Liberty Mutual in talks over RDS naming rights
US INSURER Liberty Mutual has held talks with the Royal Dublin Society about acquiring the naming rights to the RDS’s main arena, which hosts Leinster’s home rugby matches and the annual Dublin Horse Show.
The RDS is believed to be seeking about €15 million for the rights for a period of 10 years.
These funds would be used to help fund a €17 million redevelopment of the existing stadium into a 23,000 capacity arena from the current 18,500.
In turn, this would help to fund the “foundation” activities of the RDS, which includes funding for the arts, and science and technology.
The RDS intends to knock the existing, and ageing, two-storey Anglesea Stand and replace it with a new structure offering modern hospitality and spectator facilities.
Liberty is on a short list of potential sponsors that the RDS is negotiating with. Dubai-based airline Emirates has also been linked with the rights.
In May, RDS chief executive Michael Duffy said it was negotiating with four parties.
The US insurer has made no secret of its desire to secure sponsorship to help build recognition of its brand here since its takeover of Quinn Insurance in late 2011 and its rebranding of the business earlier this year. It is also believed to be in talks with RTÉ about sponsoring the Late Late Show.
The talks on the RDS naming rights are being handled by Platinum One, the event management group headed by Fintan Drury.
The RDS hosts most of Leinster’s home games and has hosted the province’s junior and senior rugby schools cup finals.
It hosts the Dublin Horse Show each August, which attracts about 100,000 spectators.
The RDS’s main arena also hosts outdoor concerts, with Bruce Springsteen playing to sell-out crowds last month.