New Scotland Rugby strip

Scottish Rugby seals biggest ever shirt sponsorship deal with £3.6m BT contract

The Scotland shirt, worn here by David Denton, will have BT on it rather than RBS from the summerThe Scotland shirt, worn here by David Denton, will have BT on it rather than RBS from the summer

‘I am delighted BT will be the new strip partner of the Scotland teams and although I cannot confirm how much the deal is worth as it is commercially sensitive, I can confirm it is the largest ever shirt sponsorship deal we have done, ’ said Dominic McKay, the SRU’s Director of Commercial Operations, Communications and Public Affairs.

‘BT is now very much under the skin of Scottish rugby and their cash has allowed us to invest in a way we have not been able to ever before. Their brand will now be seen by millions of fans around the world on the iconic dark blue jersey of the Scotland team, which shows their further commitment and desire to help us develop all elements of our game.’

All form of jersey advertising is banned during the forthcoming Rugby World Cup in England later this year but Scotland will have BT branding on their training tops.

The SRU say that the Scotland Under-20 side will be the first team to run out with BT on their jerseys when they compete in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in June and the senior side will first wear the logo on their jerseys during their World Cup warm-up fixture against Italy in August.

The Scotland Women’s team will also wear the national jersey with the BT logo on it as will all age-grade sides.

McKay said the cash was being spent from pro level down to the grassroots, with clubs all over Scotland set to benefit under the long-term sponsorship deals.

A general view of Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh ahead of an RBS Six Nations match in February

A general view of Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh ahead of an RBS Six Nations match in February‘BT’s initial investment was around Glasgow and Edinburgh when they became their principal shirt partners, ’ he continued. ‘Since then, that investment has gone into Scottish rugby to enhance and develop both those brands and help pay to bring in new players and bring on younger ones.

‘You can see the success of Glasgow who are sitting top of the PRO12 table and part of that is a result of their investment. Edinburgh are going for a place in the European Challenge Cup final and that will be live on BT sport on Friday night. There is a demonstration at the partnership in action.

‘At club level you have seen clubs participate in the BT Scottish Cup and BT Premiership. They are also dipping in to the funds for clubs we have set up to enhance their premises and pitches that has around £400, 000 a year available and we are going through the new applications for money just now.’

McKay added that bringing on the next generation of Scottish rugby players was vital, which was why much of the cash would be spent setting up and running regional rugby academies over the duration of the BT deal. One has already been created in Aberdeen with others to follow to cover Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as the Borders.

Brendan Dick, Director of BT Scotland, added: ‘This will showcase our partnership on a global stage and demonstrates our support of Scottish Rugby. Our partnership with Scottish Rugby touches all levels of rugby within Scotland and it is fantastic to see the investment become a reality for communities and families across Scotland and to start to make a difference.’

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