Australian Rugby has been given a much-needed boost, securing Vodafone as a Super Rugby sponsor on the eve of the 2017 season.
Asteron Life opted not to renew its contract with the ARU at the end of last year, leaving the governing body searching for a new naming rights partner for the competition.
The telecom giant has jumped on with just undertwo weeks until the Super Rugby season start, with a four-year deal to take them through to 2020, and will also become back of jersey sponsor for Australia's women's XVs side, the Wallaroos.
ARU CEO Bill Pulver said it was exciting to have a long-term partner on board.
"Vodafone and Australian Rugby have a long history together dating back to when the Vodafone logo first appeared on the Wallabies jersey in 1998 and we are proud to welcome them back as the naming rights partner for Super Rugby in Australia for the next four years.
"You could argue that this is the biggest 'comeback' in Australian Rugby this season and we look forward to working with Vodafone to make this 22nd season of Super Rugby in Australia the best yet.
"We are also incredibly proud to have Vodafone's support for the Wallaroos in a huge year for Women's Rugby with the World Cup taking place in Ireland in August."
Vodafone Australia Customer Business Director, Ben McIntosh said the cross-country base of the Super Rugby competition was convenient for the company, who last sponsored rugby in 2003.
"Vodafone is thrilled to be returning to Rugby, where we had fantastic success building our brand in the early 2000s,
"It's a sport we all love, and gives us a great opportunity to really connect with Australians right across the country.
"With teams based across the country, Super Rugby gives Vodafone a chance to show off the significant investment in the network we have made throughout Australia."
The announcement came at the launch of the 2017 Super Rugby competition and amid ongoing reviews over the structure of the competition moving beyond 2018.
The partnership with the RLWC2017 will see AccorHotels be home for the teams, officials and tournament organisers in every Australian and New Zealand host city, across hotel brands including Pullman, Novotel, Mercure and ibis.
The AccorHotels brand will be incorporated into tournament properties, including in-stadia signage and on digital channels. Key integration will occur on the tournament's website, www.rlwc2017.com, highlighting the AccorHotels' properties throughout the twelve Australian and New Zealand host cities, with information and offers provided for travelling fans and stakeholders.
In addition to the men's tournament, this partnership extends to the Women's Rugby League World Cup to be played in Sydney from 16 November – 26 November, with the final in Brisbane on 2 December 2017.
Chief Executive Officer RLWC2017, Andrew Hill said: "We are pleased to partner with AccorHotels and we look forward to utilising the Accor network during both the men's and women's Rugby League World Cups".
"AccorHotels is the market leader when it comes to looking after the unique requirements of elite sporting teams, having successfully partnered with other major events in both Australia and New Zealand".
"As tournament organisers, we want this year's event to be greatest ever rugby league world cup and we look forward to working with accorhotels on delivering a first class off-field experience for competing teams, officials and guests," concluded hill.
The RLWC2017 adds to AccorHotels' growing list of sporting partnerships as preferred accommodation partner with organisations such as NRL, AFL, Tennis Australia, Swimming Australia, Cricket Australia, Netball Australia, Softball Australia, Baseball Australia, and Australian Baseball League.
Chief Operating Officer AccorHotels Pacific, Simon McGrath said: "We are delighted to have been selected by the Rugby League World Cup 2017 as their Official Accommodation Partner.
"We believe it will be an outstanding partnership that will benefit both parties considerably as we are very much attuned to the requirements of sporting organisations.
"Our hotels look forward to providing the very best in service for Rugby League World Cup 2017 teams, staff and tournament goers," concluded McGrath.
The RLWC2017 will be contested from 27 October to 2 December 2017 and hosted by Australia and New Zealand with three pool games also being played in Papua New Guinea. The tournament will be the biggest event in the region this year, with an estimated 450,000 fans to attend the Rugby League World Cup which would be a tournament record.
For tournament information visit rlwc2017.com
To book accommodation visit accorhotels.com
Aon has joined forces with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) in a new four-year partnership beginning in 2017.
The Aon logo, which adorned the front of the playing strip of famed English football club, Manchester United between 2010 and 2014, will now feature on the back of the playing jerseys of Australia's World and Olympic Champion Women's Sevens team beginning this weekend at the Sydney 7s.
