Capgemini named Global Innovation Partner for World Rugby Sevens Series

02 February 2018 3 min. read
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Capgemini has a long history of supporting rugby, and has further strengthened its ties with the sport via a new multi-year partnership with the World Rugby Sevens Series. The deal will see Capgemini offer global support, as well as providing innovative new methods to help engage fans with insights into the sport.

Capgemini has been present in the world of rugby for 25 of its 50 years in business. The firm’s founder, the late Serge Kampf, was a lifelong rugby fan and sponsor of the sport, so naturally, alongside Capgemini’s support of domestic rugby clubs, the consultancy was also a sponsor of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, which took place in Kampf’s native France. Commenting on the parallels he saw between the sport and his business, Kampf once said, “Rugby is a team sport in which you can’t accomplish anything without the rest of your teammates, where the player who scores a try doesn’t think he’s king of the world because he knows it’s the result of teamwork, a shared drive and a common strategy.”

Now, Capgemini has strengthened its ties with the global game, by partnering with what the company described as “the most innovative form” of the sport. Rugby sevens is a more agile variant of rugby union, in which teams consist of seven players and play seven minute halves, instead of the traditional 15 players playing 40 minute halves. The game is popular at all levels, with amateur and club tournaments generally held in the summer months. Capgemini has become the official Global Innovation Partner of the Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, and the new multi-year partnership will also see the firm become a key sponsor of the sport’s separate Rugby World Cup Sevens event, taking place in July 2018, hosted for the first time in San Francisco.

The World Series has been held every season since the inaugural 1999–2000 season, and this year’s tour includes 10 Men’s Tournaments and 5 Women’s across the globe in which 16 and 12 national sevens teams respectively, compete for points at each round for the Men’s and Women’s overall Series. At present, the World Rugby Sevens Series Men’s rankings see New Zealand and South Africa as the two sides vying for supremacy, with England, Scotland and Wales all well off the pace. Meanwhile, in the Women’s standings, Australia top the table, followed by the USA.

In addition to its global support, Capgemini’s 2,000 global staff will also offer their expertise in the realms of innovation and technology to the series, working to enhance the fan experience for current and future spectators. During the series, it will be providing fans with greater access to deeper insights into the game of Rugby Sevens, the players and the teams. Examples of innovations Capgemini will apply to further bring the experience to life for the fans, will include the use of data and infographics to augment the tournament experience in stadiums, on television and social, as well as a web series that will combine Capgemini’s insights on the game, presented by a rugby expert, to share a deeper perspective on matches.

Paul Hermelin, Chairman and CEO of the Capgemini Group, said, “Our sponsorship of the Sevens Series combines perfectly our heritage with our global reach, in an innovative and inclusive way. It is the next chapter in the story of Capgemini’s support for rugby.”

Bill Beaumont, World Rugby Chairman, added, “We are delighted to be welcoming Capgemini to our growing and global commercial family for Men’s and Women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018.”

Capgemini are not the only consulting firm to have backed rugby in the past though. Big Four firm PwC have sponsored the Irish rugby union side for the past 12 years, having recently extended a sponsorship deal until 2020.