BT extends Murrayfield naming rights

UK telecommunications company BT has extended its naming rights to Murrayfield, the home of Scottish Rugby, as part of a deal that sees its association with the national governing body extend to 10 years.

BT first teamed up with Scottish Rugby and Edinburgh’s Murrayfield, the country’s largest sports stadium with a capacity of 67,144, back in October 2014. The agreement was extended in September 2017, with today’s (Wednesday’s) announcement taking the relationship through to 2024.

While the stadium will continue to be known as BT Murrayfield, other elements of BT’s principal partner status are set to change, most notably its branding on the senior men’s team’s shirt. From the 2021-22 season, BT’s logo will move from the main position on the front of the shirt to a new position on the nape of the neck.

Scottish Rugby today announced automotive business Peter Vardy Group as a principal partner and new front of shirt sponsor for the Scotland national team in a four-year deal commencing in the summer of 2021.

BT’s new three-year arrangement sees it secure the front of shirt sponsor placement for the Scotland sevens team for the upcoming 2021-22 season. For Scotland’s women, BT’s logo will appear in a new back of shirt position.

Scottish Rugby said BT’s backing has been “transformational” for the sport. Since 2014, BT’s investment has helped redefine the rugby landscape in Scotland through investment in the Scottish Rugby Academy, which it helped to launch and previously sponsored, BT league and cup competitions, as well as supporting the Club Sustainability Fund to provide investment in capital projects at grassroot clubs.

The Scotland national team has also benefitted from a series of technical innovations powered by BT including the use of Artificial Intelligence to support non-contact training and immersive technology to bring fans closer to the team. Its technical hardware has also been used by the team’s performance analysts and helped the players and coaches stay connected with family and friends during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

BT’s director of enterprise business Scotland, Alan Lees, said: “From the national teams to grassroots rugby, rugby in Scotland has transformed into something the nation can be proud of. 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 and 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, added: “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.

“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.”

Image: Scottish Rugby