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Turkish Airlines enters rugby market with EPCR partnership

Turkey’s national carrier Turkish Airlines has made its first move into rugby union through a partnership with European Professional Club Rugby to sponsor the sport’s Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments.

The three-year deal will begin with the 2015-16 season and conclude at the end of the 2017-18 campaign. Turkish Airlines has been named an official partner of EPCR.

“We believe that the new-look Champions Cup and Challenge Cup made great strides in the inaugural season, and now to have an ambitious, dynamic partner on board such as Turkish Airlines is a major boost for the tournaments,” Simon Halliday, EPCR chairman, said.

“While this is the company’s first rugby sponsorship, Turkish Airlines have been associated with top-class sport for many years and we are certain that they will be a factor in broadening the base of club rugby in Europe and bringing the game to new, enthusiastic fans.”

Turkish Airlines joins EPCR as an official partner with Heineken while EPCR's official suppliers include Canterbury, who provide match officials kit, and Gilbert, who provide match balls.

EPCR will be making another major sponsorship announcement at its tournament launch for French Top 14 clubs in Lyon on November 9.