Connacht seal lucrative Mazda deal
Connacht have parted company with their long-time sponsors as they strive to move into line with the other provinces following their elevation to the Heineken Cup.
Bank of Ireland, their sponsors for the past 14 seasons, has lost out to Mazda to be the main backers of Eric Elwood's men as they finally make their debut on the elite Euro stage.
Bank of Ireland had hoped to continue as title sponsor, but Connacht secured a more lucrative offer from the Japanese car manufacturers in what is believed to be a three-year deal.
Bank of Ireland came on board as Connacht's sponsor shortly after the game went professional and the deal, worth an estimated €100,000-a-year with extras, was renewed several times.
The new deal with Mazda is believed to be worth considerably more.
Bank of Ireland, which announced its previous three-year deal with Leinster as a €6m package, renewed its sponsorship deal with the Blues earlier this year but did not disclose the sum involved. The bank has a year to run on its deal with Ulster.