Shannon Airport is delighted to announce that it has come on board as Munster Rugby's 'Official Airport Partner' in a three year commitment.

The partnership is a timely boost for the commencement of the 2017-'18 season and formalises a long standing relationship between the province and Shannon, with the airport having hosted some unforgettable and emotional Munster homecomings over the years, not least following the 2006 and 2008 European Champions Cup Victories.

The partnership, which makes Shannon the exclusive airport partner to Munster rugby, will see the Shannon logo positioned on the players' shorts.

Announcing the deal, Shannon Airport Managing Director Andrew Murphy said that it's a natural fit for both airport and province. "Shannon Airport is synonymous with some of the great Munster Rugby homecomings. We've had thousands of Munster fans packed in here for Munster homecomings over the years. The most notable events were, naturally, the '06 and '08 homecomings following the European Champions Cup victories in Cardiff.

"The great thing about Munster also is that we have had big numbers here for homecomings after quarter-finals and semi-finals and, indeed, also when the team did not get across the line. It's just a brilliantly supported team, in good times and bad. This is a perfect partnership for Shannon. Munster is a massive rugby community. Shannon is also very much a community and over the years, this has been the preferred airport of Munster players and fans alike so it's only right that we would formalise the relationship."

Munster Rugby Commercial Manager Doug Howlett said, "Munster Rugby are delighted to announce Shannon Airport as our exclusive airport partner. We have a rich and colourful history together and we remain very much aligned through serving our community and striving for excellence. Munster Rugby are excited to formalise this relationship and for Shannon Airport to remain the launch pad for our rugby adventures into the future. As the season kicks off this Friday we look forward to supporting the team and our latest Partner Shannon Airport" Said Shannon Group CEO Matthew Thomas: " From a Shannon Group perspective, we are delighted that Shannon Airport and Munster have formalised their long standing relationship and we look forward to the province picking up where it left off last season and continuing its progress back up the European ladder."

The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) and St. George Bank today announced their commitment to renew their partnership for a further three-year term.

St.George is to embark on its fourth term as naming-rights sponsor with the Queensland Reds which will see a decade long commitment to the Rugby community in Queensland.

Head of Retail Banking for St.George Queensland & WA Naushad Ahmed said St.George is thrilled to be re-joining the Queensland Rugby Family, having spent many years sharing a common goal with the Reds to support Queenslanders with a love of Rugby, from Grassroots to the Elite level.

"This partnership with Queensland Rugby enables us as a bank to have a large footprint across the state which sees participants from over 200 clubs and 500 schools take part in Rugby.

"We've been working closely with the QRU to launch a number of initiatives in the 2018 season, including our 'You play, we'll pay program', where any participant with an eligible St.George bank account can have a portion of their Rugby registration paid," Mr Ahmed said.

In 2017, the 'You Play, We'll Pay' initiative directly assisted Queensland's Rugby participants with over 2,300 applications for individual financial relief.

Additionally, Reds fans who obtain a new St.George Reds Amplify credit card will receive a free '3-game "Red Hot Flexi Pass" membership' (subject to eligibility).

Collaboratively St.George and Queensland Rugby also plan to roll out more initiatives over the next three years that will enable Rugby families to both be physically and financially healthy.

Such is St.George's commitment to Rugby in Queensland that St.George is the 'Presenting Rights' partner for today's National Rugby Championship Round 1 clash at Ballymore Stadium, where two-time premiers McInnes Wilson Lawyers Brisbane City take on the Fijian Drua in the Fijian's first-ever game in the competition.

Richard Barker, QRU CEO said: "Our partnership with St.George has been an enduring influence on Rugby in Queensland. We're delighted that the relationship continues to flourish and that we'll be working together for another three years, which means a decade of support.

"This is a significant announcement for the code and a reaffirmation that strategic partnerships can be valuable and long-lasting for both parties when there is shared understanding and respect."

The St.George/QRU partnership is one of the longest unbroken sponsorship relationships in Australian Rugby.

https://youtu.be/O6u4S8KjrkY

With kick-off to the 2017/18 season just days away Macron have become the Match Official Kit and Retail Partner to the Guinness PRO14.

From the start of the season Guinness PRO14 referees will be wearing Macron match kits after a multi-year deal was signed with the Italian kit manufacturer, who provide Sportswear and Leisurewear for elite level clubs and national bodies around the world.

This season the Guinness PRO14 becomes a truly global tournament after the Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings joined the Championship from South Africa to bring cross-hemisphere rugby to fans around the tournament.

Macron are a leading sportswear brand with their success due to the quality of products, high level of service and the ability to interpret the needs of athletes.

Dermot Rigley, Commercial & Marketing Director of PRO14 Rugby, was thrilled to welcome Macron to the Championship's stable of partners.