The partnership also provides Aon with naming rights for the new National Women's University Sevens Series which is set for kick off in August 2017.
Aon is a leading provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, human resource solutions and outsourcing services. It has approximately 500 offices worldwide, serving 120 countries with 72,000 employees. In Australia, Aon has 41 offices across the country and 1,800 employees.
ARU CEO, Bill Pulver, said: "Women's Rugby has taken giant strides in recent years, and was famously catapulted into the national conscience last August when our Qantas Australian Women's team collected the Gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
"Today we are enormously proud to announce a new partnership, with one of the world's leading risk and people advisers, Aon, aimed directly at supporting our Women's Sevens pathway and the Australian Women's Sevens team.
"This four-year partnership with Aon will commence with this weekend's HSBC Sydney 7s tournament, where our golden girls will play their first official World Series event on home soil with the Aon logo proudly on display across the back of their playing jerseys."
Aon Risk Solutions Australia CEO, Lambros Lambrou, said: "The decision to partner with and sponsor the Women's Sevens was a natural one for us. It's exciting to be a part of one of the fastest growing participation sports in Australia.
"Aon values diversity and inclusion in the workplace and as a driver of business success. This partnership provides us with a real opportunity to not only contribute to diversifying the world of sport but also and ultimately, demonstrates our commitment to empowering women to be successful in leadership.
"We share the ARU's vision of building a high performance culture, and it will be exciting to see how this shared vision evolves along with our partnership.
"Our sponsorship will also enable us to create social impact through our support for the ARU's long term strategic vision "to inspire all Australians to enjoy our great global game. Through this, we are committing to work with the organisation to enhance opportunities for players from grassroots village and club rugby right through to the elite level."
The 'Rugby Pod' is one of the most listened to sports podcasts in the UK. The concept of the Pod is a pub chat, but with added insight and behind the scenes stories from two rugby professionals who have played the game professionally and internationally.
The panel comprises of Jim Hamilton, Andy Goode and host Alex Rowe. It also includes weekly guests from professional players to coaches, referees, fans and pundits.
Folk2Folk is the UK's largest fully authorised P2P lending business specialising in secured business loans for rural businesses. It helps directly match businesses looking for finance with local investors. Since launching in 2013 it has helped introduce over £130m to UK businesses creating jobs, growth and improving local communities. It is different from other P2P platform as it combines an online offering with traditional branches on the high street.
The deal was brokered by Sports Marketing Agency Dark Horses.
Mat Gazeley, Head of PR at Folk2Folk commented "As a growing business it is important to drive awareness of our service and what we can offer UK business owners and investors. We are excited to be sponsoring the Rugby Pod during the 6 Nations as we both share the same target audience. Our goal is to make Folk2Folk the first point of call when it comes to rural business owners looking for finance. We know Rugby tends to be the number one sport in rural communities across the UK and by working with Dark Horses they have been able to secure us the opportunity with the Rugby Pod helping us spread our message and raise our brand awareness with our target market."
Dark Horses is the sports marketing agency launched last year in partnership with Lucky Generals.
Sky Sports will show all five of the Red Roses' matches in the Six Nations tournament, as they take on rivals France, Wales, Italy, Scotland and Ireland.
Four of the five games will be shown live on Sky, with additional delayed coverage of the England v Scotland contest. The new deal, which will be the first time that every England game will be broadcast in the series, furthers Sky Sports' portfolio of women's sport in 2017 focusing on partnerships, people, programming and participation.
The Six Nations games add to an exciting line-up of women's rugby on Sky Sports. Viewers will be able to enjoy live action from all six legs of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series, as well as world class rugby from the Old Mutual Wealth Series in November.
"This commitment from Sky Sports reflects what an exciting time it is for women's rugby and the ongoing growth of the game," said RFU Chief Executive, Ian Ritchie.
"This is an excellent opportunity for any fans unable to attend games to get behind the Red Roses as they build towards the Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland later this year."
Fans will be able to follow the Red Roses' journey throughout February and March, beginning with their first game against reigning champions France, on 4 February, at Twickenham. England will be looking for a big win over the French team after narrowly missing out on the trophy and a Grand Slam to them last year.
