The home-nations broadcasting landscape remains dominated by free-to-air networks, despite growing reported interest and temptation from the pay-tv market. Recent extensions signed by the BBC and ITV have ensured a further four years of Six Nations coverage but beyond 2025, there are still fears of a landscape mix-up, which is further escalated by news South Africa may want to join the tournament that year. From a sponsorship perspective, the tournament still struggles for traction, with only a limited three-brand portfolio in 2022, the Six Nations has continued to struggle to sell its appeal, having previously struggled to shift its naming rights package in 2018. The England national team remain the most commercial outfit at the tournament in 2022, with the highest social media following, history, and financial revenue at their disposal.
What are the market dynamics of the Six Nations competition?
The tournament’s sponsorship portfolio is currently limited to only three partners, as the organizers retain a cleaner image. Guinness will once again serve as the title partner of the tournament. Two new tournament sponsorship deals were announced in January 2022 bringing on board Breitling and Tik Tok The latter of these also comes on board as the official title sponsor of the equivalent women’s Six Nations competition in 2022.
England is the second most followed international rugby team in the world, behind only New Zealand who have dominated the sport over the past decade. The large sponsorship income of England comes on the back of its biggest deals with Umbro and O2 which serve as the team’s kit supplier and front of shirt sponsor.
What was the impact of COVID-19 on the Six Nations competition?
Strict imposed national guidelines in place across the six competing nations in 2021 resulted in the entire tournament being played behind closed doors. Spectators and the incredible atmosphere that they generate is what makes the championship so special and was a huge miss last year, whilst ticket income also typically represents a big portion of a federations earnings each year. The Welsh Rugby Union Group’s annual report, for the year ending June 30, 2020 highlighted how it took 78% of its yearly income from the staging of such international fixtures, with money generated from ticket sales and commercial activities around each fixture international rugby has been significantly hampered by this loss of income over the past ten months or so, with only limited audiences in attendances for some fixtures in the post-COVID-19 breakout period.
The situation across the Six Nations competing in the tournament in 2022 appeared much better than it had been in 2021 with relaxed restrictions in place and a more optimistic attitude for putting on large-scale sporting events. The situation and accessibility for live fans were deemed much more straightforward at this year’s competition, as officials were confident it could stage an almost ‘normal’ edition of the Six Nations, with no major government rules in the way forbidding live fans at the home venues.
What is the media landscape of the Six Nations competition?
The main broadcasters of the Six Nations across three of the home nations, the BBC and ITV, have offered a free to air, widely accessible tournament, for its populations for a good number of years, having been on the free to air market exclusively in the UK since 2003. The benefits of offering content to such a large percentage of the population have enabled the popularity of the event to grow incredibly in this time, with national interest ensuring fans watch the live coverage each year. Despite having been on this side of the market for some time now, there have constantly been calls and reported interest in a move to the pay-TV market. So far, the Six Nations has been able to ignore the larger broadcasting pot on offer by pay-TV networks, but the losses experienced via COVID-19 could yet make the pay-TV market a more attractive proposition than ever before. In doing so, they would be greatly enhancing their revenue streams however would certainly alienate a large percentage of its domestic audiences, which is the reason for its huge popularity.
What is the tournament sponsorship landscape of the Six Nations competition?
The Six Nations retains a relatively clean commercial image and as such retains only a very limited sponsorship portfolio, with the 2022 competition affiliated with only three major brands. Match balls played during the championships are all provided by the official supplier of the home team, all of which are linked to the Gilbert brand, meaning it also boasts a large visible presence at the tournament this year. Further to this, other brand visibility at the championships can be noted via the referee kit which is produced via World Rugby, as opposed to the Six Nations itself. As a result, both the Emirates and Macron brands will also be present across the rugby tournament this year, with the Emirates logo featuring on the front of the official kit and Italian manufacturer Macron will be the official kit supplier, both the same as will be the case for match officials at the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
What is the team sponsorship landscape of the Six Nations competition?
