BMW named England rugby sponsor

BMW is to replace Land Rover as the vehicle partner to the England rugby union team, after the British car marque expressed its frustrations at the behaviour of the players during the last World Cup.


The four-year partnership with the RFU will see the German car brand title sponsor England’s youth development programme and serve as the shirt sponsor for the under 16, under 18 and under 20 national teams from September.

It marks the first time that the shirt sponsor for the youth teams will differ from the senior squad, which is sponsored by O2.

Additionally, BMW will develop promotions to be delivered through the RFU’s digital channels at Twickenham.

Financial details were not disclosed, however RFU chief commercial officer, Sophie Goldschmidt, says the deal is “significantly more” than its current deal with Tata Motors-owned Land Rover.

She adds: “Land Rover were keen to continue the relationship, however we made the decision to partner with BMW because the breadth of the relationship allowed us to continue our strategy of developing grassroots Rugby in the UK.”

Last October Land Rover accused the Rugby Football Union (RFU) of misleading England players over the nature of a sponsor’s event during the last World Cup.

The partnership follows other recent RFU tie-ups with Canterbury, O2, and GSK.

BMW Group UK managing director Tim Abbott, says: “The game is a perfect brand fit for us and this news comes as a natural extension of the work we have already done to support some of the UK’s leading sports stars.”

The brand has a number of sports sponsorships, including one as a top tier partner of this year’s Olympic Games and a multi-year deal with Puma.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here