Pokémon GO Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary

After COVID-19 forced Pokémon Go to adopt a virtual format for its anniversary last year, Niantic is making up for the lost time. To celebrate Pokémon Go’s fifth anniversary, the company has an array of events and marketing tie-ins planned for trainers, including its two-day Pokémon GO Fest with Google Play as the official sponsor, a partnership with US Verizon stores, a new official TikTok channel and more.

To kick off the month-long celebration, Pokémon has teamed up with Verizon to turn stores across the US into PokéStops and Gyms, where trainers can unlock exclusive in-game content and get access to special events. These include limited edition giveaways and scheduled raids that give users a chance to catch legendary Pokémon.

Verizon is also giving trainers who visit stores an exclusive bundle of 2x Premium Raid Passes, 1x Lucky Egg, 1x Incense and 20x Poké Balls. Before heading over, trainers can check the Pokémon GO app to see if their local Verizon store is a Gym or PokéStop. Once inside, they’ll be directed to scan a QR code with their phone to register and receive the bundle. Trainers need not be Verizon customers to participate and can expect more information on raids to be released once per week until August 4.

Pokémon GO is also hosting GO Battle League Season 8, a global matching system that lets trainers battle each other around the world and earn rewards; the season will run through the end of August. Plus, all throughout the month of July, trainers can experience different Pokémon appearing in five-star raids.

The anniversary coincides with Pokémon GO’s foray into TikTok. Since the launch of the channel on June 25, the account has posted six videos and amassed about 97,000 followers and 333,000 likes. One video, which taps into TikTok’s viral ‘Tell me without telling me’ challenge, already received 4.5 million views and over 3,000 comments.

These events are all in preparation for Pokémon GO Fest 2021, taking place on July 17 and 18. Pokémon GO is treating users to a price slash in tickets, down from $15 to $5 for one ticket, which affords them access to both days of the event.

With Google Play as the official sponsor, Google Play members will get four times Google Play points on all purchases made in Pokémon GO, including tickets. Trainers using Android devices on Saturday, July 17 will also be eligible for an exclusive sponsored gift that will enhance their Pokémon GO Fest experience. Lastly, trainers in the US and Canada can purchase a branded T-shirt from pokemoncenter.com.

On day 1 of the event, Pokémon GO is bringing back themed hourly habitats from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., during which time trainers can catch certain Pokémon more frequently in the wild. In addition, trainers will get a free shirt avatar item and may be able to witness the debut of one of seven new Pokémon.

Day 1 of the festival will also feature a music component that lets trainers help Professor Willow and the team leaders throw a concert by choosing certain Pokémon to join the in-game event. Trainers can complete Special Research in exchange for special rewards. They’ll also have the chance to determine their in-game music, with new songs created by Pokémon music producer Junichi Masuda.

Also on Day 1, Pokémon Go is bringing back the global challenge arena, where fans can team up to complete a challenge each hour, which, if they complete in time, will earn them a bonus for the remainder of the hour. Ticket holders can complete four Collection Challenges.  

Day 2 is dedicated to raids, where ticket holders will be able to earn an extra 10,000 XP in raid rewards after completing a Raid Battle, spin gym photo discs to earn up to 10 Raid Passes, complete timed research to earn eight Remote Raid Passes and pick up a free event bundle containing three remote raid passes.

This year also marks Pokémon’s 25th anniversary. To commemorate a quarter-century, Niantic is releasing another Pokemon mobile game called UNITE in September and two main-core games for the Nintendo Switch later this year, according to 9 to 5 Mac.

T-Mobile And MLB Create Augmented Reality App For Home Run Derby

T-Mobile has announced a partnership with Major League Baseball that will give fans a chance to experience the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Denver’s Coors Field through a new app called MLB AR (augmented reality) that the companies created together ahead of MLB All-Star Week. In addition, fans will be able to see the batting practice and the Derby in real-time via 5G-integrated cameras mounted atop players’ hats and catchers’ masks.

