Dutch brewing company Heineken has been confirmed as the first of five planned main commercial partners for the new competitions run by the European Professional Club Rugby organisation, while sportswear company Canterbury of New Zealand has also agreed a deal.
Heineken was involved with European club rugby’s previous elite tournament from its launch in 1995 – most recently as its title sponsor. However, with the formation of the new European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup tournaments, the company has elected to serve under a new commercial strategy as one of their top-tier partners.
Meanwhile, Canterbury has signed on as the official apparel supplier to the two competitions in a deal that will run through to the end of the 2016-17 season.
Canterbury will supply the official kit to EPCR’s match officials for the total of more than 130 games across the two tournaments. Canterbury chief executive Chris Stephenson said: “With Benetton Treviso, Cardiff Blues, Leicester Tigers and Leinster Rugby all taking part and wearing Canterbury, we will have a big presence in European club rugby this season which underlines yet again our commitment to the game at all levels.”
Canterbury will serve as an official tournament supplier alongside Gilbert, which last month signed a three-year deal to become the official match ball supplier.