Sevens rugby has had a major re-brand with 12 men’s and women’s teams sharing a global stage at the same 8 unique festival-style destinations, which will now host a weekend of rugby, music, food, and uninterrupted fun over a 7-month period.
Designed to attract a younger audience to help grow the game, the events will host a range of competitive and social sports for all at SVNS festivals, from non-contact rugby to functional fitness. Every event will deliver something unique whilst playing host to the greatest teams in the World SVNS series.
With the aim of bringing out the best in the world’s top players, each event has been meticulously designed. Taking into account input from players, fans, broadcasters, and unions, the competition format has undergone a complete overhaul, promising to deliver even more excitement, drama, and suspense.
The road to the Grand Final in Madrid will be determined by the top eight teams, based on their cumulative series points at the conclusion of the Singapore SVNS. In this thrilling showdown, a ‘winner takes all’ approach will be adopted, crowning both the women’s and men’s SVNS champions.
But the excitement doesn’t stop there. Madrid will also host the high-stakes relegation play-off competition, where teams ranked ninth to twelfth will face off against the top four teams from the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series. The top four teams from this play-off will secure their coveted spots in next year’s SVNS.
Emphasising gender equality, the new SVNS model ensures that all seven rounds and the Grand Final showcase combined men’s and women’s competitions. Moreover, equal participation fees have been implemented, demonstrating a 70 percent increase in World Rugby’s investment in participation fees as part of their commitment to sustainable growth.
World Rugby Chief Executive Alan Gilpin said: “We are excited to be launching HSBC SVNS, the supercharged new identity for our Olympic format, with iconic destinations and a new concept on and off the field, broadening the reach and appeal of the sport beyond its traditional audiences.
“Our ambition is for SVNS to be at the forefront of our growth strategy, appealing to a younger, leisure-hungry audience. In eight iconic destinations played over seven months, we will bring together a truly immersive festival of rugby, music, food and experiences to create the ultimate weekend-long get together for young people, the hottest ticket and open a new era for the sport.
“For the first time in rugby sevens history, all locations will be unified under the same approach, meaning that the overall experience is the same and we can optimise commercial revenue for reinvestment, including playing our part in ensuring that sevens is a viable career path for the talented players and Olympians.
“We are delighted to be extending our long-standing and impactful title partnership with HSBC. They share our passion to grow the sport in new nations and communities and have played an instrumental role in advancing the reach and success of the sport, particularly at the community game level. We are excited by the opportunity we have in front of us to work with HSBC to take SVNS to the next level.”
SVNS lay of the land:
- Iconic festivals: SVNS will dial up its culture and entertainment offering at each destination, with food and drinks to match the local flavours, a range of competitive and social sports to get involved in, everything about SVNS will give you that feel-good factor, from sunrise to sunset.
- Equal share of the spotlight: Fully combined and equal men’s and women’s festivals with number of men’s teams reduced from 16 to 12, aligning with the Olympic competition model.
- Jeopardy right to the end: Annual ‘Grand Final’ will crown SVNS champions and offer pathway opportunity for four men’s and women’s teams to achieve promotion from the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series
- Promotion and relegation reimagined: The teams ranked ninth to 12th will join the top four teams from the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in a high stakes relegation play-off competition which will see the top four teams secure their places in the next edition of SVNS.
- Opportunity for all: The four unsuccessful teams will go into regional competitions to qualify for the next Challenger Series, which comprises of 12 men’s and 12 women’s teams competing in the second level of international rugby sevens.
HSBC Group Chief Executive, Noel Quinn added: “Through many years of working closely with World Rugby to showcase and support the sport around the world, HSBC has become synonymous with the World Rugby Sevens. I’m particularly proud of the new opportunities that we have helped to open up by taking the sport into new markets, supporting the growth of the women’s game and giving tens of thousands of young people the chance to try rugby for the first time. I’m delighted that our hugely successful partnership with World Rugby will continue for years to come, and that HSBC will be able to help the sport reach even greater heights.”
HBSC SVNS – Provisional Festival dates
Dubai, UAE – 2-3 December, 2023
Cape Town, South Africa – 9-10 December, 2023
Perth, Australia – 26-28 January, 2024
Vancouver, Canada – 23-25 February, 2024
Los Angeles, USA – 2-3 March, 2024
Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR China – 5-7 April 2024
Singapore, Singapore – 3-5 May 2024
Madrid, Spain – 31 May-2 June, 2024