Principality Building Society has extended its sponsorship of the Welsh Premiership for another year before standing down, it has been announced.
The organisation first lent its brand to the top division in 2005, but will relinquish its place as title sponsors after one more year, at the end of the 2017-18 season. The deal had originally been due to expire at the end of the current campaign.
Next season, Principality will also put its name to the Welsh Rugby Union’s National Youth Leagues in what has been described as a “significant boost to the grass roots game.”
The National Youth League play-off final takes place at the CCB Centre for Sporting Excellence in Ystrad Mynach on Friday May 19 between Bridgend Athletic and Rumney Youth.
The competition seen as a vital part of the community pathway, and involves 145 teams of 16 to 18-year-olds across Wales.
Meanwhile Neath take on Newport in the Principality Premiership’s Tier Two final on Saturday May 20, before Aberavon and Merthyr contest the Tier One final on Sunday May 21.
Julie-Ann Haines, Customer Director at the Principality, said: “We are delighted to extend our successful sponsorship of the WRU Premiership for one more season. We have been proud sponsors for the past 12 seasons but have decided that this will be our final year. The feedback we have from our members is that they want us to invest in grassroots rugby. So next year we will also be sponsoring the National Youth Leagues, supporting the health and wellbeing of young people across Wales.
“We are at the start of a 10-year partnership to support rugby in Wales, which includes the naming rights of the iconic home of Welsh rugby. This partnership is about investing in the development of rugby, providing opportunities for people to prosper through sport and creating memorable and unrivalled experiences for our members and communities. We look forward to building on this successful partnership in years to come.”
WRU chief executive, Martyn Phillips, said: “Everyone involved in Welsh rugby’s semi-professional league will be delighted by the prospect of another year of Principality Premiership action and, perhaps even more significantly, we welcome Principality Building Society on board as the new title sponsors of the WRU National Youth Leagues.
“Principality’s commitment to Welsh Rugby plays a vital role in helping us to safeguard the future of our national game and their direct interest in the grass roots and community end of the game is particularly significant.
“The Principality Premiership is in an exciting phase of development at the moment and Principality’s commitment to a further year of sponsorship offers increased stability for yet another season.
“More generally as a long term partner to Welsh Rugby, Principality’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of the nation is no better represented than in their support of the new Principality Youth Leagues in 2017/18 and we thank them for their continued investment.”