RFU reduced to a single sponsor as Jewson pulls out of club rugby

Building supplies group Jewson is ending its sponsorship of the Rugby Football Union first and second divisions at the end of this season, when its three-year deal expires.

The company, which has more than 550 stores nationwide, is planning to switch its budget to community-based programmes.

Jewson marketing director Matthew Jenkins says: “National sponsorship has brought a number of benefits, but as our business grows we are committed to supporting our branches at local level.”

The move leaves the RFU with only one headline sponsor – Premier League backer Allied Dunbar – just a week after the leading clubs backed former England star Rob Andrew’s gameplan for the future.

This proposal includes at least two additional competitions – the British Cup and the European Challenge Cup – which will need to secure sponsorship.

The restructure is being funded by the International Management Group (IMG) sports marketing agency, which is understood to have made a provisional offer to the RFU of almost &£10m in funds a year.

IMG has worked with the RFU on a project basis for a number of years, negotiating second-tier supplier sponsorship deals with Carlsberg-Tetley and Nike.

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