Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) is delighted to announce Isuzu UTE Australia as the Official Automotive Partner for this year's tournament, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand with three pool matches in Papua New Guinea from 27 October – 2 December 2017.

As the Official Automotive Partner of the RLWC2017, Isuzu UTE Australia will receive brand integration through virtual on field, LED and in-stadia branding across all matches played in both Australia and New Zealand.

The popular Isuzu UTE Iron Summit activation, currently seen at major shows, field days and trade fairs, will appear at both the RLWC2017 semi-final and final at Brisbane Stadium, giving fans the opportunity to experience the sensation of the steepest 4WD testing ramp in the world.

At the end of the tournament, one lucky fan will drive away in a new Isuzu D-MAX, having entered the RLWC2017 and Isuzu D-MAX Memorable Moments competition. Supporters will be encouraged to vote for their favourite Rugby League World Cup moment at the RLWC2017 website (rlwc2017.com) and via various digital activities and community activations.

Isuzu UTE Australia will also promote their partnership with the RLWC2017 through their own marketing channels and extensive dealer network.

Andrew Hill, RLWC2017 CEO said: "We are delighted to welcome Isuzu UTE Australia as a Major Partner of the Rugby League World Cup 2017.

"WITH THE WORLD'S BEST RUGBY LEAGUE PLAYERS CONTESTING THE SPORT'S MARQUEE INTERNATIONAL EVENT, IT'S WONDERFUL TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF SUCH A RENOWN GLOBAL BRAND."

"As the tournament's Organising Committee, we made a deliberate decision to take the event as far and wide as we possibly could, so it's very fitting that Isuzu UTE Australia – with dealerships across the country – have become the Official Automotive Partner of the Rugby League World Cup 2017."

Director of Sales and Marketing for Isuzu UTE Australia, Yugo Kiyofuji, said the partnership provides great synergy for both parties.

"ISUZU UTE AUSTRALIA ARE EXCITED TO TEAM UP WITH THE RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP 2017 AND SEE THIS AS A GREAT ALIGNMENT OF OUR BRANDS."

"The rugged and durable Isuzu D-MAX and MU-X are proving their competitiveness in the automotive market, just like the world's toughest players in rugby league will prove their abilities when the Rugby League World Cup kicks off in October," Yugo said.

The RLWC2017 will feature 14 teams, contesting 28 games, in 13 cities over 5-weeks from 27 October to 2 December 2017. 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

Land Rover South Africa has renewed its sponsorship of Western Province Rugby, which represents the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province teams. By continuing its support of the team until 2019, the British brand reaffirms its global commitment to grassroots and professional rugby.

Land Rover's association with the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province kicked off in 2014, for that year's Vodacom Super Rugby and Currie Cup tournaments. In 2015, six DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province players went on to feature in the South African national squad at Rugby World Cup 2015, where Land Rover is a worldwide partner.

"Around the world, Land Rover is involved in rugby on every level – from amateur clubs and schools, all the way to the pinnacle of the sport, the Rugby World Cup," said Lisa Mallett, Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa. "And through our association with Western Province Rugby and the Land Rover Rugby Ambassadors we're building an excellent platform to support and develop rugby in South Africa."

Selected players from the DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province squads are chosen as Land Rover Rugby ambassadors. On the field, these courageous players use their determination, skill and strength to conquer all odds when facing off against the world's toughest teams. Off the field, Land Rover enables them to pursue their passion for the sport through Rugby Goes Rural, Moments that Matter and Hope Crosses Any Terrain.

The Rugby Goes Rural rugby clinics are hosted by the Land Rover ambassadors at rural schools throughout South Africa, as well as schools where those ambassadors grew up playing rugby. Rugby Goes Rural forms part of Land Rover's Hope Crosses Any Terrain programme, which contributes to Jaguar Land Rover's global corporate social responsibility objective of creating opportunities for 12 million people by 2020.

"Over the last three years the team at Land Rover has proven to be every bit as passionate about rugby as our fans are, and created some excellent opportunities. The players definitely are proud to wear the Land Rover badge," said Paul Zacks, CEO of Western Province Rugby. "I look forward to working with Land Rover on all the exciting projects they have for the fans and the players, over the next three years."

