World Rugby and Canon have announced an extension of their association that will see the leading technology brand become a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand and an Official Imaging Supplier of Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.
The announcement represents the first time that Canon has entered into an agreement specifically for the women’s game.
It reflects the organisation’s alignment with World Rugby’s commitment to accelerating the advancement of gender equality globally while playing its full role in the promotion of one of the fastest-growing team sports on the planet.
Rugby World Cup 2021 is set to take New Zealand by storm from 8 October to 12 November 2022 as the southern hemisphere prepares to host the women’s edition of the pinnacle tournament for the first time.
The tournament will see 12 of the world’s top women’s 15s teams go head-to-head to see who will be crowned world champions at Auckland’s Eden Park on 12 November.
Rugby World Cup 2021 will also be Canon’s third consecutive involvement with Rugby World Cup, having previously sponsored the men’s editions in 2015 in England and 2019 in Japan, the most globally impactful rugby event of all time.
Canon is the fourth Japanese brand to join the Rugby World Cup 2023 commercial family following a record-breaking Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, which surpassed all initial commercial revenue projections, largely influenced by strong interest from Japanese and wider Asian brands.
Canon will have a crucial role in supporting photographers and international media to capture the incredible moments during France 2023; a tournament set to be the major attraction in the sporting calendar that year, bringing the rugby family together for a celebration of the 200 years of the sport.
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “Having recently confirmed both men’s and women’s editions of Rugby World Cup up until 2033, there couldn’t be a more pivotal time to welcome Canon on board.
Their relentless focus on innovation echoes our vision to make rugby as relevant and accessible as possible and their support will accelerate the development of our sport across the globe.
“We have had the great pleasure of working with Canon for a number of years and we are very proud to be continuing our long-standing relationship for Rugby World Cups 2021 and 2023.
Canon shares our passion for driving gender parity across the game and we are delighted to be welcoming them to the partner family for the pinnacle women’s 15s tournament that kicks off in New Zealand later this year.”
As a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2021 and Official Imaging Supplier of Rugby World Cup 2023, Canon will make available the full support of its diverse businesses, ranging from products and solutions, including cameras, lenses, video camcorders, network cameras and medical equipment.
As with other major sporting competitions, both in Japan and overseas, Canon will provide behind-the-scenes support services to members of the media covering Rugby World Cup 2021 and 2023, including camera and lens maintenance services and product loans, to enable the best possible capture of the top-class athletes competing on the sport’s biggest stage.
Canon Inc. Chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai, commented: “Following on from Rugby World Cup 2015 in England and Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, Canon is delighted to continue backing the tournaments as Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand and Official Imaging Supplier of Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.
I am delighted that we have been granted this opportunity to support both the men’s and women’s tournaments. In addition to supporting professional photographers and news media as they capture the intense action of the world’s top teams facing off in peak condition, Canon will do its utmost to support World Rugby, the owner of both tournaments, as well as the organising committees, relevant authorities, local government and other corporate sponsors.”