17 May 17 2018—Canon Inc. announced today that the Company has signed a contract to provide special sponsorship as the title sponsor of the Bledisloe Cup 2018, a rugby competition between the national teams of New Zealand and Australia, to be held in Japan.
Following the signing of this contract, Canon was named the title sponsor of the Bledisloe Cup 2018, with the third match of the tournament to be held on Saturday, October 27, 2018 at Nissan Stadium in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Accordingly, the official tournament title will be the “Canon Bledisloe Cup 2018.”
Held between the national teams of New Zealand (the All Blacks) and Australia (the Wallabies), the Bledisloe Cup is a rugby competition with a rich history of over 80 years. This year marks the second occasion that the competition will come to Japan, having last been held in the country in 2009.
Canon is also an official supporter of the Japanese National Rugby Team and an official sponsor of the Rugby World Cup 2019TM in Japan, which will take place in twelve cities and prefectures1 across the country from September 20 to November 2, 2019. The Company has signed a contract to become title sponsor of the Canon Bledisloe Cup 2018 as part of its efforts to foster momentum leading up to the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan.
As with other sporting competitions in the past, both in Japan and overseas, Canon will provide behind-the-scenes support to members of the press covering the Canon Bledisloe Cup 2018, including camera and lens maintenance services and product loans, to enable the best possible capture of the top-class athletes competing at the zenith of their sport.
Through event sponsorships and proprietary products and technologies, the Canon Group contributes to the further promotion of sporting activities.
Japan Rugby Football Union Chairman Tadashi Okamura said, “It is a pleasure to have Canon as a special sponsor of the Bledisloe Cup, a competition with a rich history, and to host the Canon Bledisloe Cup 2018 here in Japan. Of the eight most recent Rugby World Cup tournaments, New Zealand has won three times, and Australia, twice. Having them compete at Nissan Stadium, which will also host the Final match of the Rugby World Cup 2019, will create additional opportunities to foster enthusiasm ahead of the upcoming tournament. I am eagerly awaiting what will surely be a thrilling match between two teams at the top of their game.”
Canon Inc. Chairman & CEO Fujio Mitarai said, “Canon is delighted to be the title sponsor for the Canon Bledisloe Cup 2018. Two of the world’s top teams, the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies, will face off at Nissan Stadium—which will also host the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final—generating further excitement for next year’s tournament. In addition to supporting professional photographers and news media from Japan and overseas as they capture the intense action, Canon will work together with the Japan Rugby Football Union, New Zealand Rugby, Rugby Australia, relevant authorities, local government and other corporate sponsors, doing our utmost to support the tournament.”
About the Bledisloe Cup
A regular rugby competition held between the national teams of New Zealand (ranked first in World Rugby2), and Australia (ranked fourth2). The tournament takes its name from Lord Bledisloe, who served as Governor-General of New Zealand from 1930-1935, during which time he contributed to the growth of the New Zealand national team and presented the tournament cup. This battle between two of rugby’s leading teams has long been one of the sport’s most prestigious tournaments.
1 Sapporo City, Iwate Prefecture and Kamaishi City, Saitama Prefecture and Kumagaya City, Tokyo Metropolitan, Kanagawa Prefecture and Yokohama City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Aichi Prefecture and Toyota City, Osaka Prefecture and Higashiosaka City, Kobe City, Fukuoka Prefecture and Fukuoka City, Kumamoto Prefecture and Kumamoto City, Oita Prefecture. (Host responsibilities will be shared by Cities and Prefectures written together)
2As of May 2018