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17th September, 2014 << Home

Penn Mutual announces 3-year deal with Collegiate Rugby Championship

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, United World Sports and NBC Sports Group have announced a three-year title sponsorship for the Collegiate Rugby Championship, the largest Rugby 7s (7 players a side) collegiate rugby championship in the United States.

The Collegiate Rugby Championship, which takes place at PPL Park in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, will now be called The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship.

In addition, Penn Mutual has committed to be the title sponsor for The Varsity Cup, the national collegiate championship of the 15-a-side rugby format. The Varsity Cup, which is played at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, will now be named The Penn Mutual Varsity Cup.

Penn Mutual says it is committed to work with UWS and NBC Sports Group to establish the Collegiate Rugby Championship as an iconic world-class Philadelphia-based sports event, on a par with national championships in other major sports in the United States.

According to Jonathan First, President of United World Sports: "This sponsorship establishes rugby, which is now the fastest growing sport in America, as a powerful corporate marketing and branding tool - one with the same cachet as soccer, appealing to an American market comprised, in part, of business leaders and decision makers. We congratulate Penn Mutual on their forward-looking decision, and we're eager to help them connect their brand with our audience of devoted fans, dedicated players and quality institutions from around the country".

"Our sponsorship is part of a long-term business-building strategy to extend the Penn Mutual brand to consumers, financial professionals and student athletes", says Eileen McDonnell, Penn Mutual's Chairman, President & CEO. "Like rugby, Penn Mutual enjoys a long and esteemed history - 167 years of service to our policyholders. And, like rugby, we are more cutting edge than ever, having doubled our market share since the financial crisis of 2008.

"Rugby provides a clean slate for us to share our optimistic view of how life insurance not only protects, but also allows people to do more in life and leave a lasting legacy. The sponsorship also gives us the opportunity to attract new talent by gaining exposure to the student athletes of major national colleges and universities. All of us at Penn Mutual are excited about the possibilities afforded by The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship and The Penn Mutual Varsity Cup".

Rugby 7s returns to the Olympic Games in 2016, following an 84-year hiatus, where the United States will defend its gold medal from the 1924 Olympics in Paris. The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship is part of a nationwide effort to build American rugby talent in preparation for the Olympics. In the past three years, the Collegiate Rugby Championship has produced fifteen players who have gone on to play for the U.S. national teams.

In the 2014 Collegiate Rugby Championship, twenty of the top colleges and universities competed for the title, including Penn State, Notre Dame, Texas, Michigan, Navy, Ohio State and reigning national champion, The University of California Golden Bears. Beginning in 2015, a portion of Penn Mutual's sponsorship investment will be awarded to the winning team, the proceeds of which will be used to build the team's rugby program on-campus.

For its participation, Penn Mutual will tell its story to millions of Americans through TV exposure on NBC, NBCSN, Universal Sports Network, Comcast SportsNet, in-event branding, online and digital marketing, and through localized and national promotions and events throughout the year.

"We're thrilled to have Penn Mutual join our partnership with United World Sports in support of the Collegiate Rugby Championship and The Varsity Cup", said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports Group. "We believe Penn Mutual's support will aid in the growth and popularity of these events, and the sport of rugby across the U.S."

According to McDonnell: "This sponsorship squarely provides Penn Mutual with a smart, effective way of reaching a vital new audience that can benefit from the power of life insurance as well as the career opportunities it offers".






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