First Utility deal ends Super League’s hunt for title sponsor

Super League Europe, operator of British rugby league’s elite club competition, has ended its search for a new title sponsor for the Super League by agreeing a three-year deal with independent energy supplier First Utility.

The agreement, which takes effect from the 2014 season, comes after the Super League operated without a naming rights partner in 2013. The league’s previous deal, with road haulage firm Stobart, involved the company granting the Super League advertising on the trailers of its fleet of trucks in 2012, instead of a cash payment.

First Utility said it will use its partnership with the Super League to build its brand and challenge the ‘big six’ energy companies in the UK market. Under the terms of the deal, First Utility will also become the official energy provider to Super League, an official partner of the Challenge Cup knockout competition and official utility provider to the Rugby Football League.

Super League chief executive Nigel Wood said: “First Utility is a real challenger brand that is shaking up the UK energy market and we look forward to working with them over the next three years. This year will be a particularly exciting period in the commercial development of the sport. This announcement is the first in a series of agreements that will put in place a family of partners around the First Utility Super League as we build on the legacy of the very successful Rugby League World Cup 2013.”

The 2014 Super League season kicks off on February 7 when champions Wigan Warriors begin their title defence with a home match against 2013 league leaders Huddersfield Giants.