All seven Super League sponsors since 1996 and the deals signed

SUPER LEAGUE has been the top flight of rugby league’s summer game since 1996 – and in that time there have been seven sponsors.

Some have lasted a number of years whilst others have seemingly flopped and disappeared after just a season or two.

Here are all seven Super League sponsors since 1996.

Stones Bitter – 1996-1997 – Stones Super League

The RFL Championship made history by becoming the first domestic competition to be sponsored in 1980, signing with Slalom Lager. In 1986, a new sponsorship deal was signed with Stones Bitter changing the league’s name to the Stones Bitter Championship. This deal ran until 1997 and the league was named Stones Super League in 1996 when Super League came into being. It lasted just two seasons.

JJB Sports – 1998-1999 – JJB Super League

Following Stones Bitter’s sponsorship, it was the turn of JJB Sports in 1998. The company signed a two-year deal as Super League became the JJB Super League, with the sporting powerhouse overseeing a watershed moment with a new play-off and Grand Final system. JJB also sponsored the Wigan Warriors and had the naming rights to their stadium.

Tetley’s Bitter – 2000-2004 – Tetley’s Super League

Tetley’s Bitter signed the longest deal with Super League up until that point, penning a five-year deal to become the Tetley’s Super League. The company not only had naming rights to the play-offs and Grand Final, but Tetley’s sponsored Leeds Rhinos who went on to lift the 2004 Grand Final at Old Trafford. Not stopping there, Tetley’s sponsored the Challenge Cup in 2013 and 2014.

Engage Mutual Assurance – 2005-2011 – Engage Super League

Following the success of Tetley’s, Super League signed its longest-ever deal with Engage Mutual Assurance. The Engage Super League took its name, with the deal lasting six years. Following the end of the contract in 2011, Engage went on to sponsor the match officials from 2012 onwards.

Stobart Group – 2012 – Stobart Super League

Here was where things started to go awry with Super League signing a three-year deal with the Stobart Group in 2012. That being said, the governing body could opt out of the deal after a year which is something they did after it was revealed that no money was involved in the deal, with the RFL turning down a cash deal from a betting company instead. Super League players and the logo was advertised on 100 Stobart lorries across the UK with Stobart absent from kits and pitches. In turn, the RFL failed to find a sponsor for 2013.

First Utility – 2014-2016 – First Utility Super League

Despite the issues of the year before, a three-year deal was signed with First Utility as Super League was renamed the First Utility Super League in 2014. The sponsorship led to an innovative redesign of the Super League logo.

Betfred – 2017-2023 – Betfred Super League

Having dismissed a deal with a betting company back in 2012, Super League became the Betfred Super League in 2017 and extended their deal in October 2021. That deal became the biggest commercial contract ever signed by the Super League.