Scottish rugby received very welcome news today 48 hours ahead of the showpiece to the domestic game – the BT Cellnet Cup Final – with confirmation that BT is renewing and increasing its sponsorship of the sport in Scotland.
In a new three year, £1.2 million deal effective from the start of next season, BT will become the Union’s Official Communications Partner. The company will continue its support of the league and cup competitions and, in partnership with the Union, will look to provide increased benefits to clubs, including a cash bonus for any club achieving a league and cup double.
SRU Chief Executive, Bill Watson, said: ‘I am very proud that one of the world’s foremost communications companies at the very cutting edge of innovation and technology – yet never forgetting its links to local communities – is extending its commitment to Scottish rugby.
‘BT’s faith in the shape of our game and what it means to communities, towns, villages and people the length and breadth of Scotland, vindicates all the good work undertaken by so many clubs and the Union over the last three years.’
As part of the deal BT will enjoy additional advertising presence with both the national team and the three professional teams, while incentive schemes to maximise the benefits of the deal to Scottish rugby, will be actively considered for those who play and follow the game.
One example of an incentive will be an additional payment to any club achieving a cup and league double in the one season.
The company’s continuing support has also been key in the development of the SRU’s successful website (www.sru.org.uk), which during one month this season, received almost 7 million hits.
SRU Commercial and Marketing Director Phil Anderton said: ‘We’re delighted by BT’s continuing involvement in the club game which forms an essential part of rugby in Scotland. The company’s increased activity in other aspects of the game also bodes encouragingly for future incentives which should benefit all involved in rugby in Scotland.’
Bob Downes, Director of BT Scotland, added: ‘BT Scotland feels very strongly that Scottish rugby should be accessible to everyone in Scotland and this new three year deal ensures significant exposure for the game.
‘Delivering the game into people’s homes will continue to raise the awareness and profile of Scottish rugby and our involvement at both club and professional levels will take the game to a wider audience.
‘As a sponsor of the BT Premiership, BT National Leagues and BT Cup, we will be working closely with the SRU to develop a bonus scheme to recognise success in all divisions for clubs who achieve the double in their league and in the knockout cup competitions.’
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