The Guinness Premiership is no more

The Guinness Premiership is no more


Diageo has confirmed that it has terminated its partnership with Premier Rugby to sponsor the Guinness Premiership rugby competition in England.

The drinks giant's GB unit, which had been title sponsor of the league for five years, told just-drinks today (24 August) that it had made the decision not to renew its title position “just before Christmas”. Having announced a one-year renewal in May last year, Diageo GB had concluded that the Guinness Premiership name “wasn't the best option going forward”.

Speaking to just-drinks, Lee Bailey, senior sponsorship manager at Diageo GB, said: “In our research, our awareness (for Guinness) had reached record levels with little room to grow. So, we decided we needed to shift around the partnerships a little bit. We're hoping to carry on investing heavily in rugby for the upcoming season.

“As soon as we know what partnerships we've got for the forthcoming season, we shall announce them,” Bailey added.

Guinness took over from Zurich as title sponsor back in 2005, when Diageo signed a GBP20m four-year deal with Premier Rugby.

From the new season, which starts this Friday (27 August), the tournament will be known as the Aviva Premiership.