On July 12 at 8 p.m. ET, fans, not just T-Mobile customers, can watch Coors Field in 3D while getting access to game stats. Perks for T-Mobile customers with a 5G device include the ability to replay home runs and unlock bonus stats like hang time, exit, velocity and max height. T-Mobile and MLB have plans to evolve the partnership by rolling out new features and equipping other stadiums with the same immersive technology.

T-Mobile’s 5G-embedded cameras will be affixed to players’ hats and catchers’ masks, virtually placing fans onto the field. This marks the first time these cameras are being integrated into a professional sports league’s jewel event. Created in partnership with ActionStreamer, the 5G cameras are also the first to deploy live, synchronized HD video and audio over T-Mobile’s 5G network. To top it off retired MLB All-Star Hunter Pence and MLB Network host Lauren Gardner will be hosting T-Mobile 5G BP online, starting July 12 online and across all MLB social channels.

Engaging fans a step further, in the days leading up to the Home Run Derby, T-Mobile is hosting activations in-person and on social media. Starting July 7, fans can enter their game predictions about who hits the longest home run for a chance to win $100,000 via MLB’s Brackett Challenge, which requires providing an email address.

Next, from July 9-13, fans who visit T-Mobile’s hologram studio at the Colorado Convention Center can project their own life-size hologram into a baseball card in real-time then share it to their social media profile.

T-Mobile is also transforming one of its Denver stores into an ‘All-Star Bat Shop’ where fans can customize and professionally engrave their own 18” bat with a logo from one of the 30 MLB clubs for free. T-Mobile says “special MLB legends” will be making appearances.

The partnership comes with a good cause too—T-Mobile will be donating $10,000 (and up to half a million dollars) for every home run hit with a magenta ball during bonus time at the Derby to the T-Mobile Little League Call Up Grant Program. The Program pays Little League Baseball and Softball registration fees for under-resourced families.

For years, T-Mobile has offered free baseball streaming to those on its network. Ahead of the league’s opening day, April 1, the carrier gave T-Mobile, Sprint and Metro customers the ability to access the MLB.TV streaming service for free through its T-Mobile Tuesdays app.

Last year, MLB canceled the remainder of its Spring Training games and delayed the start of the 2020 regular season due to COVID-19. MLB hadn’t started its season on July 4 due to the pandemic, and when a shortened season did start on July 23 no fans were allowed.

Marriott Bonvoy’s New Global Campaign Calls On Consumers To Embrace The Healing Power Of Travel

The hotel industry is expected to close out 2021 down 500,000 jobs, a prediction that has prompted the American Hotel & Lodging Association to team up with Unite Here to call on Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act. The bill aims to support workers until travel returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Though half of Americans over age 12 are fully vaccinated and while some are ready to hit the road again, business travel—the largest source of hotel revenue—is down 85 percent and isn’t expected to slowly return until the end of this year.

Amid the industry’s sluggish rebound and growing adoption of contactless check-in services and digital keys, Marriott’s rewards program turned travel platform, Bonvoy, has launched a global campaign called “Power of Travel” calling on consumers to embrace the healing power of travel after a year of being confined to the walls of their homes.

With the tagline, “Where can we take you?” the campaign marks Marriott’s biggest full-funnel campaign and will come to life in an omnichannel media strategy comprising streaming and television spots, in-flight entertainment, display, digital, mobile, paid and owned social, and out-of-home placements.

The campaign’s 60-second spot features a diverse cast engaged in heartfelt travel moments with loved ones in international locales including Shanghai, Barcelona and Los Angeles. According to a press release, every aspect of the film was intended:

“Casting features a range of age, body type, race, ethnicity, skin tones, sexual orientation, abilities, gender, and more; wardrobe is done authentically through styling and clothing choices; cultural and experiential cues with key signifiers are weaved throughout; filming locations represent a global mindset; and storylines portray diverse perspectives and experiences, underscoring how travel is transformative – no matter where you come from, what you look like, who you love, and what your abilities are.”

The spots began on June 24, airing during the NBA Finals, and will also run during the Olympics. Additional TV and streaming highlights include Wimbledon and ESPN Monday Night Football. Some travel category firsts include Marriott utilizing shoppable connected TV to leverage mobile quick response codes with Hulu Gateway Go and Disney+, custom placements with HBO Max Brand Block and an ad takeover within a single show on Hulu.

