As the countdown continues towards the HSBC Canada Sevens from 11-12 March in Vancouver, leading international bank HSBC and title sponsor of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, will sponsor Rugby Canada's 'Rookie Rugby' programme, deepening its commitment to the game across the nation and the globe.

Indeed, HSBC's latest commitment will help Rugby Canada deliver a range of new and expanded programs across Canada over the next three years (2017-2020).

"Rugby resonates with HSBC's values and global operational footprint: it is growing in popularity in markets where we as a bank are growing, and its values of courage, respect, and teamwork align well with our own organisational values," said Sandra Stuart, President and CEO, HSBC Bank Canada.

"Central to HSBC's vision for rugby sevens is a dedication to grassroots growth, and so we are very excited to join forces with Rugby Canada to help grow the sport in communities across the country.

"The Rookie Rugby programme has reached more than 85,000 participants across Canada. With HSBC's support, the programme is expected reach in excess of 375,000 participants over a three-year period," said Allen Vansen, CEO of Rugby Canada.

"HSBC's multi-year investment in the sport of rugby in Canada sends a powerful message to all of the players in our system, and to those who are considering trying the sport for the first time, that rugby is on the rise, and that we are committed to its growth at all levels."

Rookie Rugby is played in schools, parks, recreation leagues, and community organizations across the country. The rules are simple, the game is easy to learn, and minimal equipment is required.

HSBC's 2016 Future of Rugby Report predicted that the seven million current rugby players worldwide will likely reach 10 million by 2020 and 15 million within the decade, "with most coming into the game through sevens" and through World Rugby's global Get Into Rugby mass-participation programme.

HSBC has been a long-term supporter of rugby around the world and has been the title sponsor of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series since 2010. Already hugely popular in markets like Hong Kong and London, the newly expanded series is providing even greater opportunity for growth. From grassroots to high performance, HSBC is committed to supporting game of sevens on its journey, helping elite players achieve their goal of being the best in the world, and introducing young players to the game.

DHL has renewed its multi million rand contract as title sponsor of Western Province Rugby for a further four year period commencing 2017, making it the longest standing title sponsorship in Western Province Rugby's history.

The terms of the sponsorship continue to include naming rights to the home stadium of Western Province Rugby, DHL Newlands.

Commenting on the renewed, award-winning sponsorship, Western Province Rugby Group CEO Paul Zacks said, "Having the support of a major brand such as DHL makes a huge difference to the team and management and enables us to work in a high performance environment."

DHL, which also partners with World Rugby Sevens Series, Manchester United and Formula One? to name a few, signed its initial three year agreement with Western Province Rugby and the DHL Stormers in 2011. Fast forward six years, and they could not be more thrilled with the success, return on investment and development of the partnership.

Hennie Heymans, CEO for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa commented, "Having been a partner to Western Province Rugby for the past 6 years, we consider ourselves an extension of the team. The partnership has been instrumental in making DHL a household name in Cape Town, and South Africa. The DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province brand is much loved not only across South Africa but across the globe. DHL is the most international company in the world and partnering with like-minded brands with the same shared values of teamwork, excellence, passion and speed are key to our success. We are committed to remaining hands-on, responsible partners to Western Province Rugby. The years ahead will be the best ones yet."

Megan Roper, Head of Marketing for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa added, "Sponsorships have evolved from merely showcasing one's logo. We view this sponsorship as a partnership – an opportunity for us to add value, emotionalize our brand and demonstrate our logistics capabilities. We too have evolved from being just a B2B company to being even more consumer facing and in touch with our customers across more touchpoints than ever before, driven mostly by the rise of e-commerce."

Going forward, DHL will continue to leverage the partnership through traditional and online media channels to drive brand engagement, with an additional focus of expanding the partnership across borders.

Recently, DHL took two DHL Stormers players, Siya Kolisi (new DHL Stormers captain for 2017) and Scarra Ntubeni, to visit the company's operations in Lagos, Nigeria to give them a feel for what the business looks like in West Africa and to experience the Nigerian culture. This not only exposed Siya and Scarra to a new country, but was a great exercise to further pique the interest in rugby in Nigeria.