"We saw close to 300 international players appear in the Championship last season and that demands that our referees are in peak condition in order to keep up with these world-class athletes," Rigley said.

"Greg Garner, our Elite Referee Manager, and our union referee managers ensure that match officials in the Guinness PRO14 are physically and mentally prepared to officiate our games each week and now Macron will make certain they feel good and look good when they are holding the whistle."

Speaking about the new partnership, Ross Cook, Sports Marketing Manager from Macron, said: "We are so proud to become a partner of the Guinness PRO14 which is now a world leader in rugby. Macron has already had success in the Championship with both Glasgow Warriors and Scarlets (both Macron clubs) being past champions so with all of the exciting new announcements around South Africa and the overall growth project, we knew we wanted to be part of it.

"Many of the referees in the Guinness PRO14 are regulars on the international scene and we're thrilled to be supporting them on game days with the best possible Match Official Kits from Macron. In addition to seeing the referees and technical staff at PRO14 Rugby wearing Macron, we are excited at the prospect of launching a new official Guinness PRO14 range that will be available in the very near future."

Greg Garner, Elite Referee Manager for the Guinness PRO14, said: "I'm thrilled that Macron are working with us to ensure our referees have the best Match Official Kits so they only have to focus on the game.

"Our referees do a huge amount of work behind the scenes to ensure that they deliver the best possible performance on the pitch each and every weekend. Knowing that the referees in the Guinness PRO14 have Macron in their corner every week is very reassuring as we enter into the new season."

Read more at http://www.pro14rugby.org/2017/08/30/macron-becomes-match-official-kit-and-retail-partner-to-the-guinness-pro14/#AM5XzZOkzgBTdEFv.99

SA Rugby announced a major new backer on Monday when banking giant, FNB, was revealed as a Springbok sponsor.
FNB has agreed a three-year partnership which will see the bank's logo appear on the back of the Springbok jersey above the playing number.

It brings to five the number of major new partners to join the Springbok and SA Rugby family since the start of the year.

FNB's famous name will appear on the Springbok playing jersey for the first time in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Port Elizabeth on 19 August 2017.

"FNB's slogan is 'How can we help you' and during June we spent some time with its executives, staff and some of its corporate clients, explaining where we were as South African rugby and what our recovery strategy was for the Springboks and the game as part of a roadshow to South African business," said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

"FNB heard how they could help us and they have responded swiftly and decisively and we're absolutely delighted to welcome them to the family.

"FNB is one of South Africa's most respected brands – part of the national DNA, like the Springboks - and we greatly appreciate the support and confidence they have shown in the team and in rugby. We are sure we'll replay their investment."

Faye Mfikwe, FNB Chief Marketing Officer said: "As a proudly South African brand, we believe that this partnership symbolises our commitment to nation-building. As proven in South Africa over the last 20 years, sport has the amazing power to unite a nation, and there's no better representation of this than the Springboks' historic Rugby World Cup victories in 1995 and 2007."

Mfikwe says the timing of the partnership is perfectly in tune with the bank's renewed commitment to help every South African help themselves. She says the bank continues to demonstrate this commitment through its solutions as well as sponsorship properties which play a vital role in the development of grassroots talent.

"The ultimate dream for many young hopefuls is to be given the honour of representing their national team and our grassroots platforms are increasingly playing an important role in facilitating the realisation of such aspirations. To date, our sponsorship properties have enabled 30 young players to represent South Africa on the international stage in Springbok colours.

"The partnership with the Springboks is the pinnacle of our journey and as a brand, we remain committed to making a positive contribution that will take the country forward," concluded Mfikwe.

The partnership was launched at Montecasino at Fourways in Johannesburg on Monday.

ABOUT FNB

FNB is the oldest bank in South Africa, and can be traced back to the Eastern Province Bank formed in Grahamstown in 1838. Today, FNB trades as a division of FirstRand Bank Limited. The Acacia tree in our brand logo is a suitable representation of our history.
Our roots run deep in South Africa, and we have grown thanks to our commitment to serving the needs of our clients and communities.

Powerday and London Irish are delighted to confirm today that Powerday will continue as the principal sponsor of both the London Irish professional and amateur clubs for the 2017/18 season.

The partnership, which is now into its fifth successive season, will see Powerday featured prominently on the front of the club's playing shirts.

Powerday will also receive key branding in and around the Madejski Stadium and the club's prestigious Hazelwood training complex.

Mick Crossan, chairman of Powerday said: "We are extremely proud to be continuing our long-standing partnership with London Irish as the club prepares to make its return back to the Aviva Premiership.

"London Irish is a special club that shares our values both on and off the field, and the tremendous work undertaken in the community as well as the club's desire to flourish in the Premiership fills us with immense pride."

Finance director Paul Forsyth said: "Powerday have been excellent long-term sponsors of the club and we are delighted that they will continue as our principle sponsor.