Marriott is targeting Gen Z and millennials through mobile-first placements, including augmented reality filters on Snapchat. In collaboration with Pinterest, two storefronts in New York City’s Soho neighborhood will feature campaign creative that employs Pinterest’s technology that takes consumers to an immersive in-app quiz where they can learn more about the hotels within the Bonvoy portfolio.

Across social, Marriott is inviting travelers to share their images and videos via the #TravelMakesUs hashtag on Instagram and TikTok, the latter platform being a first for Marriott Bonvoy.

The “Power of Travel” is Marriott’s second campaign since COVID-19; the first was a global holiday campaign that launched in December last year. So far, it has launched in the US and Canada and will soon deploy in China, Australia, Europe and more international markets.

According to a press release, the campaign will extend into the fall with a mini docu-series that shows real traveler stories as they embark on journeys for the first time in a year.

Harris Poll research released in mid-May found that 77 percent of Americans plan to take a trip this summer and that 29 percent planned a leisure trip last summer. Fifty-two percent of Americans expect they’ll continue to have flexibility with remote school or work throughout the fall, which could mean more opportunities for travel during and beyond the back-to-school season.

While some hotel properties have yet to bring back their employees, others are busy filling roles to keep up with demand. One consideration most hotels have in common now, however, is whether their guests are willing to accept fewer services than before the pandemic—like daily turndown and breakfast buffets—according to analysts. This new shift could mean a smaller hotel workforce in the years following the industry’s rebound.

Forbes Appoints Sherry Phillips As Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Forbes elevates Sherry Phillips to chief marketing officer, Domino’s Australia taps Adam Ballesty as chief marketing officer, Burger King Americas president Chris Finazzo exits, Captain D’s promotes Bindi Menon to chief marketing officer and more. 


Forbes Appoints Sherry Phillips As Chief Marketing Officer

Forbes veteran Sherry Phillips has accepted a promotion as chief marketing officer, the magazine recently announced.

Phillips has been with Forbes for 25 years and most recently was senior vice president of Forbes Live.

Phillips replaces former Forbes CMO Lynn Schlesinger, who was recently appointed to the newly created role of chief customer experience officer.


Domino’s Australia Taps Adam Ballesty As Chief Marketing Officer

Adam Ballesty has been named CMO of Domino’s for Australia and New Zealand.

Ballesty was previously marketing and innovation director for Diageo Australia and general manager, Asia Pacific, for Seedlip.


Burger King Americas President Chris Finazzo Steps Down

President of Burger King Americas, Chris Finazzo, has exited the company after seven years.

According to Restaurant Dive, chief marketing officer Ellie Doty and chief operating officer Tom Curtis will oversee the company’s US and Canada businesses in the interim.


Captain D’s Elevates Bindi Menon To Chief Marketing Officer

Captain D’s has promoted Bindi Menon to chief marketing officer, according to a press release.

Menon has been with Captain D’s for the past 16 years, most recently as vice president of national marketing.


Jaxsta Hires Beth Appleton As Chief Marketing Officer

Jaxsta has named Warner Music executive Beth Appleton chief marketing officer, reports Billboard.

Appleton joins Jaxsta from Warner Music Australia, where she was general manager of Australia and senior vice president of marketing for Australasia.


Amerant Bancorp Taps Christine Esteve As Chief Marketing Officer

Amerant has hired Carnival Cruise Line veteran Christine Esteve as chief marketing officer.

Esteve spent the past 26 years at Carnival Cruise Line, most recently as vice president of performance marketing.


Asda Appoints Meghan Farren As Chief Customer Officer

Asda has hired KFC executive Meghan Farren as chief marketing officer.

Farren’s tenure at KFC UK and Ireland spans a decade, her most recent role being chief marketing officer.


Chili’s Promotes Michael Breed To Senior Vice President Of Marketing    

Chili’s has elevated Michael Breed to SVP of marketing for the company’s domestic operation and virtual restaurant spinoff concepts, according to Restaurant Business Online.

Breed has been with Brinker International, Chili’s parent company, for 17 years.