"This is great news for Sky Sports viewers and another example of our strong partnership with the RFU across all levels," said Gus Williamson, Head of Rugby for Sky Sports.
"This deal will give our viewers more action from the Women's Six Nations than ever before, which adds to a thrilling year of women's rugby on Sky Sports."
Top-class women's rugby is part of an unrivalled schedule of women's sport on Sky Sports. Viewers will see the best of UK netball with live coverage of all of England's international games, Quad Series and the Vitality Netball Superleague.
Sky will also be the home of the Women's Cricket World Cup this summer and live women's golf from the LPGA tour with all five majors for the first time including the British Open in July. Customers can also catch up with rugby news and full analysis of women's sport each week on the UK's only dedicated women's sports show, Sportswomen.
Women's Six Nations
Saturday 4 February
19:35: England v France – Twickenham (Sky Sports Mix)
Saturday 11 February
11:30: Wales v England– Cardiff Arms Park (Sky Sports 3)
Saturday 25 February
13:00: England v Italy – The Twickenham Stoop (Sky Sports 2)
Saturday 11 March
20:00: England v Scotland – The Twickenham Stoop (Sky Sports 2, delayed coverage, KO 13:00)
Friday 17 March
20:00: Ireland v England – Donnybrook, Dublin (Sky Sports Mix)
LONDON, UK, 19 January 2017 – Canon, world leader in imaging, announced today that it has renewed its contract and become the first company to serve as an official sponsor for Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, which will take place in twelve host cities* across the country from 20 September to 2 November.
Hosted every four years, Rugby World Cup is one of the world's most prestigious sporting events with the world's top 20 national teams competing across 48 matches to win the ultimate prize in the sport, the Webb Ellis Cup.
Japan 2019 will be the event's ninth edition and the first in Asia. The 2015 Tournament, which was hosted in England, was the best attended with 2.48 million fans, the most viewed with record broadcast, digital and social coverage in more than 207 nations.
As with other sporting competitions in the past, Canon will provide behind-the-scenes support to members of the press covering the Rugby World Cup 2019, including camera and lens maintenance services and product loans, to enable photographers to capture all the action of the tournament. The Canon Group will also provide the print and copying solutions used by the Tournament Organising Committee, supporting the event by facilitating the printout of handout materials and the streamlining of document workflows.
As a Rugby World Cup 2019 official sponsor, Canon offers the full support of its diverse imaging businesses, ranging from cameras, lenses, video camcorders and network cameras to copiers, multifunction devices, printers, projectors and medical equipment.
Canon Inc. Chairman & CEO Fujio Mitarai said: "Following on from Rugby World Cup 2015 in England, Canon is delighted to continue backing the tournament, which will take place in Asia for the first time, as an official sponsor of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. In addition to supporting professional photographers from Japan and overseas as they capture the intense action of the world's top teams facing off in peak condition; Canon, working together with the organising committee, relevant authorities, local government and other corporate sponsors, will do the utmost to support Rugby World Cup 2019 throughout Japan."
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "We are delighted to be extending our relationship with Canon as a Rugby World Cup 2019 official sponsor. Canon is an important supporter of rugby in Japan, an innovator in its field and a perfect match for our premier event.
"This exciting relationship underscores the significant global appeal of the first Rugby World Cup in Asia and we look forward to working in partnership with Canon to extend the reach and impact of the sport in Japan, across Asia and around the globe."
Canon will continue contributing to the advancement of sports through its products and technologies.
Xerox, distributed to 24 sub-Saharan countries by Bytes Document Solutions, has renewed its sponsorship of the Golden Lions Rugby Union for the third time.
The company embarked on its second sponsorship programme with the Golden Lions Rugby Union in 2003, covering the organisation's professional and amateur leagues.
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The first term of sponsorship to the union took place between 1993 and 1998, when they were known as the Transvaal Rugby Union. In terms of the renewal, Xerox has also provided an extension clause for a possible additional two years at the end of this third sponsorship term.
'The partnership that has developed between Xerox and the Golden Lions Rugby Union over the last three years has benefited not only the players involved, but also emerging Springbok hopefuls, communities, schools and the sport of rugby in its entirety,' says Andy Turner, CEO of the Golden Lions Rugby Union.
