As Lead Partner, Vodafone’s logo will be displayed on the front of the Lions’ shirt. The sponsorship also includes the provision of communications equipment to keep everyone involved in the Tour connected and technical support for training and player performance.
Fans will be able to immerse themselves in the action through a dedicated app, interactive games, and exclusive content. Vodafone will be creating innovative fan experiences through experiential activations both at home and in South Africa.
odafone customers will also be eligible to enter competitions to win much-coveted tour tickets and merchandise giveaways through Vodafone’s VeryMe loyalty programme.
Ben Calveley, Managing Director of the British & Irish Lions, said: “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.
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“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.”
Warren Gatland, head coach for the British & Irish Lions, commented: “I am excited to welcome aboard Vodafone as team sponsor for the Tour next summer.
“The key to a successful Lions Tour is about players coming together quickly and staying united behind one common goal – to win a Test series against the World Champions in South Africa. I cannot think of a brand that knows more about bringing people together than Vodafone.
“I am sure they will play an important role in supporting the team on and off the pitch, as well as ensuring the Tour is a unique experience for all Lions supporters.”
Max Taylor, Commercial Director of Vodafone, added: “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. 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.”
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An All-Time Lions Greatest Ever Playing Squad
Back Three (6)
Looking back in these critical positions there is much talent (I common theme throughout all selections), so to narrow it down is very difficult. But the players I have selected are:
JPR Williams, Gavin Hastings, Gerald Davies, Tony O’Reilly, Jason Robinson and Andy Irvine.
These selections give you sufficient cover at full-back with four players in Williams, Hastings, Robinson and Irvine all played internationally at 15. In terms of try threats, then Davies, O’Reilly, Robinson and Irvine gives you that as well from the wings and also you have some good kicking options there.
I am looking for partnerships and also players who can give you a physical edge to be able to carry the ball. Also footballers who can spot opportunities in defensive lines. My choices are:
Brian O’Driscoll, Jonathan Davies, Bleddyn Williams, Mike Gibson and Will Greenwood
These selections give me three centres in O’Driscoll, Davies and Williams who are more comfortable in the outside-centre position but can be adaptable. Still. with Gibson, I have a football option at inside-centre. Greenwood was a fabulous centre, who can play at 12 or 13 comfortably, great hands and always a try threat.
This position has arguably given me the biggest selection headache. So many great tens for the Lions. If JPR is to be my test full-back which he would start, then I need a ten who is a consistent place kicker or look at other options. With that in mind, have selected the following:
Barry John, Jonny Wilkinson and Jackie Kyle
John and Kyle were just magicians in their time on a rugby field. Both were competent goal kickers but could be inconsistent. My safety net is the selection of Wilkinson. A prolific goal kicker, and also can slot in if required, at inside-centre. A nice option to have.