Royal Bank of Scotland confirmed as 6 Nations sponsor
November 30, 2002

The Six Nations Championship is to be sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland, it was announced on Saturday.

The sponsorship deal, which will initially cover the years 2003 to 2005, will see the annual tournament renamed 'The Royal Bank of Scotland Six Nations' and is accompanied by the new logo pictured.

The bank succeed Lloyds TSB as title sponsors of the championships which pit the home nations against each other and France and Italy each spring.

Jacques Laurans, chairman of the Six Nations committee, said: "We are delighted that the championship is to be sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland.

"As one of the world's most successful and fastest-growing financial services businesses, it is a perfect partner for the world's greatest rugby tournament.

"We look forward to working together and to ensuring that this sponsorship brings great benefit to sponsor and rugby alike."

Howard Moody, communications group director for the bank, said: "The Six Nations is a prestigious, world-class event played in front of sell-out crowds and has established itself as the premier annual event in the world of rugby.

"The excitement generated by the annual head-to-head competition between nations is second to none and, as a result, it reaches beyond the traditional rugby fan to a wider audience and has become a cultural as well as sporting event.

"The countries involved map well with our existing businesses in the home countries, Ireland and mainland Europe."

Lloyds TSB paid around £30million to sponsor the championship over the last five years, before deciding not to continue at the end of last season, and it is believed the new deal will not match that.

Negotiations for a new television contract were only concluded with the BBC two months ago and that meant the search for new sponsors had to be delayed.

The committee wass understood to be seeking £9-10 million a year to fill the void but Laurans' statement suggested their may be some room for manoeuvre.

The Six Nations have held talks with Peugeot, the French carmaker who already back the Parker Pen Cup, and Orange, the telecommunications giant, who are understood to have now set their sights on succeeding Heineken by sponsoring the European Cup for £28 million over the next four years.

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