Premiership Rugby brings in ESP Properties to find replacement for title sponsor Aviva
ESP Properties, the sports and entertainment agency that is part of advertising giant WPP’s Group M unit, has been tasked with finding a new title sponsor for English rugby union's top-flight Premiership.
Insurance company Aviva's seven-year partnership will conclude in May 2017.
Dominic Hayes, commercial director at Premiership Rugby, said: “With the tremendous growth in the competition over the last few years, both domestically and internationally, there is a fantastic opportunity for a brand to partner with the league for the long term.
“The partnership will deliver year-round access to our high quality and engaged rugby audience, and we believe that we are well placed to move our League title opportunity to the next level commercially—the process starts now.”
According to the league, the Aviva Premiership will be shown in 200 countries next year, including in USA by NBC Sports Group, the Comcast-owned US broadcaster, under the terms of a three-season deal.
UK TV audiences have grown in recent years, and Jonathan Hill, head of ESP Properties EMEA and global commercial director, believes the Premiership is now one of rugby union's "most sought-after properties" worldwide.
He added: "Such high profile league naming rights opportunities are few and far between, and we see the combination of frequency, reach and of course the unique rugby demographic as being hugely compelling. We look forward to taking the naming rights package to market from today."
Aviva replaced Guinness, the Irish beer brand, which was the title sponsor of the Premiership from 2005 until 2010.