The Welsh Rugby Union has agreed a new 10-year partnership with financial services company Principality Building Society under which Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium will assume a naming rights partner for the first time.
The renaming of the national stadium of Wales is the highlight of the deal, which will run from 2016 to 2025. The 74,500-seat venue has been known as the Millennium Stadium since it opened ahead of the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
The first match to be played at the newly-christened Principality Stadium will be Wales’ home Six Nations clash with Scotland on February 13.
The WRU shares a long history with Principality, Wales’ largest building society, dating back to 1969 when the first partnership between the two parties offered Principality members some of the first WRU debenture seats.
From 2001 the building society sponsored the WRU's main knock-out cup competition later progressing to become the 10-year title sponsor of the Premiership club division in Wales.
Under the deal announced today (Tuesday), Principality’s members, customers and employees will also receive further opportunities in terms of exclusive offers, early access to WRU tickets and money-can't-buy experiences at the home of Welsh rugby.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the WRU said the agreement “safeguards the long-term health” of Welsh rugby union.
Chairman of the Welsh Rugby Union, Gareth Davies, said: “Securing a new partner and doing so with such an important and respected Wales-based organisation is a big step forward for us all. Both the WRU and Principality are intrinsically linked with people from all points of the compass in Wales and the renaming of the Principality Stadium will emphasise that strategic alignment.
“The stadium enjoys a worldwide reputation and has become an international symbol for our nation so it is highly appropriate that one of our principal partners now has even stronger links with Welsh rugby through these naming rights.”
Group chief executive of the Principality Building Society, Graeme Yorston, added: “Becoming the official sponsor of the home of Welsh rugby is an important statement about our ambition. We are committed to growing and investing in the building society to ensure that we remain relevant for both current and future members, while also staying true to our Welsh roots.
“It is hugely important to us and our board that we find the right vehicles to promote the Principality brand inside and outside of Wales. This partnership perfectly reflects our ambition – supporting the local communities that we serve and engaging with a younger audience while raising the awareness of our brand on a national and global scale by putting our name to the world stage.”
A major operation will now commence to rebrand the venue as Principality Stadium in time for the 2016 Six Nations tournament. The venue will shortly host eight Rugby World Cup international matches including two quarter finals, under the existing name Millennium Stadium, before officially being unveiled under its new title in January next year.
The Principality Stadium will also host football’s Uefa Champions League final in 2017.