Canon, a world-leader in imaging solutions, has extended its official sponsorship of Rugby World Cup, World Rugby has announced.

With the 2019 edition hosted in Japan, the deal extension between one of Japan's most recognisable brands and rugby's showcase event further underscores the strength and appeal of the Rugby World Cup brand in the global sponsorship marketplace.

Canon, a significant supporter of rugby in Japan through the Top League, first partnered with the sport's biggest event for a record-breaking England 2015 event that delivered strong global brand exposure through unprecedented broadcast, digital and social coverage.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Canon as a Rugby World Cup 2019 official sponsor.

"Canon is an important supporter of rugby in Japan, an innovator in its field and a perfect match for our premier event.

"This exciting relationship underscores the significant global appeal of the first Rugby World Cup in Asia and we look forward to working in partnership with Canon to extend the reach and impact of the sport in Japan, across Asia and around the globe.”

Canon Inc. Chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai added: “Following on from Rugby World Cup 2015 in England, Canon is delighted to continue backing the tournament, which will take place in Asia for the first time, as an official sponsor of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. 

“In addition to supporting professional photographers and news media from Japan and overseas as they capture the intense action of the world’s top teams facing off in peak condition, Canon, working together with World Rugby, the organising committee, relevant authorities, local government and other corporate sponsors, will do the utmost to support Rugby World Cup 2019 throughout Japan.”

During Rugby World Cup 2019, Canon will undertake a range of activities as official sponsor, including providing all print and copying solutions used by the tournament organisers.

Canon will also be working in partnership with World Rugby to deliver a range of image-related initiatives to enhance fan experience during what promises to be the most socially-engaged rugby event ever.

The Canon Professional Services (CPS) team will be on site sharing their imaging expertise and helping professional photographers get the perfect shot throughout the tournament. The dedicated team of CPS technicians at Rugby World Cup 2019 will provide accredited professional photographers with advice, essential maintenance services, equipment loans and help with minor repairs