Scottish Rugby extend partnership with BT, while Peter Vardy Group take over as men’s shirt sponsor

The national stadium will continue to be called BT Murrayfield, while the communication company's logo will appear on the senior men, women and 7s strips

BT have retained the naming rights to Murrayfield Stadium for three more years. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
BT have retained the naming rights to Murrayfield Stadium for three more years. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SCOTTISH RUGBY has agreed an updated three-year sponsorship deal with BT which will see the partnership between the two businesses reach a decade in duration by the summer of 2024.

BT will retain the naming rights to Murrayfield stadium, will be the front of shirt sponsor for the Scotland 7s team during the 2021-22 season, and their logo will also now appear on the back of the Scotland Women team shirt.

However, the Peter Vardy Group will now be the principal sponsors of the Scotland Men’s jersey, with the BT logo moving from chest to nape of the neck.

Peter Vardy Group will also be the back of shirt sponsor for Scotland 7s from the 2021/22 season and will have branding on Edinburgh’s kit.


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BT’s Director of Enterprise Business Scotland, Alan Lees said the partnership continues to reflect his company’s commitment to supporting grassroots sport and local communities.

“We’re honoured and excited to be able to extend our role as one of Scottish Rugby’s Principal Partners, taking our relationship to ten years, until 2024,” he’s said. “As lead partners also of Scottish Football, we recognise the role inclusive sport has in empowering young people, helping them to reach their potential.

“Throughout the past year our fibre broadband and 4G & 5G mobile networks have underpinned our lives in unprecedented ways, enabling us to work from home, home school and stay connected with loved ones. While it’s been a difficult time for many sectors and sports, including rugby, we hope this renewed partnership will ensure that Scottish Rugby, and the communities they’re based in, can emerge from the crisis stronger than before.”

Scottish Rugby chief Executive Mark Dodson was delighted at renewing the BT deal.

“It says everything about the quality and strength of our partnership with BT that we can conclude a further extension which will see us achieve 10 years of working together to support rugby in Scotland,” he said.

“I would like to thank Alan Lees and his BT colleagues for their continued support, especially over the past 12 months, which have been difficult for every business in the country.

“Back in 2014 BT helped Scottish Rugby to launch what is now a well-established Academy programme which has already generated players who have represented their country and many more who are supporting our professional teams.

“It is positive news for everyone involved in rugby in Scotland that BT will continue to work with us through this exciting extension.”

Peter Vardy Group Chief Executive, Peter Vardy, said: “As a Scottish family business we are very proud to be the Principal Partner of Scottish Rugby.

“We have long been keen supporters of Scottish Rugby, both commercially and as fans and I believe we share similar values. We have built our business on passion, ambition, courage, and we see that lived out by these fantastic athletes every time they pull on the blue jersey. We are incredibly proud that our brand will be recognised with our national team.

“Commercially, of course, it is a fantastic opportunity to promote our brands across the UK and globally; over eight million people watched the recent Scotland versus England game – that level of exposure is massive for us.

“Coming off the back of some exceptional performances from Scotland in the Guinness Six Nations, we are really excited about what the future holds for Scottish Rugby and now as Principal Partner we look forward to working together”.

Dodson added:“We are delighted to welcome a respected and widely known Scottish business in Peter Vardy into the top level of our sponsor family.

“They have been great partners with us in the recent past and it is a testament to their vision and connection to rugby that they will now be seen on a global basis on the front of Scotland’s national team jersey.

“I’d like to thank Peter and his team for their support to Scottish Rugby so far and look forward to working with them in the coming years as we bring this new partnership to life.”


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David Barnes
About David Barnes 2305 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

10 Comments

  1. High flier – none of these Junta people are the wizards they’d like the more gullible to believe!

    It is worth reflecting upon the point referred to here by JW, i.e. that far from being key influencers or players in negotiations, the preening Messrs Dodson, McKay and co have simply been happy passengers (fellow-travellers or recipients of benefits steered the SRU’s way by the convenient corporate strategies or inputs mainly of others) in a variety of recent financial arrangements… CVC Capital Partners – 6 Nations & Pro14 / Scottish Government financial bailout, staving off the spectre of bankruptcy / BT & Macron sponsorships, etc, etc.

