Rugby League - No new sponsor for Super League

Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood has admitted the new season is likely to kick off next week without a sponsor for either of the domestic competitions but he believes commercial revenue will reach a record high before the end of the year.

PA Sport
Rugby League - No new sponsor for Super League
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Super League looks likely to begin the season without a sponsor

The RFL unveiled a two-year, seven-figure sponsorship deal with Tetley's for the Challenge Cup on Tuesday but have yet to conclude agreements for both Super League and the Championship.

The Co-operative ended their backing of the Championship at the end of 2012 while Super League clubs voted to pull the plug on the controversial "cashless" deal with Stobart after only 12 months.

The League are also looking to sell the naming rights for the 2013 World Cup, although they announced a deal on Wednesday for Marriott Hotels and Resorts to host all 14 competing teams and they expect to unveil a broadcasting agreement next month.

Twelve months ago, under pressure from then chairman Richard Lewis, clubs voted to reject a cash offer from Betfair in favour of the Stobart deal but Wood says this time there will be no restrictions.

Tuesday's announcement was a clear throwback to the days of rugby league's close relationship with tobacco and beer sponsors but Wood insists any deal must be at the right price.

"There are lots of positive dialogue but we are not going to do any quick deals," Wood told a media briefing at the League's headquarters at Red Hall, Leeds.

"There are no no-go zones but, if the deals are not right, we won't accept them. We will hold out for the right deals.

"I am confident that 2013 will deliver far more commercial revenue than has ever been delivered in the past."

The Championship season will be launched in Sheffield on Thursday with Super League following suit in Manchester on Monday, four days before the opening matches.

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