Sport Rugby

Friday 19 September 2014

Pro12 poised for Guinness sponsorship deal

Cian Tracey

Published 09/07/2014 | 02:30

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Leinster's Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden and Jamie Heaslip with the Pro12 trophy after their victory in last year's final against Glasgow Warriors. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Leinster's Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden and Jamie Heaslip with the Pro12 trophy after their victory in last year's final against Glasgow Warriors. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Guinness are in line to become the new sponsors of Celtic rugby's Pro12 league. An official announcement will be made tomorrow at the same time next season's fixtures will be revealed.

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The iconic drinks brand will replace the online bank RaboDirect, who ended their three-year association with the league last season.

It is understood that Guinness will sign an initial two-year sponsorship deal with an option to extend.

Guinness already have strong ties to rugby as the main sponsors of Ireland's annual November Test series, while they spent five years as sponsors of England's Premiership.

The brand, which is owned by Diageo, have also been a long-time leading commercial partner with the Rugby World Cup.

Turkish Airlines were widely known to be interested in taking over from RaboDirect but Guinness have now emerged as the front-runners. Guinness will become the third title sponsor of the Pro12 following on from Magners, who spent five years as sponsors before RaboDirect.

The news comes as a major boost to the league after it signed a four-year broadcast deal with Sky Sports last May.

The English television channel will show 33 live games next season including both play-offs and the final. The Pro12 campaign begins on the first weekend of September with games scheduled for September 5, 6 and 7.

Irish Independent

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