President of the Western Province Rugby Football Union, Mr Thelo Wakefield, said that the union is proud to stand together with a sponsor like Land Rover.

"It fills us with pride to be associated with a prestigious sponsor like Land Rover and we look forward to the next chapter of this great partnership," said Wakefield.

The 2017 Land Rover ambassadors include DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province players, Captain, Siya Kolisi, Vice Captain, Eben Etzebeth, 2016 SARU Rugby Player of the Year, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Juan de Jongh, Scarra Ntubeni and a sixth Land Rover Rugby Ambassador to be revealed within the next month.

Warren Gatland today unveiled the 41-man squad for the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand.

"I feel humbled and extremely proud to be given the opportunity to captain the Lions for a second Tour"

Sam Warburton of Cardiff Blues and Wales will lead the Lions for a second consecutive Tour, an honour only ever achieved once before by Martin Johnson in 1997 and 2001.

Warburton will be supported by a number of former Lions with two players on their third and 14 on their second Tour.

The squad consists of 22 forwards and 19 backs, with Maro Itoje the youngest player at the age of 22.

Gatland, who spoke to Warburton on Thursday afternoon last week, explained: "Sam is a great player, an outstanding leader and a winning Lions captain. We believe that Sam's experience and leadership qualities make him an obvious choice as captain. He has earned the respect of his peers and coaches through his resilience, tenacity and hard work."

On the eve of the announcement Warburton attended a private dinner with all the living Lions captains in the Hilton Syon Park.

He said: "Being in the same room as so many Lions legends was an amazing experience. I feel humbled and extremely proud to be given the opportunity to captain the Lions for a second Tour and look forward to playing the world champions on their own turf with the best players of the UK and Ireland at my side."

Backs:
Dan Biggar - Ospreys, Wales
Elliot Daly - Wasps, England
Jonathan Davies - Scarlets, Wales, Lions #778
Owen Farrell - Saracens, England, Lions #780
Leigh Halfpenny - Toulon, Wales, Lions #775
Robbie Henshaw - Leinster Rugby, Ireland
Stuart Hogg - Glasgow Warriors, Scotland, Lions #783
Jonathan Joseph - Bath Rugby, England
Conor Murray - Munster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #790
George North - Northampton Saints, Wales, Lions #792
Jack Nowell - Exeter Chiefs, England
Jared Payne - Ulster Rugby, Ireland
Jonathan Sexton - Leinster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #791
Tommy Seymour - Glasgow Warriors, Scotland
Ben Te'o - Worcester Warriors, England
Anthony Watson - Bath Rugby, England
Rhys Webb - Ospreys, Wales
Liam Williams - Scarlets, Wales
Ben Youngs - Leicester Tigers, England, Lions #799

Forwards:
Rory Best - Ulster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #793
Dan Cole - Leicester Tigers, England, Lions #794
Taulupe Faletau - Bath Rugby, Wales, Lions #779
Tadhg Furlong - Leinster Rugby, Ireland
Jamie George - Saracens, England
Iain Henderson - Ulster Rugby, Ireland
Maro Itoje - Saracens, England
Alun Wyn Jones - Ospreys, Wales, Lions #761
George Kruis - Saracens, England
Courtney Lawes - Northampton Saints, England
Joe Marler - Harlequins, England
Jack McGrath - Leinster Rugby, Ireland
Ross Moriarty - Gloucester Rugby, Wales
Sean O'Brien - Leinster Rugby, Ireland, Lions #796
Peter O'Mahony - Munster Rugby, Ireland
Ken Owens - Scarlets, Wales
Kyle Sinckler - Harlequins, England
CJ Stander - Munster Rugby, Ireland
Justin Tipuric - Ospreys, Wales, Lions #786
Mako Vunipola - Saracens, England, Lions #787
Billy Vunipola - Saracens, England
Sam Warburton (Captain) - Cardiff Blues, Wales, Lions #800

The British & Irish Lions have announced that Cornwall-based Sharp's Brewery's premium cask beer, Doom Bar, has become an Official Sponsor for the 2017 Tour to New Zealand.

