Dec 03, 2010 at 02:54 PM
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Scottish Rugby Scores 7-Figure RBS Deal

Scottish Rugby has announced what it says is "the most significant and far-reaching partnership in the history of the Scottish game." The three and a half year sponsorship, which makes RBS priciple partner of Scottish Rugby, will begin in December and run through May 2014. BBC reports the sponsorship is believed to be a seven-figure sponsorship arrangement.

RBS will have an active role in all facets of Scottish Rugby including the governing body’s community activity, grassroots initiatives, domestic league and cup competitions, and Scotland’s age-grade and national teams.

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Gordon McKie said: “We are delighted to have secured RBS as our principal partner for Scottish Rugby. We are focused on growing our sport at all levels and this integrated partnership with RBS will enable us to build upon our growth plans across the game. “With the Scotland national team achieving success on the park (currently ranked 7th in the world) and a significant number of people taking up rugby across Scotland, the sport is in great shape. Attracting such a high profile brand is testimony to the hard work undertaken by all those involved in the game.

“What pleases me most about this innovative partnership is that RBS have been very keen to not only demonstrate a determined commitment to assisting Scottish Rugby in our drive to grow the game at all levels across the country, but also in helping us to further promote the attractions of watching our international teams in action.

Scottish Rugby also announced today that the Murray Group has extended its sponsorship of the Scotland national team. The deal, previously due to conclude at the end of November after the EMC Autumn Tests, has been extended through 2011.

Through this new partnership, Scottish Rugby says it will work with RBS on a community program that it says will engage the bank’s 340 strong branch network and 4,000 staff across Scotland to further support the governing body’s success in growing the game through the clubs in their communities.

Earlier this year, RBS ended its sponsorship of The Open golf championship after nine years, at the time stating that it would conduct a close review its entire sponsorship portfolio.

"It remains our view that well chosen, strategic sponsorships can be a very cost-effective way to market our brand, engage our customers and also support sporting, cultural and other events and activities that enhance the communities in which we operate," the bank said at the time.

The Scottish Rugby extends the bank's major presence in rugby, which it has established through title sponsorship of the RBS 6 Nations, a deal which runs through 2013 and is said to be worth around £20m.

“This is a great opportunity for RBS to do something unique in Scotland that is great for our customers and delivers against the commitment we made in our Customer Charter – to support the communities we live and work in," Charlie Smith, Brand and Partnerships Director from RBS said. “This partnership goes well beyond simple sponsorship where we will work with Scottish Rugby to grow the game in Scotland and give children the chance to participate in rugby, that may not have previously had the opportunity, through our ongoing relationship with Barnardo’s."

“Our customers will benefit through access to the sport at all levels and unique experiences that money can’t buy," Smith added. RBS will not physically appear on the shirts of our national team until after the Six Nations but we will be working closely with Scottish Rugby, starting here in North Berwick today, to put in place a volunteering programme, RBS RugbyForce, to help upgrade and maintain local rugby club facilities. It is an exciting time to be getting behind the national team and just one of a number of ways that we are changing the way we operate as a bank.” First Minister Alex Salmond said: “This sponsorship deal is excellent news for Scottish rugby and will build on the great success of the EMC Autumn Tests. The squad is in great shape following a run of notable victories and reaching our highest ever world ranking. This is a welcome boost for all levels of rugby in Scotland as we look ahead to the RBS Six Nations next spring.”

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