Lloyds TSB is hotly tipped to be the first sponsor of British rugby’s most prestigious competition, the Five Nations Rugby Championships. The sponsorship is understood to be worth 6m per year.
The deal gives the bank title sponsorship of the competition which takes place between England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
A number of companies have been negotiating with Roger Pickering, the chairman of the Dublin-based Five Nations committee.
Final talks in recent weeks narrowed the choice to two financial companies, the Halifax and Lloyds TSB.
Lloyds TSB does not have a major sports sponsorship, and is known to be looking for a property to help launch its new-look merged branches.
The Five Nations would give Lloyds TSB an opportunity to display its new logo, a blue and green background featuring the black horse with grey flecks, designed to convey a softer image (MW July 31).
Despite its administrative turmoil, rugby traditionally delivers an upmarket male audience.
In April, Marketing Week revealed that Allied Dunbar will be the title sponsors for the top two Rugby Football Union divisions for 7.5m over three years.
Sponsorship of the Twickenham ground and the former Pilkington Cup remain to be decided.