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NZ Rugby signs up new title sponsor for domestic competitions

New Zealand Rugby has agreed a partnership with Mitre 10 that will see the home improvement and garden retailer become the title sponsor of two of the country's leading domestic rugby union competitions.

The company has agreed a five-year deal with the governing body, which will become effective in 2016 and run through until the end of 2020.

New Zealand’s national domestic championship, which was formerly sponsored by building supplies company ITM, will now take on the official title of the Mitre 10 Cup. ITM had reportedly submitted a bid to retain its title sponsorship of the tournament but was unsuccessful.

Mitre 10 has also been named the title sponsor of the Heartland Championship knockout competition, which will henceforth be known as the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship. Home insulation company Pink Batts previously sponsored the tournament.

In addition, Mitre 10 will sponsor the Women’s Provincial Championship and the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under-19 tournament. Mitre 10, a New Zealand-owned company, will encourage its 5,000 employees across its 81 stores nationwide to back the competitions. The two parties are also discussing the possibility of collaborating on grassroots initiatives in the future.

“As a 100 per cent New Zealand-owned and operated business, we’re dead keen on supporting Kiwi activities and rugby is definitely one of these,” Dave Elliott, Mitre 10 general manager of marketing, said. “We’re proud to be able to do our bit to help the domestic game get even stronger and provide a platform for the finest players to emerge.”