It is with great pride that HSBC continues to work in partnership with World Rugby to drive forward the growth of rugby sevens all over the world and we have been delighted to support the sport as it has taken a great leap forward. The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has gone from strength to strength; with millions of new fans experiencing the sport, new venues and superstar players emerging in both the men’s and women’s series and new teams constantly challenging. Olympic inclusion was another shot in the arm for sevens, exposing it to new fans in new markets all over the world. The sport is more unpredictable and more exciting than ever before. At HSBC, our belief is that the sport now sits at a moment of unprecedented opportunity for growth, and we are proud to be helping turn that opportunity into reality.
One of the keys to accelerating growth is bringing more young people into the game. Our partnership with the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has allowed us to run sevens-focused training programmes across the globe, including our partnership with the world’s biggest school’s sevens tournament in Rosslyn Park. In 2018, HSBC had over 100,000 children participate in our grassroots programmes globally with programmes across Asia, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, the USA and Hong Kong. In 2017 we introduced two new programmes, HSBC Try Rugby in Hong Kong and the Rookie Rugby programme in Canada and both continue to have a significant impact in growing the game in those regions.
In terms of the elite game we work in partnership with the key stakeholders in the world of sevens to help the sport continue to flourish in both existing and new rugby markets. In 2016 we commissioned The Futures Company, a strategic consultancy, to produce a report into the future of rugby. The findings of ‘The Future of Rugby: A HSBC Report’ ranged from new formats and new technology to identifying which nations might be the rugby powerhouses of the future, and continue to drive the agenda for the growth of sevens.
A key part of our role within sevens is also to celebrate the exciting nature of the sport, helping to elevate its profile and entertain new and existing fans all over the world. We highlight the unbelievable and unexpected stories and spectacular action in sevens on our @HSBC_Sport social channels. In the last year we’ve documented the behind-the-scenes journey of the USA Men’s Rugby Sevens team as they attempt to shock the world and take home the Rugby World Cup Sevens in ‘The Pioneers’ and explored the mind, body and soul of the unique players of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. All of which came hot on the heels of our commissioning of an award-winning documentary ‘Sevens from heaven’ that explored incredible story of sevens in Fiji.
As rugby sevens enters a brave new world of incredible opportunity, HSBC is delighted to continue to stand in partnership with the sport and help it thrive in the long term.