England remains the richest backed nation in world rugby and continues to stand as one of the biggest properties in the sport. The status of the team and the RFU is supported by years of history which adds to the marketability of the team, for which they are the most commercially supported team in this year’s Six Nations.
The French sponsorship portfolio offers a slightly different approach to commercial dealings when compared against the other five Six Nations teams. Alongside their main front of shirt and kit supplier deals with Altrad and Le Coq Sportif, the portfolio is also made up of four other brands which are classed as main category partners.
In Ireland, rugby union remains a huge sport, and the national team brings together a nation that consistently displays great pride and emotion every time it takes to the pitch. Looking at the teams’ sponsorship portfolio, the partners can be broken down into three tiers of partners, with its most visible partners ranking as the most lucrative (tier one) these being their kit supplier and front of shirt deals with Canterbury and Vodafone.
The biggest change in the sponsorship outlook of all competing teams at this year’s Six Nations has come via Italy’s last-minute, one tournament deal with crypto-based brand Bitpanda. The deal will be covered in more detail later in this report, but has been signed for the Six Nations only, with the usual front-of-shirt partner, Suzuki expected to return onto the teams playing shirts once the tournament is completed.
With 30 brand partnerships active in 2022 the Scottish rugby federation boasts the second-largest sponsorship portfolio of any team at this year’s Six Nations, only one behind Wales. In this respect, the Scots have opted for a high quantity of deals, most of which are named as ‘official partners’, with three standout partners, centering around their kit-based deals.
The Welsh rugby federation boasts the single biggest sponsorship portfolio of any team at this year’s Six Nations, with a total of 31 deals to its name. Rugby stands as the number one sport in Wales, and its national team brings out a great sense of pride and enthusiasm in the population, with its success outperforming many of its other national teams in other international sports.
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Market Report Scope
|Six Nations (Rugby)||England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales|
The report takes a closer look at the main business aspects of the Six Nations competition and highlights how much money has been generated from specific types of revenue generators. The report also focuses on the issues that have plagued the international tournament in regards to COVID-19 and new precautionary rules which have been drawn up. The report also breaks down the main kit supplier and front-of-shirt sponsor of each competing nation, highlighting the most influential brands involved at the tournament.
Reasons to Buy
An in-depth look at the biggest international rugby union competition which will take place in 2022. The report produces great insight as well as many interesting facts and figures against each team as they each look to build ford ahead of the next World Cup year in 2023.
Table of Contents
1. Impact of COVID-19
2. Six Nations in 2022
3. Social Media
4. Media Landscape
5. Tournament Sponsorship Landscape
6. Team Sponsorship Landscape
7. Team Profiles
List of Tables
Prize Money Table
Ticket Revenue Table
Kit Supplier Graphs & Tables
Front-of-Shirt Graphs & Tables
Team Kit Supplier & Front-of-Shirt History Tables
List of Figures
Daily COVID-19 Case Graphs
COVID-19 Deaths Graph
Team Social Media Graphs
Player Social Media Graph
Broadcasters Tournament Comparison Graphs
Team Sponsorship Graphs
Kit Supplier Graphs & Tables
Front-of-Shirt Graphs & Tables
Frequently Asked Questions
England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales participate in the Six Nations rugby competition.
The registered headquarters of six nations is in Dublin, Ireland.
The key broadcasters of Six Nations are BBC Sport & ITV Sport & S4C, France 2, Sky Italia & TV8, RTE & Virgin Media, Premier Sports, Stan Sport, DAZN, Peacock (NBC), Wowow, Sky Sport, SuperSport & TV5 Monde, and Movistar.
Some of the sponsorship deals signed across all six national team portfolios include beverages, clothing & accessories, financial services, sports equipment, healthcare, travel & tourism, automotive, energy & utilities, telecommunications, and consumer goods & services.
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