KiwiCo Appoints Katie Soo As Chief Marketing Officer

KiwiCo has named Katie Soo as chief marketing officer, reports Ad Age.

Soo joins KiwiCo from HBO Max, where she was senior vice president, head of growth marketing.

Kansas City Chiefs Appoint Lara Krug As Executive Vice President And Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, the Kansas City Chiefs hire Lara Krug as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Jaanuu taps former Nike marketer Dan Adler as its first CMO, Moderna names Kate Cronin chief brand officer and more.


Kansas City Chiefs Name Lara Krug Executive Vice President And Chief Marketing Officer

The Kansas City Chiefs have appointed Lara Krug to the newly created role of executive vice president and chief marketing officer, according to a Chiefs company press release.

Krug joins the Chiefs from Anheuser-Busch InBev, where she spent more than seven years. Most recently, Krug was vice president of US marketing for the company’s Stella Artois brand.

Previously, she served as vice president of US marketing for A-B’s regional brands, including Estrella Jalisco, Landshark, Presidente, Beck’s and Kirin. During her tenure, she developed and led experimental platforms and campaigns around Super Bowl LIV and the FIFA World Cup.


Jaanuu Taps Dan Adler As Its First Chief Marketing Officer

Jaanuu has hired Dan Adler as its first-ever CMO, reports Campaign.

Adler had been with Nike since 2002, most recently as global marketing chief for Nike Golf.

In addition, Jaanuu hired Scott Shepley, also a Nike veteran, as its vice president of brand marketing. Shepley most recently was global brand manager at Nike.


Moderna Appoints Kate Cronin As Its First Chief Brand Officer

Moderna has named Kate Cronin, former global chief executive officer of WPP’s Ogilvy Health, as its first chief brand officer.

Cronin’s tenure at Ogilvy spanned 16 years.


Krystal Restaurants Names Alice Crowder As Chief Marketing Officer

Krystal Restaurants has hired Alice Crowder as CMO, reports Franchising.

Crowder previously served as the brand’s vice president of marketing from 2014 to 2018 before exiting to become vice president of menu strategy and innovation at Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

Standing Out In The Crowd With Torchy’s Tacos’ Scott Hudler

Scott Hudler is the CMO of Torchy’s Tacos, an experiential craft-casual restaurant. In this episode, Scott and I explore what that means.

Torchy’s was founded a decade ago in Austin, Texas. The concept was an elevated street taco. Today they have over 83 locations in seven states and plan to add a hundred company-owned restaurants in the next five years. 

Learn how their unique ownership model instead of a franchise system helped them grow, how they lean heavily on experience and grass roots marketing, and their distinct and a little irreverent brand make it all work.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • About the intersection between fun and business
  • How great customer experience shines through the abundance of choices
  • The importance of meeting customers where they want to interact with you

Key Highlights:

  • [01:45] Scott’s favorite city
  • [03:22] The brands Scott has worked for
  • [06:01] What made Torchy’s the next “right” move
  • [07:16] Torchy’s backstory
  • [12:06] Executing a winning formula
  • [14:00] Not a franchise but individually owned
  • [17:07] Making the leaps to grow
  • [18:35] How the food industry will change post-pandemic
  • [20:15] Overcoming the abundance of choices
  • [21:41] Experiential marketing at Torchy’s
  • [26:22] A defining experience that made Scott who he is today 
  • [30:30] Scott’s advice to his younger self
  • [31:20] Scott’s impactful purchase
  • [32:38] The brands and companies Scott follows
  • [34:35] What Scott says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

Resources Mentioned: 

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Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:


Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Dunkin’ Taps Rafael Acevedo As Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Dunkin’ names Rafael Acevedo as US chief marketing officer, Kin Insurance taps Victor Lee as chief marketing officer, BMG Music elevates Shane Cosme to vice president of global marketing, Friendly’s Restaurants appoints a new chief marketing officer and more.


Dunkin’ Appoints Rafael Acevedo As Chief Marketing Officer

Dunkin’ US has named former Coca-Cola executive Rafael Acevedo as CMO.

