By Robert Burgin | Photos by Pablo Lanata
An unprecedented sponsorship for unprecedented times. Brasil Rugby League has welcomed global gaming entity Stake.com as major sponsor in preparation for both the Women’s World Cup and Men’s South American Championship in late 2022.
The sponsorship deal is an overarching sponsorship which will see Stake.com – also major sponsor of English Premier League club Watford – appear on the front of the women’s and men’s uniforms.
News of the sponsorship arrives at an exciting time for Brasil Rugby League, with:
- Reigning Brasil Rugby League female premiers Melina facing last year’s runner-up Vitória on Saturday in the first round of the 2022 13-a-side season, with athletes vying for World Cup selection.
- Confirmation from tournament organisers that the Brasil v England World Cup opening game on November 1, 2022 in Leeds will be the highest attended stand-alone fixture in women’s rugby league in the northern hemisphere.
- Confirmation from the International Rugby League that Brasil will automatically qualify for the 2025 Women’s World Cup in France.
- Confirmation that Brasil’s male team will contest the 2022 South American Championship in Colombia from November 25-27, another pathway to World Cup representation.
- Announcement that Brasil’s men will face emerging rugby league powerhouse South Africa at Noosa in Australia on June 5, 2022 in a mid-year international. Several players from the Brazilian domestic competition will fly to Australia to participate and receive specialised coaching to accelerate their development.
- Brasil Rugby League will continue to develop its grassroots competitions, with focus on expanding youth, school and wheelchair activities to complement existing national senior competitions
- Referees and match officials are currently receiving regular coaching from Jimmy Oliveira, a former Australian high performance referee who speaks Portuguese fluently.
- Brasil Rugby League is currently furthering partnership discussions with an elite training facility of national and global renown.
- Brasil Rugby League has an intention to become the first nation from South America to reach Full Member status of the International Rugby league, placing it in the elite tier for governance.
Stake.com Sponsorship Manager Dom Rae described South America as a key region for the brand’s growth, and acknowledged Brasil’s reputation for sporting excellence.
“We are right behind Brasil Rugby League as they seek a place in history,” Mr Rae said.
“Brasil has a rich pedigree in sports and it’s a thrill for us to play a part in the growth of rugby league in the world’s sixth-most populous country.
“Stake wishes to establish a strong presence in Brasil and to be associated with a Brazilian team at a World Cup is an honour. When the Amazonas line up at Headingley Stadium for the World Cup opener, we will be cheering as loudly as anybody.”