Rugby Union: Sponsorship

Download Part 2 of 3 - Sponsorship in Rugby

In the second of a three-part white paper series ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Nielsen Sports experts from around the world examine rugby’s commercial landscape. Part 2 looks at global rugby sponsorship. Download Part 1 dealing with fans and interest levels here.

Rugby Union Sponsorship


Jon Stainer (England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland) 

I’d say at international level it’s pretty well-developed. There’s some major investors from a sponsorship point of view – RBS, Heineken and O2 have all been in the game for quite a long time now. We’ve had some new players come in and make a splash, like Under Armour and Dove Men, the Unilever brand – and the likes of Canterbury, who continue to invest at a substantial level in various nations around the world.

Pierre-Emmanuel Davin (France)

It’s interesting to notice that our rugby clubs are developing their commercial revenues and getting more professional and mature in how they address sponsorship and how they approach the market. There are mainly domestic sponsors at the moment but the next step is definitely looking at how our Top 14 championship could open itself to the world and attract more global brands as sponsors.

Guy Port (Australia)

There’s a lot of competition in Australia for commercial rights in Australia – cricket up against rugby etc. At a national level the Wallabies have had longevity with Qantas as the front-of-jersey partner, but over the years you’ve seen greater commercial opportunities created. If you go back seven or eight years you had a couple of opportunities with the Wallabies and then three Super Rugby franchises – Queensland, New South Wales, ACT. Over the years, that’s grown to five Super Rugby franchises and the Super Rugby competition itself. Going back ten years, some of the lack of supply of commercial opportunities in rugby has fallen based on the growth of Super Rugby – more brands have been allowed to become involved in the sport.


Top 10 national team deals

Over £125m has been invested globally in international rugby team sponsorship in 2015


 New Zealand Rugby Union (kit supplier) 



New Zealand Rugby Union (front of jersey sponsor)



Rugby Football Union (England) (front of jersey sponsor)



South African Rugby Union (front of jersey sponsor)



Rugby Football Union (England)(kit supplier)



Australian Rugby Union (front of jersey sponsor)



Australian Rugby Union (kit sponsor)


BT Group

Scottish Rugby Union (front of jersey sponsor)



Scottish Rugby Union (front of jersey sponsor)



Fiji Rugby Union (naming rights/front of jersey sponsor)






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