"The association of Doom Bar with the Lions is a great fit, based on our values of dedication, commitment, precision and teamwork, which are required on the field and in the brew house."

The Lions Tour is a unique moment in the global sporting calendar. Once every four years a squad from the four home nations of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland come together to take on the southern hemisphere, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand, playing each team only once every 12 years.

Doom Bar will be joining the Lions family as an Official Sponsor in the UK and Ireland. This partnership will run up to and throughout the 10-game adventure building to the highlight of the sporting summer, the three Test match series against the All Blacks, the double world champions.

James Nicholls, Senior Brand Manager at Sharp's Brewery said: "We believe the 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand represents the iconic and inspirational pinnacle of the rugby game so this is a proud moment for all of us in the brewery. The association of Doom Bar with the Lions is a great fit, based on our values of dedication, commitment, precision and teamwork, which are required on the field and in the brew house.

"Doom Bar has always had a strong association with rugby and we are especially proud of our history of supporting numerous local clubs in Cornwall and beyond, where rugby values are instrumental in helping to develop both individuals and communities. We wish the team every success in New Zealand - it promises to be one of the most captivating tours yet with an outstanding array of talent available for the forthcoming squad selection."

Charlie McEwen, Chief Operating Officer of the British & Irish Lions, said: "We are delighted to welcome Doom Bar into the Lions commercial family and we are sure that our fans at home will enjoy celebrating the Tour with a pint of Doom Bar in hand. We look forward to working with them in the coming months in the UK & Ireland during the Tour."

Doom Bar is the UK's no. 1 cask beer, taking its name from the sandbank at the mouth of the River Camel in Rock on the Atlantic coast of North Cornwall, home of Sharp's Brewery since 1994.

Sharp's Brewery is a modern brewer, committed to brewing from only highest quality ingredients, without artificial additives.

LAFAYETTE, Colo. - USA Rugby, the national governing body for rugby in the United States, and adidas today announced a multi-year partnership in which the Portland, Oregon based company will be the official kit supplier for USA National Teams and representative teams.

"We are extremely proud to partner with adidas and offer our athletes the best athletic apparel possible," said David Sternberg, CEO of USA Rugby's commercial arm Rugby International Marketing. "adidas is a world-renowned brand that supplies kits to some of the most successful athletes and teams in the world. Adding a partner of their stature is further proof of rugby's growth in the United States and around the world."

With the new multi-year deal, adidas will be the primary creator and outfitter of all team training and competition apparel for USA Rugby. Additionally, Age-grade teams and representative sides such as the Collegiate All-Americans and Falcons, respectively, will also be outfitted with adidas branded kits.

"adidas has a ton of momentum and as we continue to inspire athletes as the sports brand for creators, this new partnership provides a tremendous opportunity to showcase some of our most innovative apparel and footwear," said Jeff McGillis, Senior Director of U.S. Sports at adidas. "Our mission is to help athletes perform better and we're honored to play a part in one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. as the brand continues its focus on winning in this market."

The iconic three stripe logo known around the world debuted on the match day kit for the Women's Eagles during their CanAm Series in Chula Vista, Calif. and will be featured on the match day kit of the Men's Eagles Sevens at this weekend's Hong Kong Sevens. The world-class apparel will also roll out to the Women's Eagles Sevens for their next stop on the HSBC Sevens Series in Kitakyushu, Japan later this month. The Men's Eagles will debut their new kit against Ireland June 10 at Red Bull Arena.

The Women's Eagles will debut custom adidas kit during this August's Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland, designed specifically for the tournament.

World Rugby Shop is the official retail partner of USA Rugby and will continue offering fans all match day kit of the Men's and Women's Eagles. Official adidas kit will be available for purchase starting May 2017.

Read more at https://www.usarugby.org/2017/04/usa-rugby-to-partner-with-adidas-in-new-multi-year-agreement/?w8XbxQgLXutm9EhR.99

LAFAYETTE, Colo. - USA Rugby, the national governing body for rugby in the United States, and adidas today announced a multi-year partnership in which the Portland, Oregon based company will be the official kit supplier for USA National Teams and representative teams.

