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EXCLUSIVE: RFU turned down ExxonMobil sponsorship over PR concerns

(Photo: Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

The English Rugby Football Union (RFU) turned down a lucrative sponsorship agreement with oil and gas firm ExxonMobil over fears of a backlash from the public, SportBusiness understands.

Multiple sources close to the negotiations say that in 2020, ExxonMobil was close to finalising a five-year deal worth around £2.5m (€2.8m/$3.1m) a year for its public trading name, Esso, to become a second-tier sponsor of the union.

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