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Ulster Rugby takes on first stadium rights partner

Belfast-based Pro12 club Ulster Rugby has announced that its Ravenhill Stadium will be renamed the Kingspan Stadium under a 10-year naming rights deal with the Kingspan Group – an existing commercial partner of the province.

The sustainable building materials manufacturer, whose global headquarters are in Kingscourt, County Cavan, has been a sponsor of Ulster Rugby since 1999. Its new partnership with the 18,000-capacity venue represents the first stadium naming rights deal for Ulster Rugby.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Ulster Rugby chief executive Shane Logan said it was “substantial” and was “right up there at the top end” when compared with naming rights contracts agreed by other top European rugby union clubs in recent years.

“It's critical we get good quality investment into the stadium that we can reinvest in all of the game,” Logan said, according to the BBC Sport website.

He added: “I don't think we expect everybody to immediately get used to the name but as with the Aviva, the Etihad and other leading stadia, it does happen through time. We look upon it a bit like a marriage. When my daughter gets married, her name will change. It's perhaps a little bit similar. It's progress.”