"DHL is a leading international brand and our association with them lends us prestige. We are proud to have a title sponsor like DHL and look forward to standing together with them as one," commented Thelo Wakefield, President of Western Province Rugby Football Union.

World Rugby and Heineken have strengthened one of the most recognisable and longest-standing partnerships in sport with the announcement that the premium beer market leader has renewed as a Worldwide Partner for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.

Under the wide-ranging and exciting deal that will extend Heineken's association with rugby's showcase event to 24 years, the brewing giant will also become an Official Partner of Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 and an Official Sponsor of the World Rugby Awards 2017 in Monaco on 26 November.

The partnership will play a central role in inspiring new rugby participants and fans within Japan, Asia and around the world, and to celebrate, Heineken has released a short film that features ambassador and rugby legend Scott Quinnell sharing his Rugby World Cup memories with a hidden twist.

Aligned in the mission to inspire and celebrate unforgettable moments, World Rugby and Heineken aim to build upon the success of the coin toss and back stage activations successfully run at Rugby World Cup 2015, while Heineken will also enjoy exclusive pourage rights across the 12 match venues.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "Heineken is a brand steeped in Rugby World Cup history and we are delighted to be extending one of the most well-known and successful relationships in the sport.

"With the pool draw, match schedule and ticketing launch all taking place this year, 2017 is important for hosting preparations and we are delighted that we will be embarking on this exciting journey with the full support of Heineken."

Heineken Global Sponsorship Director Hans Erik Tuijt said: "Rugby has been a part of Heineken's brand DNA for more than 20 years, and we look forward to continuing this through to Japan 2019.

"As a beloved sport and event enjoyed by fans around the world, Rugby World Cup 2019 will yet again allow Heineken to create engaging experiences for fans at the tournament and at home in the 20 participating countries and beyond. This activity complements our other long-standing global partnership platforms; Formula One, UEFA Champions League and James Bond."

World Rugby Chief Commercial Officer Murray Barnett added: "The continued global prestige and strength of Rugby World Cup is reinforced by the renewed commitment from one of the world's leading supporters of global sporting events.Heineken and Rugby World Cup are a great and natural fit and we are delighted they will be supporting Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 under the deal."

Heineken follows Emirates in renewing as a Rugby World Cup 2019 Worldwide Partner and Canon as an Official Sponsor. With excitement building, World Rugby is confident that the commercial programme will be finalised in record time with record value, underscoring the prestige of the Rugby World Cup brand in the global marketplace.

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

The Rugby League World Cup 2017 today unveiled the Official Match Ball for this year's tournament as manufactured by STEEDEN, the Ball and Training Equipment Partner of the RLWC2017.

RLWC2017 CEO Andrew Hill and STEEDEN Commercial Manager Jon Clarke:
The design on the "Symmetry" STEEDEN match ball incorporates elements of the RLWC2017 tournament logo and will be used at both the men's and women's Rugby League World Cups.

The partnership with the RLWC2017 adds to STEEDEN's existing portfolio of organisations using their world-leading rugby league balls including the National Rugby League, New Zealand Rugby League, Country Rugby League, New South Wales Rugby League and Queensland Rugby League. In addition to supplying match and training balls, teams will each be provided with a range of STEEDEN sports equipment.

STEEDEN Commercial Manager, Jon Clarke said: "We are delighted to be partnering yet again with the Rugby League World Cup for the 2017 tournment. The fact that the tournament organisers have chosen to appoint STEEDEN as their Official Ball and Training Equipment Partner is testament to the consistent high performance of our rugby league balls, along with our exciting new range of training equipment. We are thrilled to see the world's best players using a STEEDEN ball at the highest level in what is sure to be a landmark sporting event."

The RLWC2017 are pleased to also announce Schick Razors as the Official Grooming Partner of both the men's and women's tournaments. Schick Hydro (men's) and Schick Hydro Silk (women's) will receive brand integration on two panels of the RLWC2017 Official STEEDEN Match and Training balls.

