English Premiership Rugby is to have a new name and a new brand from next season with news that Gallagher, a US-based insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services company, are to replace Aviva as title sponsors.
Aviva has backed the tournament since 2010 but only agreed to a one-year extension when the last renewing in 2017.
The brand has however maintained its strong association with Irish Rugby having signed a five-year extension to the naming rights of the Aviva Stadium earlier this year.
Gallagher has agreed to a multi-year strategic business and marketing partnership beginning with the 2018-19 season and the competition will be known as “Gallagher Premiership Rugby” when it kicks off on 31 August, with naming rights, branding opportunities and local community programs included in the agreement.
The company has a strong presence in the UK though is little known in Ireland, unlike fellow US Insurer and Rugby supporter AIG which has backed the All Blacks since 2012 and Dublin GAA since 2013.
The move will likely see a greater link to the US which has staged a Premier League match in each of the last two years, though the 2017 fixture only attracted a little over 6,000 to Philadelphia.
The annual game will now shift to April when there will be no clash with the NFL.
“The international expansion of Premiership Rugby has been accelerated in recent years and it is fitting that we are now partnering with a global company with an equally strong presence here in the UK,” said Mark McCafferty, Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby.
“Gallagher will be an excellent partner for us in terms of the group’s ambition, focus on growth and shared values around both business and the community.”
“The last decade has seen major growth in Premiership Rugby’s fan base and it is a huge credit to our clubs – and the way they have grown their businesses – that we can announce this new partnership.”
“By uniting with this globally-known and fast growing franchise, we have a terrific opportunity to increase awareness about our company, values, expertise and services, and jointly participate in community projects and causes to make a difference,” said J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of Gallagher.
“This dynamic business and marketing partnership with Premiership Rugby reflects who we are culturally and professionally. We’re looking forward to kicking-off the inaugural Gallagher Premiership Rugby season in late August.”
Sport for Business and Ulster Bank will bring the ‘Help for What Matters’ Rugby Club Roadshow to Galway Corinthians on Thursday, April 19th; Young Munster in Limerick on Monday, April 23rd, Cork Con on April 24th and Lansdowne in Dublin on Thursday, April 26th. Admission is free for clubs but registration is required at www.helpforwhatmatters.com