TORONTO — Rugby Canada sponsor DHL is making sure every one of its 1,158 Canadian employees is part of the Rugby World Cup.
Photos of the DHL workers have been imprinted in a mosaic on the jersey numbers of the 23 players who dress for each of Canada’s games at the 20-country tournament. All of the DHL employees will appear on at least one of the Canada jerseys.
“DHL will take every Canadian employee to the Rugby World Cup … What better way to get our team excited than by making them a part of Team Canada on the pitch,” Andrew Williams, CEO of DHL Express Canada, said in a statement.
DHL usually appears on the front of Canadian team jerseys, but such advertising is not allowed during the World Cup.
The U.S. Eagles are also wearing jerseys that feature a mosaic of fan photos in their jersey numbers with supporters making a donation to be part of the program.
MLS teams did something similar this season to honour their fans.
In another rugby sponsorship move, World Rugby — formerly known as the International Rugby Board —announced Thursday that DHL has extended its partnership with the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
Vancouver joins the men’s sevens circuit in March.
Rugby Canada, meanwhile, announced Thursday that the women’s sevens circuit will return to Langford, B.C., next April. The debut event earlier this year drew some 6,000 as New Zealand won the Cup competition.
As an “official logistics partner” of the Rugby World Cup, DHL says its global arm will transport more than 48 tons of equipment for all 20 participating teams — from match uniforms and scrum machines to tackle bags and ice baths — across 89 team base locations and 13 match venues.
The Canadian Press