MasterCard has agreed a deal to become the Official Worldwide Partner and official payment system of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
The tournament will be hosted by New Zealand and will see 20 teams compete over 48 matches.
The last Rugby World Cup was hosted by France two years ago, where South Africa were crowned world champions for the second time.
The event, then, had attracted a cumulative global audience of more than 4.3 billion viewers.
MasterCard has traditionally invested its sponsorship budget in football. However, the brand was replaced by Visa as a sponsor of the FIFA World Cup in 2007 following a legal battle.
MasterCard is also a major sponsor of the UEFA Champions League with a deal running until the end of this season. MasterCard remains in talks with European football's governing body over a future sponsorship deal.