Guinness has been announced as the new title sponsors of the Six Nations Championship after signing a six-year sponsorship deal.
Following the departure of RBS as the official sponsors, NatWest took on the role for the 2018 championship alone.
According to the Times, Guinness will pay £6 million for the naming rights, but the fee will rise to £12 million by the time the contract ends in 2024.
Commenting on the new partnership, Six Nations CEO Benjamin Morel said: “We are absolutely delighted to enhance our long-standing relationship with GUINNESS and they will be a terrific title sponsor for Rugby’s Greatest Championship. GUINNESS are world leaders and our partnership between two great iconic brands will enable us to reach new audiences on a global scale.
“We could not be more excited to be working with the GUINNESS team over the coming years on developing new and innovative ways to connect with our fans and consumers.”
Diageo President for Europe, Turkey and India, John Kennedy said: “We are really looking forward to the start of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS in February 2019. Working with the Six Nations, we want to enhance both the Championship and the fan experience whilst using the partnership to encourage the adult fans watching, or attending, the games to drink responsibly.”
This year’s championship will kick-off on February 1st with the meeting of France and Wales in Paris. Reigning champions, Ireland will begin their campaign against England in the Aviva Stadium the next day.
There will be a week’s break between Rounds Three and Four and Rounds Four and Five and the competition will conclude on March 16th with Italy hosting France, Ireland taking on Wales in Cardiff and the Calcutta Cup will be claimed by either England or Scotland.