Acevedo previously spent 19 years at Coca-Cola, most recently as vice president and general manager of the company’s tea portfolio, which includes Gold Peak, Peace Tea, Honest Tea and Fuze brands.


Kin Insurance Hires Victor Lee As Chief Marketing Officer

Kin Insurance has announced the appointment of Victor Lee to CMO.

Lee joins Kin from Kellogg’s RXBAR, where he led product development and consumer insights. Lee also previously served as senior vice president of digital marketing at Hasbro.


BMG Music Elevates Shane Cosme To Vice President Of Global Marketing

BMG Music has promoted Shane Cosme to SVP of international marketing.

Cosme joined BMG in 2018, leading the company’s global recorded music efforts and overseeing repertoire US teams in New York and Los Angeles.


Friendly’s Restaurants Announces Two New Marketing Leadership Appointments

Friendly’s Restaurants has named David Ellis as chief marketing officer. Ellis will oversee marketing for Friendly’s Restaurants as well as brands of BRIX Holdings, which include: Orange Leaf, Smoothie Factory, Red Mango, Souper Salad, Red Brick Pizza and Humble Donuts.

Ellis joins Friendly’s Restaurants and BRIX Holdings from Uncle Julio’s, where he served as CMO.

In addition, Sylvia Becker has been promoted to vice president of marketing for Friendly’s. Becker, who’s been with Friendly’s for eight years, most recently served as senior director of media services.

Previously, Becker worked as the senior director of media services for Johnny Rockets.


Instacart Taps Laura Jones As Vice President Of Brand And Marketing

Instacart has hired Laura Jones as VP of brand and marketing, the company recently announced.

Laura most recently served as global head of marketing for Uber’s Rides business.


Ntwrk Hires Jason Brown As Its First-Ever Chief Marketing Officer

The Ntwrk app has appointed Jason Brown as its first CMO, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Brown joins Ntwrk from Foot Locker, where he was vice president of marketing.

Celebrity Cruises Appoints Michael Scheiner As Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Celebrity Cruises taps Michael Scheiner as chief marketing officer, Trilogy Health Services names Melissa Richards-Person as CMO, Alpha Foods names Kierstin De West as its first CMO and more.


Celebrity Cruises Hires Michael Scheiner As Chief Marketing Officer

Michael Scheiner, former global CMO of Tommy Hilfiger, has been named senior vice president and CMO of Celebrity Cruises.

In his new role, Scheiner will oversee customer acquisition, brand loyalty and ecommerce worldwide.

Previously, Scheiner was CMO and SVP of Hollister Co. and Gilly Hicks, two brands owned by Abercrombie & Fitch Co.


Alpha Foods Taps Kierstin De West As First-Ever Chief Marketing Officer

Upon launching its inaugural TV spots, Alpha Foods has named Kierstin De West as its first CMO, reports Ad Age.

De West joins from Lululemon, where she was VP of global brand management and strategy for three years.


Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows Names Amy Funke As Director Of Marketing

Amy Funke was appointed director of marketing for the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, according to Hospitality Net.

Most recently, Funke served as director of marketing and communication for InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.


Trilogy Health Services Appoints Melissa Richards-Person As Chief Marketing Officer

According to Biz Journals, Trilogy Health Services has hired former Papa John’s SVP or brand, Melissa Richards-Person, as CMO.

Richards-Person spent nearly 12 years at Papa John’s in various marketing leadership positions.


T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Matt Staneff Exits

After nearly 19 years of working in various marketing leadership roles at T-Mobile, the company’s CMO, Matt Staneff, has stepped down.

Prior to his role as CMO, Staneff was chief commercial officer.


Facebook Vice President Of Global Business Group Departs

Carolyn Everson, VP of Facebook’s Global Business Group, has exited the company after her 10-year tenure.

According to CNBC, Nicolea Mendelsohn, head of EMEA region for Facebook’s Global Business Group, will fill in as interim VP.

Purpose Is Power With St. Jude And ALSAC’s Emily Callahan

Emily Callahan is the Chief Marketing and Experience Officer at ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

On the show, Emily and I discuss St. Jude’s origin, how she ended up as the Chief Marketing and Experience Officer, and the inspiration behind St. Jude’s partnership with SpaceX. Yes, you read that correctly. St. Jude is going to outer space. 

