Rugby Sponsorships: Everything You Need To Know

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Rugby Sponsorships: Everything You Need To Know

Like most other sports in the UK, there are numerous sponsorship deals within rugby, close agreements between rugby teams or tournaments and various companies. But why are there so many sponsorships? And what has been the biggest so far? Find out right here!

The Basics Of Rugby Sponsorships

These sponsorships see the sponsoring company display logos on the sponsored team or tournament’s kits, social channels, websites, and more. These sponsorships are incredibly important for the rugby clubs and tournaments, as sponsors provide teams or clubs with funds that are used to support players, stadiums, and local communities.

The Biggest Rugby Sponsorships

Rugby sponsorships date back several decades, and there have been dozens of deals, some of which have broken records. In November 2020, the Rugby League World Cup 2021 announced online car retailer Cazoo as its principal sponsor. The undisclosed seven-figure deal has been touted as the biggest commercial deal in rugby outside of Australia, and it will see Cazoo gain exclusive rights and assets for the event.

Meanwhile, the England Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced in October 2020 an extension to its sponsorship deal with telecommunications company O2. The extension begins September 2021 and sees O2 stay as the team’s principal shirt sponsorship for an additional five years. Reports state that the deal, which has an estimated worth of £7.5 million per year, is the longest shirt sponsorship in the history of the sport, running for thirty years by 2026.

Are There Any Gambling Rugby Sponsorships?

A majority of rugby clubs and tournaments have some type of sponsorship, but unlike football, most of the sponsorship deals do not involve gambling companies, which is why they haven’t caused as much concern as football sponsorships. Despite this, there have been some sponsorship deals that have involved gambling brands.

For example, Betfred sponsored two rugby tournaments, the Super League between 2017 and 2019, and the Championships between 2018 and 2019. Fellow sports betting brand Ladbrokes, meanwhile, sponsored the Challenge Cup between 2015 and 2018. In 2019 and 2020, the Challenge Cup was sponsored by Coral, and it is currently sponsored by Betfred. As you can see, gambling sponsorships aren’t as common in rugby as they are in football, but that hasn’t stopped some gambling firms from landing big agreements.

Why Are Sports Sponsorships Frowned Upon?

While rugby sponsorships have generally been okay, sponsorships in football have come under intense scrutiny as most deals have involved gambling companies. These sponsorships usually see football clubs and tournaments promote big-name gambling brands, which campaigners have warned can encourage vulnerable people and minors to gamble and can potentially lead to gambling addiction. For more information, you can find most of the biggest brands at the website Smartphone Casinos, a UK-based informational website for online gambling products.

Although rugby has made several gambling sponsorships, as we discussed earlier, the sport hasn’t come under fire. With the UK Government conducting a review of the Gambling Act 2005 and analysing sports sponsorships as part of it, we may see some changes come to sponsorships within rugby. However, these changes won’t come for several months, so there’s still plenty of time for rugby to enjoy its sponsorships.

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