US insurance company Arthur J Gallagher & Co is set to become the new title sponsor of the English Premiership, the top tier of club rugby union in the country, according to multiple reports.
Gallagher would replace UK-based insurance company Aviva in the role from the 2018-19 season.
The 2017-18 Premiership season is Aviva’s eighth as title sponsor. The company had been due to end its association with the league at the end of the 2016-17 campaign before agreeing a new one-year deal last August.
According to the BBC, Gallagher is close to agreeing a long-term, multi-million-pound deal with Premiership Rugby to replace Aviva as the league’s title sponsor.
“Premiership Rugby is at an advanced stage of confirming our title partner for the start of the 2018-19 season,” a spokesman told the BBC. “We can't comment on the names of any companies who are part of this process.”
UK newspaper The Guardian added that Gallagher’s sponsorship of the league could result in the Premiership staging a regular match in the US city of Chicago. The Guardian, citing sources familiar with the matter, said Harlequins and Sale are being lined up to take part in the first of these fixtures, which would be held on April 6, 2019. New Jersey’s Red Bull Arena is also said to be in contention.