In a multinational turn of events, the European marketing arm of MFS Investment Management, Boston, has signed a yearlong sponsorship deal with English rugby star Kyran Bracken.
Mr. Bracken is the first sports personality to be sponsored by MFS International Ltd., London. Previous MFS sports sponsorships mainly have been confined to the more universally popular game of golf.
The sponsorship deal will see Mr. Bracken, a scrum half for the England team, speaking at MFS' client and consultant events and signing rugby balls and rugby shirts.
MFS has a number of Scottish, Italian and French clients and the England rugby team is currently competing in the Six Nations tournament held annually with teams from England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy and France.
Paul Price, a rugby player, an Irish man and marketing director of MFS, admitted his loyalties will be tested when England plays Ireland March 24 as part of the Six Nations tourney.
England's record in the Six Nation's tournament has so far been good, leading sports pundits, along with England fans, to believe that the team has a very good chance of winning.
Mr. Price said finding a way to reflect the firm's corporate profile was vital in picking a sports personality to sponsor. MFS chose Mr. Bracken in part because he is "an extremely professional individual" who focuses hard on his game and has battled some severe injuries to continue playing for England.
"We stick to our knitting as well," said Mr. Price.