O2 and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) have extended their partnership through to September 2021. A partner for 21 years, O2 has been with England Rugby since 1995, making it one of the longest standing sports sponsorships globally.
The five season extension secures O2 as a principal partner of England Rugby and the lead partner for England senior men, England women and England Saxons teams. O2’s logo will continue to be on both match and training kit worn by players, coaching and support staff, as well as replica kit for fans. O2 will also remain the exclusive telecommunications and WiFi provider to England Rugby.
The multi-year deal will see O2 and England Rugby work together to utilise digital technology with fan experience, this will include a focus on using digital technology to bring rugby fans closer to the team, in the run up to and during matchdays, evolved LED stadium display presence at Twickenham Stadium and boosting the O2 Priority platform.
O2 and England Rugby will also work together to produce pre-match video content available through the Priority app 48-hours before anywhere else, and all behind the scenes digital content, plus matchday digital content will now be part of O2’s behind the scenes online series, O2 Inside Line.
O2 has also reaffirmed its commitment to grassroots rugby, specifically O2 Touch, which has 17,500 registered players. In addition, the RFU will offer work experience to young people to support O2’s Think Big initiative.
O2’s ‘Wear the Rose’ campaign, which won Best Sponsorship of a Team or Individual at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2016, will also be involved in England matchdays, encouraging fans to get behind the team by showing their support both physically and digitally.
O2, CEO, Mark Evans commented: “O2 has been a proud partner of England Rugby for over two decades and we’re delighted to be continuing our longstanding and successful support. This new agreement is a testament to our sponsorship strategy, focusing on high quality, long term partnerships. Rugby is in O2’s DNA and we’re excited to take this fantastic sport to even more people than ever before, from grassroots to elite. We will continue to passionately support the team through Wear the Rose with a commitment to using technology and connectivity to bring our customers and rugby fans across the country even closer to the action.”
RFU, CEO, Ian Ritchie said; “We’re proud to have such a strong partnership with O2. Over the last 21 years they have supported all aspects of rugby with a wide range of exciting and innovative campaigns. From grassroots programmes including O2 Touch to the elite end of the game with Wear the Rose. We look forward to the next chapter of working together.”