Magners extends rugby sponsorship

Magners Irish Cider has extended its sponsorship of the Magners League for a further two years.

The agreement with Celtic Rugby will see the cider brand as title sponsor of the competition between teams from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales until May 2011.

The deal comes despite Magners announcing in February that it is to end its shirt sponsorship deal with rugby union Guinness Premiership side London Wasps following a strategic review.

The cider brand’s owner C&C Group recently announced it is looking to improve the effectiveness of its marketing after reporting earlier this month that it expects Magners’ UK sales to decline 23% for the ended February 26.

C&C changed its marketing structure for cider brands last month, bringing in former Scottish & Newcastle consumer marketing chief Paul Bartlett to head marketing for Magners in the UK and Stephen Kent to lead its Irish counterpart Bulmers.

Both roles had previously been handled by Maurice Breen who left in February.

C&C is set to launch Magners Pear in the UK to broaden its portfolio in the increasingly competitive UK cider market and will support the launch with a May marketing campaign created by Young Euro RSCG.

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