The three-year sponsorship deal by the Cardiff-based company will directly benefit community rugby throughout Wales. It will bring financial benefits to all National League clubs, enabling them to maintain a strong presence in their communities, invest in developing young players and encourage even wider participation in the sport.
For the first time, this sponsorship deal will also provide specific support for the U20 and U18 National Squads, which will be crucial in their build up for the 2008 Junior Rugby World Championship.
Under the new agreement SWALEC become sponsors of:
The SWALEC Cup
The SWALEC National Leagues
The SWALEC U20 and U18 International Age Grade Teams
The SWALEC Club of the Month
The SWALEC Annual Awards
The SWALEC Community XV
SWALEC also becomes an Official Partner of the WRU and the Primary Partner of the Junior World Championship U20s.
The sponsorship sees the return of the SWALEC Cup. The Welsh club competition was last branded as the SWALEC Cup in 1999 when the trophy was won by Swansea who defeated Llanelli by 37 points to 10 at Ninian Park in Cardiff.
As a direct result of this new investment in the community game, the SWALEC Cup will now be transformed into a three tier competition with Cup, Trophy and Bowl winners. The SWALEC Bowl will be competed for by clubs knocked out in the earlier rounds of the SWALEC Cup, with the SWALEC Plate competition featuring clubs who progress further.
Building on the community focus of the sponsorship, SWALEC have created a 'Welsh Club of the Month' competition to highlight and recognise the best development work taking place in Wales's rugby heartlands.
Additional initiatives to provide financial benefit to rugby clubs throughout Wales will be announced in coming weeks.
The Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union, Roger Lewis, said: "Reuniting the WRU with SWALEC is great news for Wales and Welsh Rugby.
"The WRU is committed to deliver partnerships which help sustain and develop rugby at all levels and throughout the whole of Wales. This is a great example of how we are working with a leading company to achieve that aim.
"SWALEC employs 1,200 people across our nation, and the company has strong traditional links with Wales and its people. SWALEC truly recognises that rugby is our national sport.
"All of us with a passion for Welsh rugby will recall the days of the SWALEC Cup with fondness and affection. It is great to know those days are now here again. SWALEC will deliver a whole new dynamic and robust financial support to what we are doing for community rugby. It's great to have them back on board."
SWALEC's Head of Marketing and Sales, Alan Williams, said: "SWALEC is looking forward to embarking on this new and innovative partnership with the WRU. It is an important step forward for Welsh rugby and for SWALEC. It compliments our current commitments to community activities in Wales and we are very pleased to be associated with Welsh rugby at such an exciting time.
"We know SWALEC customers and staff are passionate about rugby, particularly at a community level. We will be working with the WRU on new initiatives which will build on that connection and strengthen those links."
Wales Captain Ryan Jones who has been appointed as community brand ambassador for Swalec said: "Teammates from my era grew up wanting to be like the heroes we saw lifting the SWALEC Cup so it is great to know young players today will be reliving that history.
"Every youngster in Wales wants to wear the red jersey and the grass roots game which leads through to the Premiership is one of the clear pathways to success for players. We see that link every year in the cup rounds and it shows just how important the grass roots game is to everyone in Wales.
"It's great to know SWALEC want to champion that important part of Welsh rugby and their involvement in the age group game is also a huge boost.
"All of us in the national squad know just how good the boys in the U20 squad are and we are all looking forward to seeing what happens in the Junior World Championship later this year.
"Anything which strengthens the foundations of Welsh rugby inevitably benefits the national team and helps us build for the future."
The new WRU Head of Rugby Development, Nigel Davies, has a special link with the new sponsors as he played for Llanelli in the last SWALEC Cup Final in 1999.
He said: "I remember that game well because the cup final is always so important to every player involved and, of course, we came second best that day. I badly wanted to win, but just playing in the final meant a lot because it is such an important landmark in any players' career.
"I am delighted SWALEC are on board with us again because we can achieve so much for the game going forward.
"We want to build on the strong foundations already in place and there is a lot of work to do going forward. With partners like SWALEC we know we can go forward with confidence and determination."