The Famous Grouse has pledged to sponsor the Scotland rugby team for the next three years.
Scottish Rugby announced today that it has secured a new seven-figure sponsorship deal with The Famous Grouse, which will see the country's top whisky brand continue to back the national team through until the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

The deal extends one of the longest partnerships in international sport. Scottish Rugby was the first northern hemisphere union to secure sponsorship for a national rugby team when The Famous Grouse backed the Scotland tour to New Zealand in 1990.        

In a statement, Phil Anderton, Scottish Rugby's chief executive, said: "This is tremendous news and underlines the faith that The Famous Grouse, one of Scotland's major brands, has in the Scotland team and Scottish Rugby."

Scottish Rugby's head of commercial, David James, added: "We are going through a time of transition and to have our longest-serving partner sign up to another term demonstrates a fantastic commitment to the game in this country."

Ken Grier, brands director at The Edrington Group, said: "Scottish Rugby is an integral part of The Famous Grouse future marketing plans and we have committed a large proportion of our Scottish budget behind rugby."