"We are extremely proud to partner with adidas and offer our athletes the best athletic apparel possible," said David Sternberg, CEO of USA Rugby's commercial arm Rugby International Marketing. "adidas is a world-renowned brand that supplies kits to some of the most successful athletes and teams in the world. Adding a partner of their stature is further proof of rugby's growth in the United States and around the world."

With the new multi-year deal, adidas will be the primary creator and outfitter of all team training and competition apparel for USA Rugby. Additionally, Age-grade teams and representative sides such as the Collegiate All-Americans and Falcons, respectively, will also be outfitted with adidas branded kits.

"adidas has a ton of momentum and as we continue to inspire athletes as the sports brand for creators, this new partnership provides a tremendous opportunity to showcase some of our most innovative apparel and footwear," said Jeff McGillis, Senior Director of U.S. Sports at adidas. "Our mission is to help athletes perform better and we're honored to play a part in one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. as the brand continues its focus on winning in this market."

The iconic three stripe logo known around the world debuted on the match day kit for the Women's Eagles during their CanAm Series in Chula Vista, Calif. and will be featured on the match day kit of the Men's Eagles Sevens at this weekend's Hong Kong Sevens. The world-class apparel will also roll out to the Women's Eagles Sevens for their next stop on the HSBC Sevens Series in Kitakyushu, Japan later this month. The Men's Eagles will debut their new kit against Ireland June 10 at Red Bull Arena.

The Women's Eagles will debut custom adidas kit during this August's Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland, designed specifically for the tournament.

World Rugby Shop is the official retail partner of USA Rugby and will continue offering fans all match day kit of the Men's and Women's Eagles. Official adidas kit will be available for purchase starting May 2017.

Read more at https://www.usarugby.org/2017/04/usa-rugby-to-partner-with-adidas-in-new-multi-year-agreement/?w8XbxQgLXutm9EhR.99

Whyte & Mackay are proud partners of The British & Irish Lions New Zealand Tour 2017.
Bearing its iconic double lion on its logo for more than 170 years, the similarities between the award-winning blended Scotch whisky and The British & Irish Lions, established in 1888 don't stop there.

The most unique touring team in world sport, the Lions are the best of the best, selected from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales - much like Whyte & Mackay's blending process which brings the finest single malts from the Highland and Speyside regions of Scotland, together with grain whisky in a unique triple maturation process. Since 1844 Whyte & Mackay has been creating its award-winning blended Scotch whisky with a surprisingly smooth, rich taste.

Keep an eye out for special partnership branded promotions from the Whyte & Mackay across the UK.

Learn more about Whyte & Mackay at http://www.whyteandmackay.com

And follow our campaign on social media at facebook.com/whyteandmackay and twitter.com/whyteandmackay

Visit the official Whyte & Mackay website

Tue 21st March 17 :

Ladbrokes joins Knights

The Newcastle Knights is pleased to announce the world's oldest bookmaker, Ladbrokes, will proudly adorn the Club's jersey for the remainder of the 2017 season.

With extensive partnerships in both sports and racing, the Knights are the first New South Wales based club Ladbrokes signed up with.

"They are more than a club, they are a community, and they are a team headed in the right direction," Ladbrokes Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Kibsgaard, said.

"The circle of football life means there will always be ups and downs and the Knights have a strong history and a strong future and that's the kind of organisation we want to be a part of."

As well as the well-recognised red Ladbrokes logo taking pride of place on the back of the Knights jersey, it will also feature on the goal post and corner post pads at home games.

"Ladbrokes is all about winning and so are the Knights as we saw just last weekend when they did so against the odds," Kibsgaard said.

With the Knights' 30th anniversary campaign just commenced, Ladbrokes have secured the final spot on the 2017 jersey.

"To have a global brand and market leader like Ladbrokes join the Knights is fantastic news for the Club," said Knights CEO Matt Gidley.

"We welcome Ladbrokes into our sponsor family and look forward to sharing our 30th year with them."

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.