Global insurance brokers Gallagher have been confirmed as new title sponsors of English rugby union’s Premiership.
Premiership Rugby announced a multi-year partnership with Illinois-based Gallagher, starting on July 1.
The widely-expected announcement will see Gallagher succeed Aviva as title backers of the English game’s flagship competition, which will be known as Gallagher Premiership Rugby from next season.
And it will also strengthen Premiership Rugby’s presence in the United States.
Two Premiership fixtures have already been staged in America, with London Irish playing Saracens in New Jersey two years ago and Newcastle facing Saracens in Philadelphia last September.
In addition to naming rights, Premiership Rugby said branding opportunities and local community programmes are included in the agreement.
Gallagher become the competition’s fourth title sponsor in its 20-year history after Allied Dunbar, Guinness and Aviva.
Premiership Rugby chief executive McCafferty said: “The international expansion of Premiership Rugby has been accelerated in recent years and it is fitting that we are now partnering with a global company with an equally strong presence in the UK.
“The last decade has seen major growth in Premiership Rugby’s fan base, and it is a huge credit to our clubs – and the way they have grown their businesses – that we can announce this new partnership.
“We are very much looking forward to the first matches of Gallagher Premiership Rugby in September.
“We would also like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to Aviva for our eight-year partnership, which is one of the longest-running and most successful title partnerships in British sport.”