23 Au­gust

RaboDirect, an on­line arm of the Dutch fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion Rabobank, an­nounced it is to end its ti­tle spon­sor­ship of rugby union’s PRO12, the com­pe­ti­tion in­volv­ing clubs from Wales, Scotland, Ire­land and Italy, at the end of the 2013-14 sea­son The an­nounce­ment came two weeks be­fore the start of the new cam­paign, giv­ing or­gan­iser Celtic Rugby a year to find a new part­ner. RaboDirect is said to have achieved its ob­jec­tives in terms of in­creased con­sumer aware­ness and en­gage­ment in the first two years of the three-year deal and will sub­se­quently fo­cus its spon­sor­ship ac­tiv­i­ties in Ire­land, where it now has over 80,000 cus­tomers.

29 July

BT Sport, the new pay-tele­vi­sion ser­vice from the UK tele­coms gi­ant, ap­par­ently evaded a re­fusal to carry its ad­ver­tis­ing by di­rect ri­val Bri­tish Sky Broad­cast­ing af­ter an­nounc­ing spon­sor­ship deals with Glas­gow War­riors and Ed­in­burgh Rugby, the top Scot­tish rugby union clubs. Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh both play in Europe’s top-tier Heineken Cup and BT Sport’s fouryear deals with the two teams mean that its logo will ap­pear on the play­ers’ jer­seys in the com­pe­ti­tion, which is shown on the Sky Sports chan­nels.

23 July

Dove Men Care, the male skin­care brand, signed a new three-year spon­sor­ship deal with the Welsh Rugby Union, be­com­ing a prin­ci­pal part­ner un­til 2016. The agree­ment se­cures ti­tle spon­sor­ship of Wales’ home au­tumn fix­ture sched­ule for the next two sea­sons, be­gin­ning with the ‘Dove Men Series’ clashes with South Africa, Ar­gentina, Tonga and Aus­tralia this Novem­ber, and also cov­ers warm-up matches played at the Mil­len­nium Sta­dium in Cardiff prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, to be held in Eng­land and Wales. Dove Men Care pre­vi­ously spon­sored Wales’ au­tumn in­ter­na­tional series in 2011 and 2012, but this is the first long-term deal with the WRU.

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