"We are grateful to Mick and his team for their continued support as we prepare for our return to the Aviva Premiership."

Be part of the London Irish family with a 2017/18 Season Membership. Great value from £295 for adults and under 13s are free for 18 home games and so much more.

Visit www.london-irish.com/membership or call 0118 968 1016 to book your seat for next season now or to find out more.

We are pleased to announce a four-year extension of Connacht Rugby's partnership with Murray Timber Group.

The province have been official partners with the family-run business for the past three years. As part of the new deal, the Murray Timber Group name will continue to be displayed on the Connacht Rugby home, away and European playing jerseys.

Established in Ballygar, Galway and now based in both Galway and Carlow, Murray Timber Group is one of the largest, most progressive and flexible providers of timber in the country. The Group's products can be seen in Builders Merchants throughout Ireland and the UK under their own distinctive trademarked SNR (Sustainable Natural Resource) brand.

They have their own dedicated and professional forestry division to offer free forestry management advice and thinning and clear-fell services to forestry growers throughout the country.

Connacht Rugby Head of Commercial & Marketing, Brian Mahony, said:
"We are very happy to extend our deal with Murray Timber Group up to 2021. This partnership, which has been in place since the summer of 2014, has proven a great success.

"With the newly-expanded PRO14 Championship, a position on our playing jersey has become an even more valuable asset and we look forward to showcasing the Murray Timber Group name on our jerseys for the next four years."

Commenting on the new deal, Patrick Murray, Director of Murray Timber Group, said:
"We are very proud to be extending our partnership with Connacht Rugby. It has been fantastic to be part of the journey over the past three years and to witness the growth of the club both on and off the field.

"Connacht Rugby is an ambitious club with very similar values to our family-run business and we look forward to supporting new Head Coach Kieran Keane and all of the team in the seasons ahead."

Glasgow Warriors have agreed a major three-year partnership with SP Energy Networks, which sees the company that operates across central and southern Scotland create a powerful new partnership where the Warriors will be their Community Partner from this season.

As part of the landmark deal their logo will feature on the front of the home and alternate Macron playing kit and on the roof of the Community Stand at Scotstoun Stadium for the next three seasons. The distinctive SP Energy Networks logo will also feature on the Glasgow Warriors retail kit from the 2018/19 season.

This community partnership will see SP Energy Networks, the distribution arm of ScottishPower which owns and operates the electricity transmission and distribution network in the area, working with Glasgow Warriors on wide-ranging community events throughout the year.

SP Energy Networks will be heavily involved in match day community activity supporting schools and local clubs, the SP Energy Networks Warriors Championship for schools, and a number of other key initiatives aimed at inspiring the next generation of rugby players from surrounding communities.

Glasgow Warriors Managing Director, Nathan Bombrys said: "Our commitment to representing Glasgow and the West of Scotland is at the heart of the purpose of our club and it's clear that SP Energy Networks have an even deeper commitment within our community.

"This partnership with SP Energy Networks is an example of how great things can happen when you put a genuine focus on serving your community.

"We look forward to developing this innovative community partnership over the next three seasons."

Scottish Rugby Ambassador and Business development manager Al Kellock, who has worked closely with both ScottishPower and SP Energy Networks over the last couple of years, said: "As the ScottishPower relationship comes to an end, it's great that SP Energy Networks have seen the benefits of partnering with Glasgow Warriors.

"We look forward to working with their team over the next three years to add real depth to an exciting partnership."

SP Energy Networks Chief Executive, Frank Mitchell said: "We are delighted that Glasgow Warriors will support our focus on community engagement.

"It's vital that we support the communities we serve and we know the profile of the Warriors will give our messages improved resonance with many of them."

In celebrating the announcement of their partnership with the RLWC2017, Telstra is giving its customers even more reason to be part of the action with 20% off RLWC2017 tickets with Telstra Thanks.

As an Official Partner of the RLWC2017, Telstra will receive brand integration at matches played in both countries through in-stadia, virtual and LED signage.

Andrew Hill, RLWC2017 CEO said: "We are delighted to welcome Telstra as the Official Telecommunications and Technology Partner of this year's Rugby League World Cup, a company with such a rich history in supporting the greatest game of all.

"Telstra's strong presence and servicing throughout Australia complements our tournament schedule, where the sport's premier international event will be played across the country with matches in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia."

"WE ARE EXCITED TO BE WORKING WITH TELSTRA AND OUR OTHER COMMERCIAL PARTNERS TO DELIVER THE BEST EVER RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP, AN EVENT THAT WILL CELEBRATE THE GAME, INSPIRE COMMUNITIES AND ENTERTAIN THE WORLD."

