Scottish Rugby Principal Partner BT has agreed to extend its support for the sport in Scotland in an updated deal which will see it reach ten years with the national governing body.The national rugby stadium will continue to be known as BT Murrayfield, as it has done since 2014, and the telecom giants’ logo will continue to be branded on the national team’s shirts. It will also take on a sponsorship placement on the back of the Scotland women’s kits and the front signange of the Scotland 7s for next season.
The new agreement will last for three years, and will complete a decade of partnership, Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson explained.
“It says everything about the quality and strength of our partnership that we can conclude a further extension which will see us achieve 10 years of working together to support rugby in Scotland.“Back in 2014 BT helped Scottish Rugby to launch what is now a well-established Academy programme which has already generated players who have represented their country and many more who are supporting our professional teams.“It is positive news for everyone involved in rugby in Scotland that BT will continue to work with us through this exciting extension.”
BT invested in the Scottish Rugby Academy, league and cup competitions, as well as the Club Sustainability Fund to provide investment in projects at grassroot clubs.
As well as branding the stadium and shirts, the company has also worked with the Scotland national team on a series of technical innovations including the use of Artificial Intelligence to support non-contact training and technology aimed at bringing fans closer to the team.Its technical hardware has also been used by the team’s performance analysts and helped the players and coaches stay connected with family and friends during the lockdown period.
Director of Enterprise Business, Alan Lees said: “Since our partnership started, my colleagues and I have been proudly standing alongside Scottish Rugby and we’ve seen the game in Scotland change, with amazing results. From national teams to grassroots, rugby in Scotland has transformed into something the nation can be proud of. As lead partners also of Scottish Football, we recognise the role inclusive sport has in empowering young people, helping them to reach their potential.“While it's been a difficult time for many sectors and sports, including rugby, we hope this renewed partnership will ensure that Scottish Rugby, and the communities they’re based in, can emerge from the crisis stronger than before.”
The company logo will take a new position on next season’s Scotland’s shirt around the neckline of the jersey.
Chief operating officer Dominic McKay, who is leaving to join Celtic Football Club later this month, was instrumental in setting up the original deal and will depart having negotiated its extension. He said: “I am really pleased we have been able to bring new elements into a long-term partnership and help BT reach communities, through rugby, across Scotland.“Every business in the country has been challenged by the recent pandemic so to be able to maintain and extend our relationship with such a significant blue-chip company shows the quality of their people and organisation."