It was announced today that RaboDirect, the online banking arm of Rabobank, will become the new sponsor of Rugby's premier professional club competition in Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.
From the start of the new rugby season, the competition formerly known as Magners League will become the RaboDirect PRO12.
Commenting on the new four-year sponsorship John Feehan, Chief Executive of RaboDirect PRO12 said:
“We are delighted to welcome RaboDirect as our new title sponsor alongside our new brand PRO12 . Securing the support of an international business with the reputation of the Rabobank Group will raise the profile of the RaboDirect PRO12 and enhance the investment in the competition. The Rabobank Group are active and engaged sponsors of a number of sporting properties worldwide, including Holland, Italy and Australia and we look forward to working with them.
“We are very excited to welcome RaboDirect as our new sponsor at a time when we are launching our new Brand. Our competition has experienced a huge growth over the last few years and it was time to move it to the next level. Our new brand, the PRO12, encapsulates the structure, growth and energy of our competition. We look forward to working with RaboDirect, developing and nurturing the RaboDirect PRO12 competition for many years to come.”
Roel van Veggel, General Manager of RaboDirect in Ireland said:
“We’re absolutely delighted to be embarking on this high profile sponsorship deal. Rabobank Group, throughout its 100 year history, has always sought to put down firm roots in the communities where it operates. At RaboDirect we believe that our values of passion, honesty, commitment and responsibility echo the values of this professional competition and so we’re very confident that we’ve achieved an exceptional fit in securing this sponsorship.
“We’re very excited about getting involved in a sport that ignites so much passion not only in Ireland, but in communities in the UK and Italy. Rabobank Group’s expertise in executing sponsorships globally will allow RaboDirect to take this competition to even greater heights. We’re looking forward to generating more enthusiasm for the competition, connecting with an even larger audience of people through their love of rugby, strengthening our ties with local communities and demonstrating RaboDirect’s firm commitment to our customers, most especially in the Irish market where the competition has become most popular in the last number of years”.
Charlie McEwen, Sales and Marketing Director at RaboDirect PRO12 said:
“Our partnership with RaboDirect marks the start of an exciting journey as we plan to build on the growth that the competition has experienced in the last five years. We look forward to working with RaboDirect, using their considerable International experience, to amplify the success we have had in continually improving the competition for all supporters.”
The RaboDirect PRO12 is the competition that the elite professional clubs from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales compete in over 22 weekends on a Home and Away basis. The top four teams qualify for the Play offs with the chance of then being crowned champions in the Grand Final.
The teams that compete in the RaboDirect PRO12 are current Champions Munster, European Champions Leinster, Connacht Rugby, Ulster Rugby, Benetton Rugby Treviso, Aironi Rugby, Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors, Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, the Ospreys and Scarlets.
With over 130 matches broadcast live on terrestrial TV last season, we offer our fans the widest possible coverage from our partners including BBC ALBA, BBC Northern Ireland, BBC Wales, S4C, RTE and TG4. As a result, our TV audience figures experienced big increases and have more than doubled this year. The Grand Final attracted an amazing amount of interest with audience figures reaching an average share of almost 50% in Ireland and significant figures in other territories.
Attendance at matches has also increase with the number of paying supporters at matches going over the million for the first time in our competition.
RaboDirect, is the online only banking arm of Rabobank International Direct Banking. RaboDirect operates in the Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand, offering savings accounts, term deposits and managed funds.
In Ireland RaboDirect have over 75,000 customers, hold over €3.6 billion on deposit and almost €100 million in investments.
Rabobank is a Dutch co operative. It was formed over 100 years ago. Its roots are firmly based in food and agricultural banking. Raiffeisen, a rural mayor, formed the bank initially to help deliver financial relief to the farming community setting it up as a charity. In 1864 the charity was transformed into the first cooperative bank.
The Rabobank Group has more than 9 million private individuals and corporate clients in the Netherlands and abroad. It employs over 60,000 people and is represented in 45 countries. It is one of the top 5 safest banks in the world (Global Finance Magazine, August 2010)
First and foremost Rabobank is a co-operative bank and therefore a hugely customer focused organisation. They go to great lengths to understand what makes their customers tick and continually build on relationships within their local communities; something which has always been an inherent part of their heritage.
Sponsorship commitments include;
- Rugby – Sponsor of the RaboDirect Melbourne Rebels
- Cycling – Sponsor of the Rabobank ProTeam and sponsors of the Tour of Italy and California.
- Field Hockey – Sponsor of the Royal Dutch National Team
- Equestrian – Sponsor of the Royal Dutch Equestrian federation
Rabobank is represented in Ireland through three distinct entities; since 1994 Rabobank have been operating a successful corporate bank here, Rabobank PLC. In 2002, Rabobank bought ACCBank, primarily focused on business and agricultural banking services. And in 2005, RaboDirect.ie was launched.
The London branch is one of the oldest branches in the Rabobank International network. The UK Branch offers a full range of products and services to support customer needs in the areas of corporate banking, corporate finance and global financial markets.
Rabobank Milan is a leading, knowledge driven wholesale and investment bank working on developing mutually profitable relationships. Rabobank established its activities in Italy in 1989 with a representative office that was granted branch status in 1993.