British and Irish Lions announces Vodafone as Lead Partner

27 Jul 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

The British and Irish Lions has revealed Vodafone as its Lead Partner for the upcoming 2021 tour of South Africa.

The partnership will see Vodafone’s logo on the front of the Lions’ shirt throughout the tour, while the brand will also provide communications equipment to ensure connectivity for those taking part in the trip, as well as technical support for training and player performance.

Vodafone will also offer its customers the chance to enter competitions to win tour tickets as well as merchandise giveaways through Vodafone’s VeryMe loyalty programme. 

“Nothing in sport unites us quite like the Lions. The team bonds nations that normally compete, unites families and friends and brings generations closer together,” said Max Taylor, Commercial Director, Vodafone.

“At a time when connection, unity and community are more important than ever, the Lions 2021 tour gives us a great opportunity to bring people together in a way that no other sporting event can. The build up to this incredible touring event starts now. It’s time to unite the pride.” 

The partnership is the most significant sponsorship Vodafone has embarked on in recent years and will be amplified through a multi-platform campaign using the hashtag #UniteThePride. 

The brand will also create a dedicated app, interactive games, and exclusive content for Lions fans, as well as creating ‘innovative’ fan experiences through experiential activations both in the UK and Ireland as well as in South Africa. 

Ben Calveley, Managing Director of the British & Irish Lions, added: “Today’s announcement represents two iconic brands coming together. Along with supporting Warren and the team, Vodafone will also help to enhance the experience of Lions supporters through the very best technology and innovation. 

“The fans are a crucial aspect of any Lions tour and we will need to ensure they feel part of the team, to ignite their incredible support, if we are to overcome the World Champions.

“In Vodafone we have found a partner who shares our passion for connectivity, and we are delighted to have them on board to enhance the experience of the Lions fans across the world.” 

The telecoms brand already counts partnerships in rugby, including existing tie-ins with Gallagher Premiership side Wasps as well as the IRFU, as Lead Partner to the Irish men’s team, as well as Communications Partner to the women’s. It has also recently extended its partnership with the Union, becoming the Official Sponsor of the Women’s Interprovincial Competition as well. 

A new video (above), produced by Stamp Productions, has been created for the partnership launch, drawing on the emotion and passion of the Lions, and featuring iconic moments the team has had on past tours.