The Sonic Trophy


Our love of rugby isn’t defined by the final score – but rather by the breathtaking moments of the match. Moments where heroes are born, countries are united, and future players are inspired. These moments are Priceless – and ones that Mastercard wanted the world to never forget.

For the women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 in Aotearoa / New Zealand, we worked with Mastercard to turn the “Player of the Match” trophy from just another keepsake on a shelf into a powerful memento that could speak to the future generations of female rugby players.

In Māori culture, history is passed down through story and song – by the kaikaranga, the ceremonial caller, and the most powerful voice in the community.

We worked with renowned Māori artist Nichola Te Kiri, to design a trophy that would echo how the Māori pass on information – through the voices of people that witnessed the game. Its swooping form mirrored how the Kaikaranga wears her cloak – its aesthetic contours designed to amplify each note. The trophy design also included Māori elements that told the story of the tournament.

Every trophy contained the live emotions and sounds of the match – young female superfans’ passionate voices, play-by-play broadcast commentary, and the electric energy of the stadium. Each sound was captured live and mixed in real-time at the Mastercard Sonic Studio.

Over 2,080 minutes of gameplay was captured across five weeks, edited into bespoke soundtracks, and embedded into 26 trophies. Each trophy was gifted to every “Player of the Match,” minutes after the final whistle, as a priceless memory.

Mastercard had the largest share of voice across the tournament, which demonstrated a powerful connection to rugby fans. Additionally, we helped to raise the profile of the game globally. The campaign saw 42M reach, and garnered 60.8M impressions on social.

The Sonic Trophy positioned Mastercard as an innovator, demonstrated Mastercard’s connections to the traditions of local New Zealand / Māori culture, and most importantly showcased Mastercard’s commitment to accelerating the women’s game and growing youth participation.

But it’s not just the numbers; the accountability that comes from visibility will continue to grow the game, and be the legacy for years to come.

A trophy for one, holding the voices of thousands, to inspire the millions that will follow.