On announcing the news, Joe Pollard, Telstra's Group Executive Media and Marketing said: "Sport is part of our DNA at Telstra and it's fantastic to be able to extend our support of Rugby League through our partnership with this year's Rugby League World Cup. "

"THE EVENT WILL BE PASSIONATELY SUPPORTED ACROSS THE COUNTRY; AT THE GAMES AND VIA OUR BROADCAST PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SEVEN NETWORK."

The RLWC2017 will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand with three pool matches in Papua New Guinea from 27 October – 2 December 2017 and features 14 teams, contesting 28 games, in 13 cities. The tournament will be the biggest event in the region during 2017, with an estimated event record of 450,000 fans expected to attend the RLWC2017.

Tournament tickets and information at RLWC2017.com

Rugby League World Cup 2017 | @RLWC2017

Rugby has taken massive strides but in most parts of the world remains a challenger sport, fighting for audience, mindshare and media attention.

In this year's hard-hitting conference programme, Rugby Expo will recognise the achievements of both codes over the past 25 years and look to successful challenger sports for inspiration and practical lessons on growing commercially successful sports brands operating in tough and crowded markets.

Delegates will hear from senior representatives of a range of sports about their secrets for success, and from CEOs of union and league clubs who will put the lessons through the filter of the real-life challenges facing the sport today.

Attention will then switch from the pro game to grass roots and community rugby, as the 2017 event will provide a greater focus on interactive content, with coaching demos and group sessions led by leading experts and star names from the sport.

In a change to previous years, Rugby Expo 2017 will see a new format designed to further support and engage those from the professional and community game.

The conference and exhibition will be combined into one extended day, providing attendees with 12+ hours packed with high-level discussion and debate, partner events and a busy exhibition showcasing the latest rugby-focused products and services.

Attending Rugby Expo
This year there are two types of delegate passes available to attend Rugby Expo:

Pro game delegates
- Access to the event including both the exhibition and full conference programme on Wednesday 08 November
- An invitation to an exclusive networking event for VIPs, sponsors, exhibitors and club representatives hosted on the evening of Tuesday 07 November
- Delegate pack including event brochure and full delegate list
- Lunchtime refreshments

Early bird (before 31 July) £195+VAT
Standard pass £295+VAT
Group pass (3+ attendees) £195+VAT per person

Community club delegates
- Access to the event including both the exhibition and community club conference programme on Wednesday 08 November (afternoon/evening only)
- Delegate pack including event brochure and full delegate list
- Evening refreshments

Standard pass £20+VAT per person*

Attend Rugby Expo 2017 and get two free tickets to Wasps vs Newcastle Falcons
The Ricoh Arena is offering Rugby Expo delegates the chance to experience Aviva Premiership Rugby live as Wasps take on Newcastle Falcons on Saturday 18 November 2017.

All Rugby Expo 2017 delegates will be eligible for two free tickets to the fixture – information about how to apply for the tickets will be sent to delegates upon completion of registration.

For information on sponsor or exhibitor opportunities, or to attend Rugby Expo 2017 as a delegate, please contact Jenny Forbes, head of business development, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on +44 (0) 843 289 0583.

*Please note that community club delegates will be required to provide information regarding their role at their respective club and passes will be chargeable to the club.

World Rugby and Gilbert have unveiled the official match ball for Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 as the tournament marks 20 days to go.

Sporting the distinctive tournament look, the Match-XV is the most technically-advanced and performance-tested ball ever used at the pinnacle event in the women's 15s game.

The announcement of Gilbert as an official supplier extends the brand leader's association with the major properties in the women's game, which also includes the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games within an impressive portfolio.

Gilbert have also supplied the match balls to every Women's Rugby World Cup since 1991 and the Match-XV ball's renowned surface compound enhances grip without compromising subtlety or durability.

World Rugby Chairman, Bill Beaumont said: "With just 20 days to go until Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 gets underway, today's announcement furthers excitement as the teams prepare to depart for Dublin.

"We are delighted to be extending our long-standing partnership with Gilbert as official match ball supplier and I am sure that the ball will play its full part in what promises to be an exciting and highly-competitive Women's Rugby World Cup."

Fans wishing to purchase a replica ball can avail of Gilbert's full range of replica and supporter products either via gilbertrugby.com or in merchandise outlets at the match venues.

Gilbert Rugby Global Sales and Marketing Director Richard Gray added: "We are proud of our partnership with Women's Rugby World Cup and the opportunity to provide the world's top players with their preferred ball. The Match-XV ball is proven to combine Gilbert's unique record of innovation with over 190 years of experience in producing rugby balls at the highest level, all around the world.

"We can be sure the tournament will be a wonderful celebration of the exciting growth of women's rugby and we wish the organisers and all teams the very best of luck."

Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 takes place in Dublin and Belfast from 9-26 August. Ticket information is available by clicking here.