Guinness has been confirmed as the new sponsor of the Six Nations. The deal was announced this morning and is reported to be for an initial six year term.
It is also thought that the organisers have chosen stability over short term gain with the first year of the deal also reported to be worth £6 Million.
Now that is a significant deal by any stretch but does fall around £10 Million short of where the sponsorship was valued when RBS announced their departure two years ago.
It is expected to climb towards that level over the course of the deal and having a long term partner on board is of huge value in itself.
The deal is a coup for incoming CEO Benjamin Morel who took over the Organisation in recent weeks.
The new sponsorship is a six-year deal and considerably strengthens Guinness’ commitment to rugby, adding to an already extensive portfolio that includes the Guinness PRO14, and partnerships with the four Home Unions and leading European clubs Leinster and Munster.
“Guinness will work with Six Nations to build on its incredible brand heritage,” according to a statement issued in Dublin this morning.
“In particular, the GUINNESS team will seek to champion both the player and fan experience and will use its sponsorship to encourage the millions of adult fans watching or attending the games to drink responsibly.”
Commenting on this the new partnership, Six Nations CEO Benjamin Morel said: “We are absolutely delighted to enhance our long-standing relationship with GUINNESS and they will be a terrific title sponsor for Rugby’s greatest championship. GUINNESS are world leaders and our partnership between two great iconic brands will enable us to reach new audiences on a global scale.
“We could not be more excited to be working with the GUINNESS team over the coming years on developing new and innovative ways to connect with our fans and consumers.”
Diageo President for Europe, Turkey and India, John Kennedy said: “We are really looking forward to the start of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS in February 2019. Working with the Six Nations, we want to enhance both the Championship and the fan experience whilst using the partnership to encourage the adult fans watching, or attending, the games to drink responsibly.”
Mark Sandys, Global Head of Beer, Baileys and Smirnoff at Diageo said: “This announcement affirms our long-standing support for the game of rugby and cements our position as one of the world’s biggest rugby supporters. We truly believe in the power of sport to connect communities and we’ll be working with the Six Nations to ensure that fans’ experience of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS is their best yet.”
Sport for Business will update with more analysis on Monday.