The Six Nations has finally landed itself a new sponsor. Their long-running association with RBS ended in 2017, with Natwest taking over on a one-year deal for the 2018 Championship.
Rumours of a new sponsorship deal surfaced on Thursday, with the announcement being formally made on Friday.
Its been confirmed that Guinness will be the new title sponsor of the historic tournament, taking over for the 2019 edition. They’ve signed a six-year deal, widely reported to worth in the region of £50 million, with the first year being worth £6m and that figure is set to double by the final year of the deal, in 2024.
The first match of the newly re-branded tournament will see France take on Wales on February 1st at the Stade de France in a Friday evening contest. A day later Scotland host Italy, with matchday one wrapped up when Grand Slam champions Ireland play England at the Aviva Stadium.
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It’s the latest dip into the rugby market for Guinness, who also sponsor the PRO14 and have deals in place with all four home unions, along with Leinster and Munster.
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) December 7, 2018
Six Nations CEO Benjamin Morel said: “We are absolutely delighted to enhance our long-standing relationship with GUINNESS and they will be a terrific title sponsor for Rugby’s Greatest Championship. GUINNESS are world leaders and our partnership between two great iconic brands will enable us to reach new audiences on a global scale.
“We could not be more excited to be working with the GUINNESS team over the coming years on developing new and innovative ways to connect with our fans and consumers.”
Diageo President for Europe, Turkey and India, John Kennedy said: “We are really looking forward to the start of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS in February 2019. Working with the Six Nations, we want to enhance both the Championship and the fan experience whilst using the partnership to encourage the adult fans watching, or attending, the games to drink responsibly.”
— Guinness GB (@GuinnessGB) December 7, 2018
Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer, Baileys and Smirnoff at Diageo said: “This announcement affirms our long-standing support for the game of rugby and cements our position as one of the world’s biggest rugby supporters. We truly believe in the power of sport to connect communities and we’ll be working with the Six Nations to ensure that fans’ experience of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS is their best yet.”
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