Bid for new Six Nations deal hits the buffers
SIX Nations Championship organisers have reportedly been forced into an embarrassing climbdown over sponsorship of the 2018 tournament.
RBS ended its 14-year backing of the Six Nations and competition chief John Feehan launched a global search for a successor ready to plough £100m into a six-year sponsorship deal.
The Times report organisers rejected a £15m-a-year offer from RBS to continue their backing in the hope of striking a more lucrative deal elsewhere.
But a year’s search for new backers has proved fruitless.
It means Six Nations organisers have had little choice but to go back to RBS to try and secure the initial £15m-a-year deal.
But the Times claims RBS said no, offering an initial £9m a year – though the figure could now exceed £11m after protracted talks.
A source told the Times: “The bank said no, and you can understand why.
“After considerable negotiations over the past few months the figure has increased slightly to around £11m and they may get a bit more.
“But it is hugely embarrassing that the Six Nations seem to have overplayed their hand and have had to go back, almost cap in hand, to RBS.”
The newspaper report Six Nations organisers did receive a £100m offer from HSBC but their bid was turned down as it combined rights to the tournament and the British and Irish Lions.
The uncertainty surrounding Brexit is thought to be one of the reasons why the Six Nations were unable to seal their £100m deal, with sport seeing a downturn in the sponsorship market.
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