RFL says it is happy to kick off season without title sponsor

Stars: Bradley Wiggins and Sam Tomkins promote Sky Sport's RFL coverage
Stars: Bradley Wiggins and Sam Tomkins promote Sky Sport's RFL coverage

The Rugby Football League (RFL) has admitted the new season will kick off this weekend without a top tier sponsor, but said it believes 2013 will provide record commercial revenues.

Last week, the organisation unveiled a two-year deal with the brewer Tetley to sponsor its flagship Challenge Cup, but has yet to find a commercial partner to sponsor the new Super League, to replace previous sponsor the Stobart Group.

James Mercer, commercial director of the RFL, admitted the RFL was still searching for a headline sponsor, but said he believed  there was "something to be said in having a more Champions League- style" sponsorship.

Currently, the RFL has a roster of lower-tier sponsors such as Irn Bru, Foxy Bingo and Gillette.

Mercer said the RFL was in "discussions with several top-tier sponsors", but added it was crucial the league landed a headline sponsor that was a good fit for the brand, such as Tetley.

However, the RFL is confident that 2013 will deliver far more commercial revenue than previous seasons, helped by its sponsors and gate receipts.

Separately, Bradley Wiggins is fronting a promotional video to help Sky Sport launch its coverage of the Super League.

The video shows Wiggins riding up a mountain track tailed by a hooded figure, who is Wigan Warriors' star rugby league player Sam Tomkins.

The RFL season kicks off this Friday, 1 February.

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