    You mention the absence of numbers. The following may be of interest regarding the previous / current stadium naming & front of shirt rights deal with BT “…The existing stadium naming rights contract which included front-of-shirt rights was worth £7m (€8.1m/$9.7m) per season and runs from 2018-19 to the end of the 2020-21 season.”

    We believe that the new deals with Vardy & BT together are likely to be slightly below a similar aggregate value range.

  2. High flier – none of these Junta people are the wizards they’d like the more gullible to believe!

    It is worth reflecting upon the point referred to here by JW, i.e. that far from being key influencers or players in negotiations, the preening Messrs Dodson, McKay and co have simply been happy passengers (fellow-travellers or recipients of benefits steered the SRU’s way by the convenient corporate strategies or inputs mainly of others) in a variety of recent financial arrangements… CVC Capital Partners – 6 Nations & Pro14 / Scottish Government financial bailout, staving off the spectre of bankruptcy / BT & Macron sponsorships, etc, etc.

    You mention the absence of numbers. The following may be of interest regarding the previous / current stadium naming & front of shirt rights deal with BT “…The existing stadium naming rights contract which included front-of-shirt rights was worth £7m (€8.1m/$9.7m) per season and runs from 2018-19 to the end of the 2020-21 season.”

    We believe that the new deals with Vardy & BT together are likely to be slightly below a similar aggregate value range.

  3. Others know that the SRU’s stadium naming rights arrangement had in fact been proposed to a rather eager & willing (possibly desperate) governing body by the sponsor itself, since it fitted well in behind BT’s fraught post-Millennium Stadium deal(s) that effectively kept the WRU afloat at a financially difficult time.

    All of this had actually been proposed by the SRU’s previous administration several years before Dodson jumped upon the deal with BT, to his own eternal (bonus-fuelled) benefit.

    Perhaps the funniest tale back in the day, around the time that Director of Marketing & Communications Phil Anderton, later to become elevated for a period to the position of CEO, had been floating the idea of sweating the SRU’s stadium asset by offering naming rights for suitable sponsorship monies…. None of that grubby “marketing” stuff went down well with members of the then omnipotent General Committee’s old guard – whose reaction was along the lines of “we don’t need or want to get involved in deals like that; Murrayfield is a big enough brand name in its own right, and would be tarnished by association with companies like McDonald’s or the makers of Mars Bars!”

    Changed days!

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  4. At least we have timelines on the sponsorship deals unlike player contracts.

    Always good news to get further sponsors.

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  5. the romantic side of me is bursting with happiness as a Scottish company will be displayed proudly on the shirts

    the business side of me is saying if you haven’t anything nice to say, don’t say anything.

    cant wait to get back to murrayeeeeeh BT murrayfield

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    • Vardy is not a Scottish company. They started in Sunderland and Durham. Not sure having a used car salesman’s logo on the front of the shirt is any better or worse than BT.

      My concern would be where the money is spent, as opposed to who is giving it up for naming rights.

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  6. While numbers aren’t mentioned, any major sponsorship deal in this day and age is to be welcomed. Like him or not, Mark Dodson’s initial deal for the stadium naming rights was fantastic business (unless you are a BT shareholder!)

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    • Others know that the SRU’s stadium naming rights arrangement had in fact been proposed to a rather eager & willing (possibly desperate) governing body by the sponsor itself, since it fitted well in behind BT’s fraught post-Millennium Stadium deal(s) that effectively kept the WRU afloat at a difficult time.

      All of this had actually been proposed by the SRU’s previous administration several years before Dodson jumped upon the deal with BT, to his own eternal (bonus-fuelled) benefit.

      Perhaps the funniest tale back in the day, around the time that Director of Marketing & Communications Phil Anderton, later to become elevated for a period to the position of CEO, had been floating the idea of sweating the SRU’s stadium asset by offering naming rights for suitable sponsorship monies…. None of that grubby “marketing” stuff went down well with members of the then omnipotent General Committee’s old guard – whose reaction was along the lines of “we don’t need or want to get involved in deals like that; Murrayfield is a big enough brand name in its own right, and would be tarnished by association with companies like McDonald’s or the makers of Mars Bars!”

      Changed days!

    • Dodson had little to do with it as Ron explains. His main involvement was to take the credit (and shed loads of money).

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