THE SCOTTISH RUGBY UNION has confirmed that BT Sport have secured naming rights for Murrayfield in a “multi-million pound” sponsorship deal.
The same four-year contract will see BT sponsoring the the Scottish 7s team, Scotland’s domestic league and cup competitions and Scottish Rugby’s four new academies.
BT’s logo is already emblazoned across the front of the jerseys of Scottish Pro12 sides Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh, while the broadcaster recently agreed a deal for three of the Welsh regions to wear the same logo from next season on.
As well as the Scarlets, Dragons and Ospreys carrying that prominent jersey marking, the Cardiff Blues’ home stadium has been re-named ‘BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park’.
This latest deal with the SRU sees Murrayfield re-branded as ‘BT Murrayfield Stadium,’ on what the the union’s chief executive Mark Dodson called “a momentous day for Scottish rugby.”
“While the headlines may be dominated by the naming rights of the stadium, today’s announcement underlines BT’s alignment to our own values and goals, particularly that rugby clubs are the heart and soul of their communities that offer a welcome to all, young and old, boys and girls, men and women,” continued Dodson.
“This new funding underlines our desire to deliver more opportunities for young people to take up our game and broaden the reach of rugby across Scotland.”
The financial boost is a timely one for the game in Scotland, with some reports stating that BT Sport’s investment has completely wiped clear the SRU’s £11 million debt. Such a relief would have knock-on effects for the two Scottish Pro12 teams, whose budgets have been restricted in recent years.
For BT, this is another step forward in their battle with Sky Sports for dominance in the rugby market, even if the latter owns TV rights for screening Pro12 games from next season onwards.