Insurance, investments and pensions group LV=, is the new title sponsor of the LV= Cup, rugby’s Anglo-Welsh tournament, the joint competition managed by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).
LV= which has 3.6m customers and employs over 3,800 people has been expanding its businesses and sponsorship. The initial two-year deal, with an option for a further two, will see the LV= Cup build on LV=’s existing investments in Rugby Union and complements the LV= County Championship in cricket.¹
The high profile LV= Cup, is a 16-team competition involving the 12 English Guinness Premiership clubs and four top Welsh clubs. It commences on November 5 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 and showing one live match per round and the semi-finals and final for the next five years. It also has a committed supporter base with an average of 8500 watching each pool game in the last three years and 55,000 attending last April’s final at Twickenham Stadium.
Welsh language broadcaster S4C will also now offer live, exclusive and free-to-air LV= matches throughout the tournament and extended highlights. They begin their coverage at Rodney Parade on Friday 6 November with Dragons v Sale Sharks and continue in Round 2 with Bath v Ospreys at the Recreation Ground.
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 all existing channels and media.
David Radford, Group Marketing Director of LV=, 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 audience and we’re pleased to put our support behind this popular competition.”
Geraint Rowlands, S4C’s Content Editor, Sport said: “The inclusion of the re-vamped Anglo-Welsh cup competition to S4C’s schedules will offer even more exciting live rugby action to fans and further strengthens the Channel’s impressive rugby and sports portfolio.”
Roger Lewis, Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) Chief Executive, concluded, “Anglo-Welsh rivalries are amongst 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.
“It’s great news for rugby fans that one of our broadcasters, S4C will broadcast live, free-to-air LV= matches across Wales and the rest of the UK.
“We look forward to another season of top class rugby between the best English clubs and our Welsh regions.”