PRO14 Rugby has signed a new global partnership with Loch Lomond Whiskies which will see the brand become the league’s Official Spirit and launch the inaugural ‘Rainbow Cup’ competition.
The three-year deal will create a new tournament featuring teams from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Italy and South Africa, and will also see the Loch Lomond Whiskies logo placed on the match officials’ shirts, as well as on digital pitch branding.
The distiller will support some other initiatives aimed directly at helping fans engage with the league and its clubs over the course of the partnership, with digital activations also built into the deal while fans are not in attendance.
A new range of Special Edition Whiskies will be created with PRO14 Rugby and its clubs, while part of the profits will be donated to charities across the UK, Ireland and Italy.
“What attracted us to partner with the PRO14 Rugby as its Official Spirit was not only the professionalism and ambition of Martin Anayi and his team at PRO14 Rugby, but also the quality of the tournament and all of the participating teams as well as a shared passion for a commitment to attaining excellence,” said Colin Matthews, CEO, Loch Lomond Whiskies.
“Much like our other sports partnerships, our sponsorship of PRO14 Rugby will centre on contributing to the true spirit of the sport. We passionately believe that participation and interest in sport can make a real positive difference to individuals, groups and communities and so we are committed to leveraging our new association with PRO14 Rugby to support the wider rugby community.
“We look forward to seeing rugby fans back in stadia as soon as circumstances allow, and we can’t wait to give them the opportunity to enjoy a dram or two of our award-winning single malts.”
Martin Anayi, PRO14 Rugby CEO, added: “Loch Lomond’s long-term addition to our family of partners in the Guinness PRO14 is heartening news on so many levels. During the past nine months, the game of rugby has shown its true spirit in facing challenges we have never seen before and not only have we enjoyed the support of our existing partners, now Loch Lomond have come in because they know how passionate and engaged the fans of our league are.
“Our goal is to create a partnership that opens up opportunities for exciting content that resonates with fans and gets people talking in order to showcase the ambition of both Loch Lomond and our league.
“Loch Lomond Whiskies are really passionate about sport and their sponsorship of The Open Golf Championship is a testament to their approach. Already, they have provided us with a range of ideas to connect with our fans and their clubs, and I’m really looking forward to the announcement of their marquee activation which will provide a prestigious addition to the Guinness PRO14."
The Loch Lomond Group adds PRO14 Rugby to a sport sponsorship portfolio that already includes extensive partnerships in golf, with the likes of The R&A’s Open Championship and Women’s Open, as well as athlete deals including Colin Montgomerie, Darren Clarke, Rich Beem and Cristie Kerr.
The Group’s vodka brand Glens also recently became the Spirit of the SPFL, adding to a deal with Scottish Premiership club Motherwell.