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Saturday 27 February 2021

Six Nations searching for new title sponsor after RBS confirm split

It’s likely that the competition will have a wide range of possible alternatives.

THE SIX NATIONS has announced that its long-term relationship with lead sponsor RBS will come to an end after the 2017 championship.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group became the title sponsor of the competition in 2003 but a statement from the Six Nations this afternoon confirmed that the agreement will end next year.

The England team celebrate winning the Grand Slam England won a Grand Slam in 2016. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

The Six Nations will now commence a search for a new title sponsor and tournament organisers say that process is set to “continue for several months” before any announcement is made.

“All good things must come to a natural end at some point,” said Six Nations CEO John Feehan of the impending split with RBS.

“As mutually beneficial as the relationship is, it is now time after 15 successful and fulfilling years to seek a new title sponsor to partner our great event and go forward with us into the future.

“We wish to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to RBS for the valuable support we have received from the Bank over many years. We look forward to our final year with RBS in 2017 and we will wish them well in the future, as they also move on to other opportunities and initiatives.”

David Wheldon of RBS said the group is “realigning our sponsorship strategy to our customer facing brands, so we feel the time is right to look for alternative sponsorship assets that better fit with our brand strategy.”

RBS’ last deal with the Six Nations was signed in 2013 and was believed to be worth in the region of €55 million over the four-year term that followed.

HSBC, sponsor of the World Rugby Sevens Series, were thought to be in firm contention to take RBS’ place as lead sponsor of the Six Nations at that time, and tournament organisers will be confident that their brand remains highly attractive.

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Murray Kinsella

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