QBE ‘land’ rugby deal in city in London

A giant rugby ball installation on Lime Street in the heart of the insurance district of the City of London has been unveiled to announce the arrival of a new Guinness Premiership sponsor.

The ball, which measures over four meters in height, ‘landed’ in the morning to the surprise of thousands of commuters and heralded the arrival of QBE to the sport of rugby union.

The event was the first time that a brand had secured space on the iconic Lime Street, next to the Lloyds building, and allowed QBE to unveil their new sponsorship in a hugely impactful way to a crucial target audience.

QBE, the specialist business insurer, has signed an agreement to become the official insurance partner of the Guinness Premiership.

The agreement, which starts immediately and runs through to the end of July 2012, will see QBE’s name and logo appear on the back of all team shirts in the Guinness Premiership, European competitions and the Anglo Welsh Cup.

Steven Burns, CEO QBE European Operations, commented: “This is a fantastic partnership for QBE. We are excited to be working with Premier Rugby and proud to be a partner of the most successful rugby union league in the world.

“Despite being one of the world’s leading insurers, QBE has a low profile in the UK outside the London insurance markets. We have ambitious growth targets and see many opportunities to continue expanding our business, particularly across Europe. This sponsorship will drive an increase in brand awareness in the UK and will provide us with a number of business development opportunities.”

Jon Varney, Commercial Director of Premier Rugby, added: “We are delighted with this partnership and feel there is a strong strategic fit between the two organisations. Like QBE, we are growing rapidly, with attendances more than doubling since the league began in 1997. It is an exciting time for Premiership Rugby and we look forward to working with QBE.”

The Guinness Premiership is the most competitive league in world rugby, attracting the best players and the highest attendances. As official insurance partner, QBE will enjoy a major rights package which will provide the platform to significantly increase its brand awareness across the UK.

QBE Insurance Group is one of the world’s leading international insurers, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. It operates out of 45 countries across the globe, doing business in over 100. QBE has been active in the UK since 1904, originally within the marine insurance market in London, but has grown substantially in the last 10 years to offer specialist commercial insurance to companies across the UK. At the end of 2008, the Group’s UK turnover was approximately £3bn, making it one of the largest insurance firms in the UK.