TOYOTA Ireland has said that “no decision on an extension” to their title sponsorship of Munster Rugby has been taken, amid rumours that the contract is not be renewed when it expires next year.
Toyota’s partnership with the province is estimated to have been worth in excess of €13m since it came on board as principle sponsor in July 2004, but is due to expire in June 2013.
However, high-level sources have indicated that the option to extend the contract may not be taken up next year.
A spokesman for Toyota Ireland said: “Munster Rugby and Toyota Ireland have had, and continue to enjoy, a wonderful relationship since 2003 and we are all looking forward to the new season”.
“It is normal at this juncture in the contract that both parties would engage in a detailed assessment of the sponsorship and the future opportunities associated with it for both parties. Until such time as this process is complete no decision on an extension will be taken and we are currently fully focused on leveraging the sponsorship to the benefit of both parties this season,” he added.
In addition to a basic sponsorship fee, Toyota’s deal with Munster was an incentive based package related to progression through to the final stages of the Heineken Cup and Magners League - now RaboDirect PRO12.
Toyota announced two years ago that the three year extension with the province was worth €5.75m until June 2013, to include the title sponsorship of the club’s senior teams.
The deal also provided for “continued investment in general marketing, communications and advertising that will help boost the Munster Rugby and Toyota brand images”.
At the time, Garrett Fitzgerald, Munster Rugby chief executive said that the club was “privileged and delighted to have the opportunity to work with Toyota for a further three years, until 2013”.
No comment was available from Munster.