English rugby league’s elite competition, the Super League, has announced it has reached a mutual agreement to end its title sponsorship deal with the Stobart Group at the conclusion of this season as it seeks to monetise the rights for the 2013 campaign.
The logistics company in January agreed a cash-free deal to promote the league via its network of haulage trucks. Since entering into the partnership for the 2012 season, the Super League said it has increased its television audience by 45% and experienced record game attendances. The league’s previous title sponsor, Engage Mutual Assurance, had paid in excess of £1 million per year for the exclusive rights and Super League officials believe they are now in a strong position to re-enter the sponsorship market.
“We are delighted at the success of our one-year partnership with Stobart and the exposure that this ground-breaking concept has created,” said Super League commercial director James Mercer, according to the league’s official website. “The partnership has placed the sport in a wonderful position to move into the next cycle of our commercial strategy in 2013. Innovation has always been at the heart of the Super League and this collaboration showcased the creativity and unity of our clubs. With a combined TV audience of over 25 million, huge attendance levels and national and international expansion the sport is well-placed for an exciting future.”
Stobart Group chief executive Andrew Tinkler added: “The plan was always to review the partnership after the first year and we’ve decided to step back and allow the RFL (Rugby Football League) to work with commercial partners that can offer the financial support it needs to further develop. As such both parties have mutually agreed to end the collaboration at the close of the season.”
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Super League to return to sponsorship market