Coca-Cola named official sponsor of Rugby World Cup 2015

The Coca‑Cola Company today announced its sponsorship of Rugby World Cup 2015 as official soft drink, sports drink and water supplier, and will join forces with Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll, who will act as campaign ambassador.

The partnership was announced today in London, where Brian O’Driscoll surprised rugby mad teens with a very special training session.

The session took place at The Petchey Academy in Hackney, giving teen rugby players from local amateur club, the Hackney Bulls, and schools across East London the chance learn some new rugby skills from one of the world’s greatest ever players.

The Coca‑Cola Company’s Rugby World Cup 2015 ambassador Brian O’Driscoll, the most capped player in international rugby history (141), said: “I'm really excited to be working with Coca‑Cola for Rugby World Cup 2015 and see this as an opportunity to bring the game to a wider audience. As a former professional sportsman, I’m a passionate believer in the importance of leading an active, healthy lifestyle and understanding the benefits of physical activity. Today’s surprise session was a great way to kick start the partnership between Coca‑Cola and Rugby World Cup.

“East London is not an area of the country that is synonymous with rugby. But Rugby World Cup 2015 is going to bring a whole new audience to our game and I’m excited to be to be working with Coca‑Cola to show fans new and old just how enjoyable and exciting the sport can be,” O’Driscoll continued.

The exciting new partnership for Coca‑Cola continues its rich heritage in the international game and marks almost two decades as a partner of the world’s most iconic rugby event.

As rugby fever begins to grip the host country and the rest of the world, Coca‑Cola looks forward to celebrating the passion, excitement and happiness of Rugby World Cup 2015 with fans throughout Ireland.

Paul Dwan, General Manger of the Coca‑Cola team for Rugby World Cup 2015 said: “Rugby World Cup 2015 looks set to be the biggest ever; we’re delighted to be a part of it to celebrate the excitement and passion the tournament will generate. The game enjoys fantastic support, we saw the tonight with the great turn out from the Hackney Bulls and The Petchey Academy, but we hope that through our sponsorship we can bring rugby to an even wider audience next year.”

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman, Bernard Lapasset said: “We are delighted to be extending our long and successful partnership with Coca‑Cola as official soft drink. With Rugby experiencing unprecedented growth around the world and Rugby World Cup playing a pivotal role in inspiring future fans and players, we are delighted to be working with a brand that shares our passion for the sport and its character-building values.”

World Rugby Head of Commercial, Broadcast and Marketing, Murray Barnett added: "The Coca‑Cola Company is a long term partner of World Rugby. It is a testament to the strength of Rugby World Cup, and rugby as a sport, that Coca‑Cola is continuing to support the tournament in 2015.”

Coca‑Cola has had a long standing association with rugby from an international level through to grassroots. Since first sponsoring Rugby World Cup 1995 in South Africa, Coca‑Cola has featured at every tournament as well as supporting various local rugby initiatives around the world.

For Rugby World Cup 2015, Coca‑Cola will hydrate fans, players, teams and officials at the tournament and provide exciting rugby opportunities that celebrate the passion, excitement and movement of rugby around the world.

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The Coca‑Cola Company and Rugby World Cup 2015

The Coca‑Cola Company will become the official soft drink provider of Rugby World Cup 2015.

Powerade will become the official sports drink of Rugby World Cup 2015.

glacéau smartwater will become the official water of Rugby World Cup 2015.

Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup is the financial engine behind unprecedented investment and growth in Rugby worldwide. The net Rugby World Cup surplus from the commercial success of France 2007 and New Zealand 2011 has enabled World Rugby to invest more than £150 million in the Game between 2009 and 2012 and commit an anticipated injection of more than £180 million between 2013 and 2016 to underwrite a large range of major funding initiatives including annual national Union grants and strategic investments focusing on growing participation and increasing competition across all 121 national Member Unions affiliated to World Rugby.

For more information about Rugby World Cup 2015 please visit www.rugbyworldcup.com

England 2015

Rugby World Cup 2015, hosted in England between September 18 and October 31, will be a celebration of Rugby and its unique character-building values, exciting and inspiring the nation and the world to play and support the Game. England Rugby 2015 are the organising committee for Rugby World Cup 2015 and will deliver the six-week tournament, hosted in 10 English cities and in Cardiff, Wales. Thirteen match venues will play host to the 48 games that will celebrate and engage more than two million spectators, including more than 450,000 international travelling fans.