Scottish Rugby to continue riding BT wave



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BT and Scottish Rugby extend naming rights for stadium Image: Scottish Rugby

Scottish Rugby (governing body for rugby union in Scotland) Principal Partner BT – one of the world’s leading communications services companies based in the United Kingdom – has agreed to extend its support for the sport in Scotland in an updated deal which will see it reach 10 years with the national governing body.

‘Scottish Rugby’ stated that BT will retain the naming rights to Scotland’s largest stadium, BT Murrayfield – in Edinburgh (UK).

Murrayfield Stadium (known as BT Murrayfield Stadium for sponsorship reasons) is a sports stadium located in the Murrayfield area of Edinburgh, Scotland. It has a seating capacity of 67,144 making it the largest stadium in Scotland and the fifth largest in the United Kingdom. The stadium is the home of the Scottish Rugby Union, and is mainly used as a venue for rugby union.

The new three-year arrangement will see BT also secure the front of shirt sponsor placement for the Scotland 7s team for the upcoming 2021-22 seasons.

The Scotland national rugby sevens team competes in the World Rugby Sevens Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens and the Commonwealth Games.

‘Scottish Rugby’ further stated that BT will also see its logo remain on the Scotland national team jersey albeit in a different position on the nape of the neck, which will first be seen on a newly designed jersey for the 2021-22 seasons, to be unveiled this summer.

The new deal also sees BT reconnect with the Scotland Women team and this renewed focus on female rugby sees the Principal Partner’s logo feature in a new back of shirt position on the 2021-22 seasons’ jersey.

BT first inked a deal with Scottish Rugby in October 2014 in a transformational deal for the sport.

Since 2014, BT’s investment has helped redefine the rugby landscape in Scotland through investment in the Scottish Rugby Academy, which it helped to launch and previously sponsored, BT league and cup competitions, as well as supporting the Club Sustainability Fund to provide investment in capital projects at grassroots clubs.

BT continued to provide an incredible level of support to Scottish Rugby during the last 12 months of the COVID-19 scourge which still has the world in its fatal grip, and this demonstrated the strength of the partnership and its commitment to rugby in Scotland.

The Scotland national team have also benefited from a series of technical innovations powered by BT including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support non-contact training and immersive technology to bring fans closer to the team.

The Scotland national rugby union team represents Scotland in men’s international rugby union and is administered by the Scottish Rugby Union. The team takes part in the annual Six Nations Championship and participates in the Rugby World Cup, which takes place every four years.

BT’s 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.

With over 7,000 people working across the country, BT is present in every community in Scotland in much the same way as rugby is represented at grassroots level.

BT’s Director of Enterprise Business Scotland, Alan Lees, stated, “We’re honored and excited to be able to extend our role as one of Scottish Rugby’s Principal Partners, taking our relationship to 10 years, until 2024. 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.”

Added Lees, “From the national teams to grassroots rugby, rugby in Scotland has transformed into something the nation can be proud of. As lead partners also of Scottish Football, we recognize the role inclusive sport has in empowering young people, helping them to reach their potential. Throughout the past year our fiber broadband and 4G & 5G mobile networks have underpinned our lives in unprecedented ways, enabling us to work from home, home school and stay connected with our loved ones. 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 are based in, can emerge from the crisis stronger than before.”

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, noted, “It says everything about the quality and strength of our partnership with BT that we can conclude a further extension which will see us achieve 10 years of working together to support rugby in Scotland. I would like to thank Alan Lees and his BT colleagues for their continued support, especially over the past 12 months, which have been difficult for every business in the country.”

Added Dodson, “Back in 2014, BT helped Scottish Rugby to launch what is now a well-established Academy program which has already generated players who have represented their country and many more that 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.”

Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer, Dominic McKay, put in, “I am really proud that we can continue to work with BT as one of Scottish Rugby’s Principal Partners. Every business in the country has been challenged by the recent pandemic and so to be able to maintain and extend our relationship with such a significant blue-chip company in BT shows the quality of their people and organization.”

Added McKay, “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.”

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