In the News

Premiership Rugby Step Up Search for New Title Partner

May 11, 2016

Premiership Rugby Step Up Search for New Title Partner

Premiership Rugby has appointed ESP Properties, the sports and entertainment arm of WPP’s GroupM, as a lead agency in their search for a new League title partner. The appointment will see ESP Properties marketing the rights to identified brand prospects within and beyond the WPP network.

Premiership Rugby recently announced a global search for a new title partner following confirmation that Aviva’s seven-year partnership with the competition will conclude at the end of the current contract following the Premiership Final in May 2017.

Dominic Hayes, commercial director at Premiership Rugby, said: “With the tremendous growth in the competition over the last few years, both domestically and internationally, there is a fantastic opportunity for a brand to partner with the League for the long term.  

“The partnership will deliver year-round access to our high quality and engaged rugby audience, and we believe that we are well placed to move our League title opportunity to the next level commercially—the process starts now.

“Having worked with ESP’s Two Circles in analysing our title sponsorship offering, we have been very impressed by the ESP Properties sales proposition. They have unique access to the WPP and GroupM global networks, and have incredible insight into long-range brand planning.”

Premiership Rugby has seen its UK TV audiences grow by almost 50 percent in recent years, and has a substantially increasing international profile as the best and most competitive rugby league in the world.

The recently announced U.S. broadcast deal with NBC Sports, along with a number of other new international TV agreements for 2016/17, will see Aviva Premiership Rugby broadcast in 200 countries, reaching more than 170 million households around the world.

Jonathan Hill, head of ESP Properties EMEA and global commercial director, added: “We are honoured to have been selected by Premiership Rugby to lead the search for a new naming rights partner for the League, which we see as one of sport’s most sought-after properties.

“Such high profile League naming rights opportunities are few and far between, and we see the combination of frequency, reach and of course the unique rugby demographic as being hugely compelling. We look forward to taking the naming rights package to market from today.”

About ESP Properties
ESP Properties is a new type of sports and entertainment marketing agency, dedicated to helping rightsholders take advantage of digital and data driven changes in the media landscape. It is part of WPP’s GroupM. ESP Properties is dedicated to helping properties better understand their audiences, develop more relevant ways to engage with them, and provide potential brand partners more valuable ways to connect with their communities of fans. In addition to Premiership Rugby, iconic organizations such as the All Blacks (New Zealand Rugby Union) and City Football Group are among a growing list of major clients. For more information visit

Media Contact
Matthew Barrett
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