'Renewal of this partnership is indicative of Xerox's grassroots commitment to developing sports in this country at all levels. Its input to date has been invaluable and its continued support will yield even greater results for the union and its supporters.'
To date, Xerox sponsorship of the Golden Lions Rugby Union has included financial support, office equipment, specialised training equipment, branded red and white Golden Lions kit and the FeLions, the union's recently created cheerleading squad.
The sponsored training equipment allows the union's 40 contracted players to practise any time of the day or night, 365 days a year. Including wrestling mats, kicking nets, strength testing and polymetric apparatus, contact equipment and agility equipment, it focuses their training regimen and helps improve their performance on the field.
'Xerox takes great pride in its association with a winning team,' says Rob Abraham, MD of Bytes Document Solutions. 'As the union's sponsor and partner, we are able to ensure a continued and positive input into all things rugby.
The talent that is emerging from school rugby is exciting and presents national rugby with exciting new players who can positively impact on the game. Involving communities in the game also opens up access to hidden pools of talent.
The union has taken great strides towards improving the game of rugby and enhancing management of its teams. Our continued support highlights the confidence we have in the Golden Lions making an indelible mark on rugby.'
Read more: http://www.superxv.com/xerox-renews-sponsorship-with-golden-lions-rugby-union/#ixzz4WskPuTIO
LeoVegas.com is the new Official Betting/Gaming Partner of Leicester Tigers.
King of mobile casino, LeoVegas.com has agreed a three-year deal which will include the online casino's brand logo on Tigers team shorts until 2019 as well as on adult replica shorts for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons.
The partnership will kick off at this weekend's European Champions Cup fixture against Glasgow Warriors at Welford Road and will be one of the biggest sponsorships in LeoVegas.com's history.
The deal with Tigers is a significant investment for the brand and will allow LeoVegas.com to spread awareness of the brand through visibility on TV during live and highlights broadcasts, and help to cement it as a major player in the sports betting market.
The agreement also includes official partner accreditation, media space at Welford Road, matchday tickets and hospitality, and pitchside perimeter boards.
Andrea Pinchen, Leicester Tigers commercial director, said: "We have had the chance to meet with Leo Vegas at their head offices and we were hugely impressed with their set-up and their people. We firmly believe they are the premium brand in betting and to be able to welcome another partner to the Tigers Family recognises the strength in the Leicester Tigers brand. We look forward to working with Leo Vegas immensely."
LeoVegas.com will activate its sponsorship via a number of PR, social media and consumer engagement activities for Tigers supporters.
Shenaly Amin of LeoVegas.com said: "This sponsorship deal is with one of the biggest rugby teams in the world and is a major statement of intent from LeoVegas.com which emphasises our commitment into becoming a leader in the sportsbook market.
"To be mentioned in the same sentence as of one of the most iconic names in rugby, let alone as a partner, is a complete honour and we're looking forward to becoming part of the Tigers Family."
Home or away, the Hurricanes key sponsors Fullerton Markets and Kia Motors New Zealand will be front and centre of the team's Investec Super Rugby campaign in 2017.
That's because for the second year running the Hurricanes will stand apart as the only team in Super Rugby with two different front of jersey sponsors
To celebrate a partnership with Fullerton and Kia that will run for the next three years, the Hurricanes have released a fun fan video: CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO VIEW
The Fullerton Markets logo will grace the front of the defending Super Rugby champion's playing jersey during regular season 'home' matches in 2017, while Kia Motors New Zealand will take pride of place for 'away' matches.
The Fullerton Markets branded black jersey with yellow shoulders will be worn for the first time during the Brisbane Global Tens on February 11-12.
The Kia branded yellow jersey with black shoulders will debut during the team's final preseason match against the Crusaders in Waverley before being worn in all overseas fixtures during the season.
The exception to the 'home and away' rule will be when the Hurricanes will wear their Kia 'away' strip against the Chiefs in Hamilton in round three due to a clash with the home team's colours.
Fullerton Markets CEO Mario Singh has been actively raising the company's profile worldwide and was thrilled with the latest partnership.
"As reigning Investec Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes have demonstrated qualities like resilience, commitment and teamwork. As a world-class brokerage, we resonate deeply with these qualities as well.
