World Rugby has taken another step in its efforts to globalise the Rugby World Cup Sevens brand by partnering with sports and entertainment company AEG for its 2018 edition, which will be held at San Francisco’s AT&T Park from July 20-22.
AEG Merchandise has been named the official licensee of merchandise for the tournament, which will make its US debut next year.
AEG will hold the exclusive worldwide licence to use the name, logo, insignia, trademarks, and any service marks for RWC Sevens 2018. An online store will be open from September 1 with products to be sold in both pop-up and established retail locations before the end of 2017.
AEG will create and market a range of tournament-branded clothing and other products, including personalised merchandise.
Tournament director Philippe Bourdarias said: “This is another important step forward for a tournament that is really capturing the imagination of sports fans in the USA and around the world.
“The fact that more than 40,000 tickets were snapped up in the first week of sales shows how popular it’s going to be and it’s great that fans, whether in the stadium or not, will be able to access official tournament merchandise through this partnership with AEG.”
New Zealand captured the men's and women's world titles at the previous edition of the event in 2013 in Moscow, Russia.
The five-year gap between World Cup Sevens editions reflects World Rugby’s decision to move the event back one year into the Olympic cycle to maximise rugby's integration into the Olympic Games programme. Rugby sevens debuted at the Rio Olympics last year.