Ulster Bank’s longstanding support of rugby in Ireland will continue for another three years with an extension signed yesterday which secures Ulster Bank as the title sponsors of the All-Ireland League and as Official Community Rugby Partner to the IRFU until 2018.
The announcement comes just ahead of the RBS 6 Nations with Ireland kicking off their campaign on Sunday, February 7 against Wales in front of a home crowd.
As RBS’ trading brand in Ireland Ulster Bank gets to take full benefit of the home internationals of which there are three this year. This involves branding at the Aviva Stadium, hospitality and activation on the day and through branches.
The extension is the latest in a series of high profile sports sponsorship announcements this January including from Allianz in the GAA, Davy in Golf and Standard Life Investments in Rugby.
While RBS is in its 14th year of sponsoring the RBS 6 Nations Championship, Ulster Bank has been helping club rugby at a community level for the past six years, investing in the domestic game through the sponsorship and resulting initiatives.
Along with the main club competition, the Ulster Bank League, these have included Ulster Bank RugbyForce and the Ulster Bank League Awards, bringing much needed funding and recognition to grassroots players and volunteers throughout the country.
Ulster Bank RugbyForce, an initiative which has provided rugby clubs with the chance to win support packages to renovate their club, has seen over €160,000 in funding go to over 175 rugby clubs across the island of Ireland.
The Ulster Bank League Awards will be returning this season for a fourth successive year. The awards, which recognise and celebrate the dedication and commitment shown by players, coaches and teams across all Ulster Bank League divisions, have become an established event in the rugby calendar. Many previous winners from the past three years have even made the leap to professional rugby.
“We are delighted to have extended our partnership with the IRFU until 2018,” said Maeve McMahon, Director of Customer Experience and Products at Ulster Bank, pictured above between Ulster Bank Ambassador Alan Quinlan and Padraig Power of the IRFU.
“Since becoming title sponsors of the All-Ireland League in 2010 and Official Community Rugby Partner to the IRFU we have proudly worked with hundreds of rugby clubs around Ireland, providing them with help for what matters to ensure that grassroots rugby stays as strong as ever.”
“We understand the hard work and dedication that players, coaches and volunteers put in on a weekly basis which is vital to ensure the development of players and the success of Irish Rugby.”
“The IRFU is delighted that Ulster Bank have extended their sponsorship with us for another three years as our Community Rugby Partner,” added Padraig Power, Commercial Director of the IRFU and a panellist at the first Sport for Business Members gathering of 2016 on Thursday, February 4th.
“Ulster Bank have worked in partnership with the IRFU for the past six years and have made a vital contribution to club rugby, helping to fund important club development and fundraising initiatives as well as sponsoring the Ulster Bank League.”