M&G returns as RHS Chelsea Flower Show sponsor

M&G was due to end its sponsorship deal after this May's show but has now decided to continue for another three years until 2020.

M&G garden which won Best in Show at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - image: HW
M&G garden which won Best in Show at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 - image: HW

M&G has sponsored Chelsea Flower Show since 2010, winning six gold medals and the best in show for its 2017 design by James Basson. The RHS had been in talks with other companies, with Citibank and Coutts mentioned, but have persuaded M&G to make a new three-year deal, which also gives the company a prime show garden position each year. The RHS and M&G did not disclose how much the deal was for.

RHS Chelsea show manager Tom Harfleet said he felt May's event showed the membership and the public retained an appetite for the show.

Harfleet said Chelsea "is often a barometer of the environment of what's going on around the world" after sponsorship fell for gardens at this year's event, largely blamed on the effects of Brexit. Entries for show gardens open on 4 August.

M&G chief executive Anne Richards said: "We looked at a number of other options for our marketing and sponsorship in the UK but quickly came to the conclusion that there was little out there to compare with our excellent partnership with the RHS.

"Over the past eight years we have built a very close relationship with the RHS. We have much in common with the charity, not least a set of common values and a shared view that the best results come only with time and patience. There is no better fit for M&G in the UK."

An RHS member survey shows average household income is around £70,000, which is £20,000 above the national average and that 83% are over 55.

Richards added: "We are particularly excited to work with the RHS on its outreach programme, Greening Grey Britain. As we know from our investments in real estate and infrastructure, gardening really can transform lives and bring communities together. So we are delighted to be able to offer not only financial assistance but also give our staff the opportunity to volunteer their services."

RHS director general Sue Biggs said: "The fact that M&G is renewing its sponsorship of RHS Chelsea Flower Show after an eight year sponsorship run reflects the outstanding relationship we have with the company and the excellent opportunities that the show offers.

"We’re especially pleased that M&G is extending its relationship with us to support our Greening Grey Britain Campaign, where we’re transforming lives and communities by planting up places for the nation’s health and the environment.

"M&G is a superb partner for us and we couldn’t be more delighted that we’re extending our partnership with this company, which will see us working together for 11 years in total."

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