EPCR is delighted to announce that the Financial Times has become the latest addition to its commercial portfolio as an Official Supporter of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup for the next four years.

The world’s leading global business publication enhances EPCR’s existing suite of industry-leading partners which already includes Tissot and Heineken, who have returned as title partner of Europe’s elite club rugby tournament which is widely acknowledged as The One to Win.

The agreement with the Financial Times, which runs to the end of the 2021/22 season, comes as audiences worldwide are set for their best access to the tournaments with one live free-to-air match televised in each round in both the United Kingdom and Ireland to complement an identical offering to fans in the key French market.

This increased exposure is also reflected in the USA where NBC Sports have secured the broadcast rights, and in other new territories including Japan on foot of a partnership with the live and on-demand sports streaming service, DAZN.

The 2018 Champions Cup final in Bilbao was broadcast in 115 countries and the tournament saw more than one million fans pass through the turnstiles during the 2017/18 season.

EPCR Chairman Simon Halliday, said: “The Financial Times is renowned for its authority, integrity and accuracy, perfectly embodying the values that we have for our rugby tournaments. Both the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have seen significant developments in recent seasons and this deal with such an ambitious and dynamic title acknowledges the top-class sport that entertains fans around the world.”

David Buttle, The Financial Times Global Marketing Director, Commercial, added: “There is a strong alignment in interests between the passionate supporters of world-leading rugby and the engaged, informed readers of the FT. This partnership will help grow the FT brand by reaching new audiences both in Europe and globally through EPCR’s broadcast partnerships.

The Heineken Champions Cup returns on Friday when holders Leinster Rugby begin their quest for a record fifth European crown against Wasps at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Nine different winners are among the 20-strong field setting out on the road to Newcastle’s St James’ Park, where the trophy will be lifted on 11 May 2019.

2018 marks the 130th anniversary of the FT, which boasts a record paying readership of more than 930,000, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. The publication is part of Nikkei Inc. which provides a broad range of information, news and services to the global business community.