LV=, the insurance, investments and pensions group, is the new title sponsor of the LV= Cup, rugby's Anglo-Welsh tournament. The competition is jointly managed by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).
The initial two-year deal for the LV= Cup, with an option to renew for a further two years, will build on LV='s existing investment in Rugby Union and also complement its LV= County Championship sponsorship in cricket.*
The high profile LV= Cup is a 16-team competition involving the 12 English Guinness Premiership clubs and four Welsh regional teams. This year's competition commences on 5 November and the final will be played in March 2010 at a neutral venue to be confirmed. The eventual winner, if an English club, will gain a place in the Heineken Cup for next season.
The tournament already has a broadcaster, with Sky Sports committed to promoting the LV= Cup. They will screen one live match per round, plus the semi-finals and final, for the next five years. The competition also has a committed supporter base with an average of 8,500 spectators at each pool game over the last three years, and 55,000 attending last April's final at Twickenham Stadium.
The RFU, WRU and LV=, as well as Premier Rugby Limited (PRL) and Regional Rugby Wales, which oversee the teams playing in the competition, have all jointly committed to extensively promote the LV= Cup using existing channels and media.
David Radford, LV=Group Marketing Director, commented: "We are delighted to be extending our sponsorship interests in rugby with The LV= Cup. As an expanding business we see The LV= Cup providing a good fit with our target audiences and we’re pleased to put our support behind this popular competition."
Francis Baron, Rugby Football Union (RFU) Chief Executive, added: "The Anglo-Welsh Cup is rich with heritage and history stretching back over many years, much like LV=. This year's tournament promises to be as exciting and hard fought as ever with the ultimate prize of a place in the Heineken Cup on offer for any English club that wins. In addition we believe the new structure will give players, coaches and supporters an exciting tournament that embodies all that's best about cross-border knockout competition, and further showcases the game."
Roger Lewis, Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) Chief Executive, concluded: "Anglo-Welsh rivalries are among the oldest in world rugby and this competition will once again stir a huge amount of excitement from players, coaches and fans. The Welsh Rugby Union has always championed this competition and so we very much welcome LV= as title sponsors of the tournament and Sky as host broadcaster. We look forward to another season of top class rugby between the best English clubs and our Welsh regions."
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
* LV= has been the title sponsor of the LV= County Championship, the premier domestic cricket competition, since 2002. LV= is also a sponsor of Harlequins RUFC.
LV= is a registered trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.
The LV= insurance, investments and pensions group employs more than 3,800 people, serves over 3.6m customers and members, and manages around £7bn on their behalf. The company is also the UK's largest friendly society (Source: Association of Friendly Societies Key Statistics 2009) and a leading mutual financial services provider, offering customers car insurance, home insurance and travel insurance.
Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number. 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.
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