"After joining the Hurricanes family of sponsors last season it was an easy decision to up the ante in 2017 and become the front of jersey sponsor for all the home games. We can't wait to see the team run out in Brisbane with the Fullerton logo on the front of their jersey.
"We really felt like we were part of the Hurricanes family in 2016 and, like all the other fans at Westpac Stadium this season, we'll be right there with the team every step of the way. We're looking forward to seeing the Canes defend their title this year!"
Kia Motors NZ General Manager Todd McDonald said the company was looking forward to building on a strong relationship with the Hurricanes in 2017.
"We were proud to be associated with the club during the run to its maiden Super Rugby title in 2016. Being a major sponsor of the team and front and centre on the away jersey allows us to reach out to our customers both here in New Zealand and in key international markets.
"At Kia we pride ourselves on being innovative and exciting and I'm sure the Hurricanes will once again reflect those values in 2017. Our mantra is 'The Power to Surprise' and we're sure the Hurricanes will produce plenty of surprises for their opposition in the coming season."
Kia has a well-known association with sports sponsorship across the world including the FIFA World Cup, Australian Open and UEFA European Football Championship™.
Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee said the support of Fullerton Markets and Kia was highly valued as the club looked to raise the bar even further in 2017.
"Both Fullerton Markets and Kia represent excellence in their respective fields and that's what we want our club to be all about.
"We were delighted with our relationship last season and it's great that Fullerton Markets will join Kia as a front of jersey sponsor for the next three seasons."
• First three RFU Rugby 365 artificial grass pitches now complete in Lancashire, Buckinghamshire and Somerset
• Pitches officially unveiled by England Head Coach Eddie Jones, RFU President Peter Baines and RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie
• Pitch for a Pound promotion launched at each site offering the community the opportunity to try the new surface for just £1 an hour (+VAT) this January and February
Preston Grasshoppers RFC, Aylesbury RFC and Hornets RFC are the first three locations to host a RFU Rugby 365 floodlit artificial grass pitch (AGP). The pitches are part of the RFU's Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy of delivering over £47m investment over four year into the development of 100 AGPs across England.
The new AGPs will provide the communities with year-round rugby through the durability of the all-weather surface, which will enable additional training sessions and more flexibility in playing times due to the floodlights. As a result, the pitches are expected to increase rugby participation across clubs and community groups, further growing the sport.
On Saturday RFU CEO Ian Ritchie opened the new pitch at Aylesbury RFC as the club took on local rivals Beaconsfield RFC.
RFU chief executive, Ian Ritchie, said "It is expected that each AGP pitch will create between 1,500 and 2,000 hours of additional access to play per year and so we hope that the flexibility and enhanced opportunities they provide across the regions will open up the sport for a wider audience to enjoy the benefits of rugby."
On Sunday, RFU President Peter Baines opened the artificial grass pitch at Hornets RFC in between two matches; Hornets RFC Colts v Weston Super Mare RFC and Hornettes RFC v Cullompton Ladies, showing the variety of games already taking place on the pitches.
Eddie Jones launched Lancashire's Artificial Grass Pitch last night with a training session made up of 40 young players from clubs across the community in front of a 700-strong crowd.
England Head Coach Eddie Jones, said "I'm delighted to officially launch one of the RFU's first floodlit artificial grass pitches at Preston Grasshoppers RFC. It's been great to see the whole community come out in force to celebrate the launch and I hope to see clubs, schools and organisations all using and benefitting from this great facility."
As part of the official launches the RFU has introduced a "Pitch for a Pound" promotion, giving the local communities the chance to book an hour on the pitch for just £1 (+ VAT), this January and February, with half a pitch only 5op (+VAT). To book time on the Buckinghamshire, Lancashire or Somerset pitch, go to englandrugby.com/rugby365
The RFU has invested £47m into the Rugby 365 artificial grass pitch programme, with a commitment to build 60 artificial grass pitches on rugby club sites across England over four years.
Feasibility has started on phase two sites across the country, with construction due to start on 17 more pitches this summer.
Alongside the Rugby 365 programme the RFU is investing into partner organisations to part-fund 40 pitches on community sites. Three educational sites are currently in development and will be announced in due course.
For more information on Artificial Grass Pitches, and to book a pitch near you, go to www.englandrugby.com/rugby365