But in between, they also talk about purpose: what it means and how it can empower companies and their partnerships. Emily encourages people to “be a difference maker where you are.” Listen in to find out how that inspires her career, their marketing, and St. Jude’s mission.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why purpose is the power behind marketing
  • Jude’s partnership to travel to space
  • What CMOs can learn from cause marketers

Key Highlights:

  • [01:25] Emily’s morning routine
  • [02:53] Emily’s path to Chief Marketing and Experience Officer
  • [06:12] All about St. Jude Children’s Hospital
  • [10:16] What non-profit marketing looks like
  • [13:58] Purpose behind marketing
  • [17:25] St. Jude is going to space!
  • [20:37] Stories of inspiration
  • [24:33] What marketers can learn from cause marketers
  • [26:11] Emily’s career advice
  • [28:37] A defining experience that made Emily who she is today 
  • [30:07] Emily’s advice to her younger self
  • [31:58] Emily’s impact purchase
  • [33:28] The brands and companies Emily follows
  • [34:50] What Emily says is today’s biggest threat and opportunity for marketers

Resources Mentioned: 

Subscribe to the podcast:

Connect with the Guest:

Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:


Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

What We’re Reading—Week Of June 8th

Here’s what we’re reading for the week of June 8th, 2021.


The Rise Of The 50-Plus Influencer

The Drum

David Whyte, founder and chief executive of Edge, believes that now is the time for brands to wake up to the opportunities of Gen X and Baby Boomer influencers who are shattering stereotypes and creating new models, particularly on YouTube. Whyte cites the success that 57-year-old guitarist Rick Beato is having on YouTube, where his music channel boasts over 1.7 million subscribers.

Why it matters: Sixty-eight percent of consumers age 55 or older shop online every month yet just 5 percent of advertising in the US is targeted at these consumers. As Whyte notes, though the influencer landscape was for years the sole domain of millennials and Gen Z, advertisers should also consider that Baby Boomers are over ten times wealthier than their millennial counterparts.


Research: How Cultural Differences Can Impact Global Teams

Harvard Business Review

To determine when teams whose members live in different countries perform better, HBR observed the behaviors and interactions of 5,728 individuals in 804 remote international teams while they worked during several months on business consulting projects.

Why it matters: Their analyses found that personal diversity, such as differences in age and culture, can negatively affect team climate. These members find it less enjoyable to spend time together, trust each other less and generally communicate less–which leads to more conflicts.

In contrast, HBR found that contextual diversity, created by members that come from countries with different economic and political systems, can positively affect task performance because it allows for more perspectives, which boosts creativity and creates a better solution to problems.


How Two DTC Brands Revamped Their Video Creative For Performance

AdExchanger

After simply throwing money into video creative without measuring performance, Kuru Footwear partnered with VidMob, whose creative intelligence tool analyzes the creative variables in a video frame to isolate why the video is performing or not. Atom Finance partnered with VidMob on a similar approach to grow in-app engagement.

Why it matters: After a round of A/B testing, KURU Footwear learned that lifestyle footage of people wearing its shoes and engaging in everyday activities like running in the park, alongside direct response calls-to-action, performed best. This new creative had a 15 percent higher return on ad spend and a 15 percent lower cost per purchase than the brand’s previous video assets.

For Atom Finance, the partnership with VidMob resulted in modified videos that generated a nearly 30 percent lift in app engagement after signup.


Mastercard Enters Five-Year Partnership With World Rugby Women’s Game

Campaign

Mastercard and World Rugby have announced a five-year partnership that will see the former use its Priceless platform to curate experiences with World Rugby and brand ambassadors. Mastercard, whose goal is to connect with consumers in new ways, will also be developing rugby-specific content as an extension of its dedication to gender equity and ‘Girls4Tech’ STEM education program.

Why it matters: Mastercard will become the first worldwide partner for Rugby World Cup 2021, Rugby World Cup 2025 and the first Global Partner of WXV, the annual global women’s competition set to begin in 2023.