Schick Regional Vice President – Oceania, Ivan Nuich said: ''Schick Hydro is delighted to extend its proud association with Rugby League by becoming the Official Grooming Partner of the Rugby League World Cup 2017. The opportunity to celebrate this great game on the International stage with fans from all over the world is a truly unique experience and we look forward to seeing the Schick Hydro brand on the Official STEEDEN Match and Training balls during the Rugby League World Cup.''

RLWC2017 Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Hill said: "It's fantastic for the Rugby League World Cup 2017 to have the support of both STEEDEN and Schick, two brands known for excellence and their long-standing support of rugby league.

"The Rugby League World Cup is the pinnacle of our sport and we are delighted to unveil the Official Match Ball in conjunction with STEEDEN that not only looks great, but its elite performance is befitting of a World Cup.

"We look forward to seeing the STEEDEN and Schick Hydro brands in the hands of the world's best players during what will be the greatest ever Rugby League World Cup."

Rugby League World Cup 2017 STEEDEN Replica balls are now available at Rebel Sports, AMART Sports and online at www.steeden.com.au. A full range of STEEDEN Country Supporter Balls for each of the participating teams will also be available from all good retailers in the near future.

Premiership Rugby are delighted to announce the renewal of their partnership with the world's largest ticket marketplace StubHub. For the fourth year in row, StubHub will give rugby fans a safe and secure place to buy and sell tickets for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2017.

Face value tickets are now on sale and are listed on behalf of Premiership Rugby on StubHub.co.uk for the 2017 final, which will take place at Twickenham on 27 May. Every purchase made through the site is backed by StubHub's comprehensive FanProtect Guarantee.

"StubHub continue to be a valuable partner for Premiership Rugby, offering supporters a safe place to buy tickets for this marquee event and also the chance to re-sell tickets in a secure environment if they can no longer attend," said Premiership Rugby's Commercial Director, Dominic Hayes.

"Tickets are offered as a range of primary and secondary tickets listed in price order so supporters can choose the tickets they want at the price that suits them."

StubHub will also be the Official Ticket Marketplace of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2017, meaning that fans will have the opportunity to resell their tickets to other fans should they not be able to attend.

StubHub will have brand marketing and activation rights for the event. Last year, fans were given an opportunity to win StubHub vouchers by participating in a 3D freeze frame selfie at Twickenham.

Nick Harford, Head of Business Development & Partnerships at StubHub UK commented: "We are delighted to be continuing our partnership for the fourth year running with the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2017. Increasingly, leading sports rights holders and promoters are using StubHub as a channel to sell their tickets at face value, in addition to giving fans a secure and transparent marketplace to resell their tickets.

"We are excited to be working with Premiership Rugby once again and to give StubHub customers access to the most anticipated Club rugby event of the year."

As a true ticket marketplace, StubHub does not own, price or purchase any tickets listed on the site. StubHub's UK partnerships include: The O2, The SSE Wembley Arena, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton, Matchroom Boxing and Global Radio Capital FM Summertime Ball and Jingle Bell Ball.

Read more at http://www.premiershiprugby.com/news/premiership-rugby-extends-stubhub-partnership-for-aviva-premiership-rugby-final-2017/#xtySrFlR5Izf39yi.99

SP Brewery is the Official Platinum Partner Papua New Guinea for the Rugby League World Cup 2017 tournament.

SP Brewery has been Papua New Guinea's leading manufacturer of internationally acclaimed beers for the past 60 years and are strong supporters of rugby league throughout the country, from grassroots to the elite level – including the naming rights sponsor of the SP PNG Hunters who compete in the premier rugby league competition in Queensland.

Andrew Hill, RLWC2017 CEO said: "The Rugby League World Cup will be the biggest event in Papua New Guinea this year and we are pleased to have the support of one of the country's leading companies, SP Brewery."

