated event record of 450,000 fans expected to attend the RLWC2017.

Tournament tickets and information at RLWC2017.com

World Rugby and DHL have announced the renewal of the world's leading express and logistics provider as a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

World Rugby and DHL renew winning worldwide partnership for RWC 2019

World Rugby and DHL have announced the renewal of the world's leading express and logistics provider as a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

DHL is a major supporter of rugby worldwide, including sponsorship of the men's and women's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, and the logistics giant has again secured the designation of Official Logistics Partner for Japan 2019, the first Rugby World Cup in Asia.

The partnership extends DHL's association with rugby's showcase event to three editions and ensures that the inventory of six Rugby World Cup 2019 Worldwide Partners is on track to be completed in record time, underscoring the prestige of one of the world's biggest and best-loved sports events in the global commercial marketplace.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "We are delighted to be extending our long-standing and highly-successful partnership with DHL, the express and logistics global leader. More than a commercial partner, DHL is a world-class logistics operator, and in an event where success hinges on the details, we know that we have an outstanding partner.

"DHL's renewal accelerates us towards completion of our inventory of six world-class Worldwide Partners for Rugby World Cup 2019 in record time and with record financial value, underscoring the strength of the event in the global marketplace and delivering a result that is ultimately great for the development of rugby worldwide."

DHL Express CEO Ken Allen added: "We are very excited to be continuing our longstanding, successful partnership with rugby, including again being involved in the premier event of such a dynamically growing sport. We are also thrilled that it is breaking new ground in Japan, a country with the fourth largest population of rugby players and with great potential to inspire a new generation of rugby fans with its performances both on and off the pitch.

"DHL has operated in Japan for 45 years and has built up an unrivalled network in the country. We can't wait to share all the passion and enjoyment that rugby embodies with our customers, employees and the broader rugby family in Japan and around the world over the next two and a half years."

The partnership between DHL and Rugby World Cup 2019 continues a long-standing relationship between DHL and rugby. As the Official Logistics Partner of Rugby World Cup 2015, DHL was responsible for the transportation of tournament and team equipment from around the world to England. DHL delivered over 48 tons of team freight, 1,400 official match balls, and 20 sets of uprights to the 13 match venues, and also delivered over 400,000 tickets to more than 160 countries.

Alongside its support for previous Rugby World Cup tournaments, the company also currently partners with the World Rugby Sevens Series, Rugby Canada, the Irish Rugby Football Union, the German Rugby Union, Harlequins in England and the DHL Stormers in South Africa, among other grassroots support for local clubs in many locations around the world. The support ranges from logistics services, sponsorship, coaching clinics with DHL ambassadors and in-kind volunteering support from DHL employees, who commit their time to run community programmes and help with administering clubs.

The Ospreys will head into today's Guinness PRO12 semi-final in Limerick boosted by the announcement of an exciting new commercial partnership with Lovell Rugby.

The long-term agreement sees Lovell Rugby, the world's largest online rugby store, become the region's title partner with their logo featuring on the front of the senior team shirt and on selected training wear from the start of 2017/18.

With more than 25 year's experience of the sports industry, Lovell Rugby moved from traditional retail to e-commerce in 1998, since when they have established themselves as a leading brand well known to the global rugby community.

The announcement follows the confirmation earlier this month that the team will wear Canterbury from next season, further evidence of the commercial strength of the Ospreys.

Huw Warren, Commercial Manager, Ospreys Rugby, said:

"This is an exciting new partnership for us. It is long-term agreement that allows us to work strategically with Lovell Rugby, and Canterbury, with a shared vision of where all parties want to go.

"The partnership is about a lot more than being just a name on the front of a shirt. With their position as the world's leading online rugby brand they have the knowledge and expertise that will allow us to improve our retail offering for supporters, and the desire to work hand in hand with us on a number of innovative projects.

"I'm delighted to officially welcome Lovell Rugby on board and look forward to seeing the positive impact this relationship will have over the coming seasons."

