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US insurance company Arthur J Gallagher & Co has today (Thursday) been confirmed as the new title sponsor of the English Premiership, the top tier of club rugby union in the country.

Gallagher will replace UK-based insurance company Aviva in the role as part of a multi-year deal that begins with the 2018-19 season. The competition will be known as Gallagher Premiership Rugby.

As part of the deal, which was first reported last week, Gallagher will be granted branding opportunities and become involved in local community programmes.

Mark McCafferty, chief executive of Premiership Rugby, said: “The international expansion of Premiership Rugby has been accelerated in recent years and it is fitting that we are now partnering with a global company with an equally strong presence here in the UK. Gallagher will be an excellent partner for us in terms of the group’s ambition, focus on growth and shared values around both business and the community.

“The last decade has seen major growth in Premiership Rugby’s fan base and it is a huge credit to our clubs – and the way they have grown their businesses – that we can announce this new partnership today. We are very much looking forward to the first matches of Gallagher Premiership Rugby in September.

“We’d also like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to Aviva for our eight-year partnership which is one of the longest running and most successful title partnerships in British sport.”

The 2017-18 Premiership season is Aviva’s eighth as title sponsor. The company had been due to end its association with the league at the end of the 2016-17 campaign but agreed a new one-year deal last August.

Commenting on the new deal, Gallagher’s chairman, president and chief executive, J. Patrick Gallagher Jr., said: “By uniting with this globally-known and fast-growing franchise, we have a terrific opportunity to increase awareness about our company, values, expertise and services, and jointly participate in community projects and causes to make a difference. This dynamic business and marketing partnership with Premiership Rugby reflects who we are culturally and professionally.”