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BT eyes sponsorship deals with Welsh and Irish rugby union teams

UK pay-television broadcaster BT Sport is making moves to expand its sponsorship reach in rugby union, according to the Telegraph newspaper.

BT Sport already sponsors Edinburgh and Glasgow from the Pro12 competition and the Telegraph claims negotiations with the competition’s four Welsh regions – Cardiff Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons – and four Irish provinces – Munster, Leinster, Ulster and Connacht are at an advanced stage.

A BT source said: “BT is keen to have positive relationships with Welsh, Scottish and Irish regions so it’s no surprise that we are reaching out to them.”

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.