"SP Brewery is synonymous with rugby league in Papua New Guinea and we look forward to partnering with them to deliver the greatest ever Rugby League World Cup," concluded Hill.

As Official Platinum Partner, SP Brewery will have a branding presence in-stadia that will be seen in over 110 countries where the RLWC2017 is broadcast. SP Brewery will also produce a commemorativeRLWC2017 "SP Lager" beer can,which will be available across Papua New Guinea ahead of the tournament.

Stan Joyce, Managing Director, SP Brewery said:
"Rugby league is still by far the most popular sport played and watched across this country and we are happy to continue our partnership with Rugby League, in particular the Rugby League World Cup, to promote this great game to the masses under our flagship brand SP Lager."

In 2015, the RLWC2017 Organising Committee (OC) announced PNG as "Hosting Partner" alongside co-hosts Australia and New Zealand, with the country to stage the PNG Kumuls' three pool matches against

Wales (28 October), Ireland (5 November) and the USA (12 November). The three matches will be played in Port Moresby at the National Football Stadium (formerly Lloyd Robson Oval).

The RLWC2017 will be contested from 27 October to 2 December 2017, in 13 cities across the three hosting nations.
The RLWC2017 will be the biggest event in the region during 2017, with 450,000 fans expected to attend the event, which would be a tournament record.

Ticket prices and on sale details for the three RLWC2017 matches to be played in Port Moresby will be announced in due course.

Harlequins is excited to announce today (Monday 20th February) that following a successful three-year partnership, it has extended its deal with Maximuscle, Europe's number one nutrition brand.

The two-year partnership extension will see Maximuscle continuing to provide the playing squad with nutritional support, which will play an integral role in helping Harlequins reach optimal performance and recovery levels in training, and before and after matches.

Maximuscle's provision of high quality whey protein and creatine will complement the squad's nutritional intake which includes Vitamin D, fish oils and Beta Alnine.

Commenting on the partnership, Harlequins Commercial Director Ned Wills said: "We are very pleased that the team at Maximuscle is set to remain within the Harlequins Partner family. We are looking forward to continuing our work together for another two seasons.

"Our partners are integral to the Club achieving its purpose and the collective focus is to put the best team possible on the pitch every match. Maximuscle are dedicated to providing the products and services to the club to achieve that aim."

Craig Percival, Maximuscle Marketing Director, added: "Harlequins is one of the leading teams in the country and completely personify what Maximuscle stands for as a brand. Their relentless dedication to training, competing and improving at such an elite level are just some of the reasons why we're thrilled to be re-signing our partnership. We look forward to many more successful years together."

By continuing with Maximuscle, Harlequins remains part of their exciting portfolio of elite athletes and professional sports teams including Northampton Saints, Maro Itoje, Chris Robshaw, George North, Conor Murray, Anthony Watson, Jordan Henderson and Anthony Yarde.

To celebrate the renewed partnership, Maximuscle is offering a 20% discount on its products to Harlequins supporters. You can make use of the deal by entering QUINS20 at the checkout when shopping at maxinutrition.com.

Find out more here http://www.quins.co.uk/news/harlequins-extends-its-partnership-with-maximuscle/.

Scottish Rugby is pleased to announce a long term extension to the long-standing partnership with Gilbert Rugby as their 'Official and Exclusive Ball Supplier.'

The new deal will see Gilbert continue their association with the governing body, covering the Scotland national team and professional club sides: Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors.

Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby Chief Operating Officer, said: "We're delighted to renew our long-standing partnership with Gilbert Rugby – a truly global brand that is undoubtedly the world's premium rugby ball manufacturer.

We look forward to continuing our fruitful relationship over the coming seasons and would like to thank Gilbert for their enduring support at all levels of rugby in Scotland."

Gilbert Sales and Marketing Director, Richard Gray, said "The length of this new agreement really demonstrates the strength of our existing partnership throughout all levels of Scottish Rugby and cements our place as the preferred ball in Scotland.

By committing to a long term future together, Gilbert look forward to making a real difference to the development of Rugby in Scotland."

