Underlining the downturn in the international sponsorship market, RBS will pay £15m over three years to become the backer of the annual tournament.
In its last season, Lloyds TSB paid more than £7m.
The new deal, which was predicted exclusively in Marketing (November 28), appears to represent good value for RBS, which will benefit from exposure to a mass audience when the Six Nations is screened live on BBC again from next season. The tournament will be renamed The Royal Bank of Scotland Six Nations.
John Feehan, commercial director of the Six Nations Committee, said he was pleased with the deal. A spokesman for the Committee said the lower payments would not have a major impact on the participating unions, which are each allocated a share of the sponsorship revenue.
England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy participate in the event, which annually attracts one million spectators and an international TV audience of more than 100 million.