Astellas Pharma signs on as title sponsor of USA V. Australia rugby match at Soldier Field

BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby announced Wednesday that Astellas Pharma will be the title sponsor of the USA Men’s Eagles’ international test match against the Qantas Wallabies of Australia, set for Chicago’s historic Soldier Field on Sept. 5.


This marks the second consecutive year that Astellas will be a key sponsor of a USA Rugby match in Chicago. As a global pharmaceutical company committed to improving the health of people around the world, Astellas recognizes the important role sports like rugby play in drawing attention to physical fitness and healthy living.

“After the success we saw with last year’s public health campaign around the All Blacks match, we knew we had found a winning way to engage consumers with a message about the importance of owning one’s health,” said Jim Robinson, president of Astellas Pharma US, Inc. “As the title sponsor of this year’s match against Australia, we now have an even bigger platform – and a bigger responsibility – to increase awareness for a critically important health issue, prostate cancer, and raise funding for prostate cancer research.”

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in males worldwide. According to the National Cancer Institute and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, more than 220,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and nearly 30,000 will die from the disease this year.

“1 in 7 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer,” says Jonathan W. Simons, MD, president and chief executive officer, Prostate Cancer Foundation. “Raising awareness is vital for catching the disease early and saving lives. We are excited to join Astellas and USA Rugby in spreading the word to ‘get checked’ and to raise funding for new research that ends all deaths from prostate cancer.”

To help increase awareness about the disease and raise funds to further research, Astellas has partnered with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and USA Rugby to champion the #pass4prostate challenge, a global social media campaign in which participants can show their support for a donation from Astellas to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and get the opportunity to win rugby-related prizes. The campaign officially launches Aug. 5 and more information can be found at

“We are delighted that Astellas will be our title sponsor for the USA Eagles versus Australian Wallabies game,” USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer Nigel Melville said. “Astellas is a unique partner for us that frequently brings important public health initiatives to the global rugby community through their sponsorship activations. We know that the rugby community and the sports-mad city of Chicago will come along to support #pass4prostate and give both teams a special ‘send-off’ to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.”

The Wallabies hold an undefeated record against the Eagles in international play, including wins at each of the 1987, 1999, and 2011 World Cups. 10 Eagles from the last meeting in New Zealand have been named to the 50-man World Cup training squad and could grace the Soldier Field pitch come Labor Day weekend. This will be the Eagles’ final match prior to Rugby World Cup 2015 in England.

Tickets for the match presented by Astellas are available via Ticketmaster, starting at $30. Match kickoff time and broadcast details will be announced at a later date.