Gilbert has been the exclusive supplier of balls to six consecutive Rugby World cups and the majority of major Unions and Tournaments world-wide.

Australian Rugby has been given a much-needed boost, securing Vodafone as a Super Rugby sponsor on the eve of the 2017 season.

Asteron Life opted not to renew its contract with the ARU at the end of last year, leaving the governing body searching for a new naming rights partner for the competition.

The telecom giant has jumped on with just undertwo weeks until the Super Rugby season start, with a four-year deal to take them through to 2020, and will also become back of jersey sponsor for Australia's women's XVs side, the Wallaroos.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver said it was exciting to have a long-term partner on board.

"Vodafone and Australian Rugby have a long history together dating back to when the Vodafone logo first appeared on the Wallabies jersey in 1998 and we are proud to welcome them back as the naming rights partner for Super Rugby in Australia for the next four years.

"You could argue that this is the biggest 'comeback' in Australian Rugby this season and we look forward to working with Vodafone to make this 22nd season of Super Rugby in Australia the best yet.

"We are also incredibly proud to have Vodafone's support for the Wallaroos in a huge year for Women's Rugby with the World Cup taking place in Ireland in August."

Vodafone Australia Customer Business Director, Ben McIntosh said the cross-country base of the Super Rugby competition was convenient for the company, who last sponsored rugby in 2003.

"Vodafone is thrilled to be returning to Rugby, where we had fantastic success building our brand in the early 2000s,

"It's a sport we all love, and gives us a great opportunity to really connect with Australians right across the country.

"With teams based across the country, Super Rugby gives Vodafone a chance to show off the significant investment in the network we have made throughout Australia."

The announcement came at the launch of the 2017 Super Rugby competition and amid ongoing reviews over the structure of the competition moving beyond 2018.

The partnership with the RLWC2017 will see AccorHotels be home for the teams, officials and tournament organisers in every Australian and New Zealand host city, across hotel brands including Pullman, Novotel, Mercure and ibis.

The AccorHotels brand will be incorporated into tournament properties, including in-stadia signage and on digital channels. Key integration will occur on the tournament's website, www.rlwc2017.com, highlighting the AccorHotels' properties throughout the twelve Australian and New Zealand host cities, with information and offers provided for travelling fans and stakeholders.

In addition to the men's tournament, this partnership extends to the Women's Rugby League World Cup to be played in Sydney from 16 November – 26 November, with the final in Brisbane on 2 December 2017.

Chief Executive Officer RLWC2017, Andrew Hill said: "We are pleased to partner with AccorHotels and we look forward to utilising the Accor network during both the men's and women's Rugby League World Cups".

"AccorHotels is the market leader when it comes to looking after the unique requirements of elite sporting teams, having successfully partnered with other major events in both Australia and New Zealand".

"As tournament organisers, we want this year's event to be greatest ever rugby league world cup and we look forward to working with accorhotels on delivering a first class off-field experience for competing teams, officials and guests," concluded hill.

The RLWC2017 adds to AccorHotels' growing list of sporting partnerships as preferred accommodation partner with organisations such as NRL, AFL, Tennis Australia, Swimming Australia, Cricket Australia, Netball Australia, Softball Australia, Baseball Australia, and Australian Baseball League.

Chief Operating Officer AccorHotels Pacific, Simon McGrath said: "We are delighted to have been selected by the Rugby League World Cup 2017 as their Official Accommodation Partner.

"We believe it will be an outstanding partnership that will benefit both parties considerably as we are very much attuned to the requirements of sporting organisations.

"Our hotels look forward to providing the very best in service for Rugby League World Cup 2017 teams, staff and tournament goers," concluded McGrath.

The RLWC2017 will be contested from 27 October to 2 December 2017 and hosted by Australia and New Zealand with three pool games also being played in Papua New Guinea. The tournament will be the biggest event in the region this year, with an estimated 450,000 fans to attend the Rugby League World Cup which would be a tournament record.

For tournament information visit rlwc2017.com
​To book accommodation visit accorhotels.com