Ben Lovell, Managing Director, Lovell Rugby, commented:

"We are really happy to be partnering with the Ospreys, Wales' most successful region, and helping the business grow over the coming seasons.

"Everybody knows how successful the Ospreys have been off the field with the success of the shirt over the years making them a well established retail brand.

"The Ospreys' innovative outlook sits very comfortably with our own approach to business, and we are looking forward to working in collaboration with Huw and his team over the coming seasons, to really drive growth for both our organisations."

Premiership Rugby returns to U.S. soil this year as a new four-year agreement between the English league and AEG - the world's leading sports and live entertainment company - in conjunction with NBC Sports, is bringing Newcastle Falcons and double European champions Saracens to Philadelphia's Talen Energy Stadium Saturday, Sept. 16, on NBCSN.

The event, sanctioned by USA Rugby, will be staged by Premiership Rugby in conjunction with AEG, and an official start time will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets for the match will go on sale June 20. Fans can sign up for ticket updates and exclusive news at premiershiprugbyusa.com.

Premiership Rugby's first-ever match in the United States between Saracens and London Irish, which NBCSN televised and streamed in March 2016, was held at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., another stadium utilized by a Major League Soccer franchise.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app - NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs - will provide streaming coverage of the event. Streaming will also be available on NBC Sports Gold - NBC Sports Digital's direct-to-consumer live streaming product.

"Premiership Rugby is the best club league in the world and thanks to the support of our partners at NBC Sports, we are now developing a strong following in the USA," Premiership Rugby Chief Executive Officer Mark McCafferty said. "This new agreement with AEG will help take that to another level and today's announcement is testimony to our collective ambition.

"We're delighted to be able to take two of our teams to the great city of Philadelphia - a city dominated by elite sport - for a match we know will capture the imagination of the American rugby public.

"We are very thankful to the city of Philadelphia which has already given its full commitment to the success of the match and we are looking forward to working with them in promoting rugby in the community during the lead up to the big match."

Saracens is the reigning two-time Premiership Rugby champion and won the European Rugby Champions Cup for the second consecutive year this past weekend. Newcastle last won the Premiership title in the 1997-98 season, while both teams currently have Americans on their rosters.

"This match-up is yet another opportunity for our American rugby fans and future fans to witness, firsthand, up close and personal, the product created by some of the world's top professional teams," USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Dan Payne said. "I'm looking forward to a tremendous display of our great game that will fuel our growth plan domestically; a plan for growth in participation, overall awareness, national broadcast, and commercially. This event ticks each of those very important boxes."

Former USA Eagle Dan Lyle, a Bath Rugby professional for eight seasons, was recently appointed as the director of AEG's new rugby division as the company has made a strong commitment to the promotion of the sport in the U.S. and globally.

"We are excited by the continual development and trajectory of rugby at all levels in the U.S., from the huge surge in playing numbers to an ever-growing appreciative and knowledgeable fan base," Eagle No. 237 said. "We believe our long-standing relationship with NBC and this new multi-year partnership with Premiership Rugby represents a meaningful next step in developing the sport in the United States.

"Bringing world-class teams and players to our shores complements the initiatives and priorities of USA Rugby, including broader exposure within our country of the game being played at the highest levels."

NBC Sports' coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby continues this weekend with the Semifinals of the 2016-17 season beginning Saturday, May 20, at 9 a.m. ET on NBCSN. More information on NBC Sports Gold's Premiership Rugby coverage can be found here.

Tickets for the Sept. 16 Premiership Rugby game at Talen Energy Stadium go on sale June 20. For all details related to the event, visit premiershiprugbyusa.com.

For media requests, please contact Paul Morgan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), Premiership Rugby Communications Director, and Chelsey Scalese (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Read more at https://www.usarugby.org/2017/05/nbc-sports-presents-newcastle-v-saracens-premiership-rugby-clash-from-philadelphia/?EmQYJgJC5QMj1j06.99

Page 1 of 93