Aviva replaces Guinness as £20m Premiership Rugby sponsor

Rugby sponsorship: Aviva’s UK chief executive Mark Hodges
Rugby sponsorship: Aviva’s UK chief executive Mark Hodges

Aviva has replaced Guinness as the title sponsor of Premiership Rugby, having agreed a £20m four-year deal.

The financial services company will work alongside Premiership Rugby on both the elite side of the game, as well as investment in community programmes.

The deal, which was negotiated by Hill & Knowlton’s Sports Marketing team, begins immediately and will be officially launched closer to the start of the 2010/11 Aviva Premiership Rugby season.

The agency will also be responsible for developing and implementing a strategy to activate Aviva’s rugby sponsorship, alongside their ongoing sponsorship of UK Athletics.

Jon Varney, commercial director of Premiership Rugby, said: "Our partnership with Aviva marks the beginning of a very exciting chapter in the growth and continuing professional development of the club game in England, as we commence new broadcast contracts for the first season of Aviva Premiership Rugby with ESPN, Sky and ITV.

Mark Hodges, chief executive of Aviva UK, said: "We have invested a lot of time and effort looking for and researching the right sponsorship opportunity and we know that rugby, the fastest-growing participation sport in England, fits absolutely with Aviva."
 
He added: "And through the rollout of a new Aviva national grassroots programme, we are proud to be helping develop and inspire the next generation of rugby players to take up the sport."

Guinness replaced Zurich as title sponsor of Premiership Rugby in 2005.

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