Lions an­nounce Voda­fone as new spon­sor for tour of South Africa

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Ben Coles

The Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions have an­nounced Voda­fone as their new lead part­ner for next year’s tour of South Africa.

Voda­fone will be the main spon­sor on the Lions shirt for the se­ries, re­plac­ing Stan­dard In­vest­ments, who were lead part­ner for the 2017 tour to New Zealand. Voda­fone al­ready has part­ner­ships with the Ire­land na­tional side and Premier­ship club Wasps.

Pre­vi­ous shirt spon­sors for the Lions have in­cluded Scot­tish Prov­i­dent (1997), NTL (2001), Zurich (2005) and HSBC (2009 and 2013). The lat­est shirts will again be pro­duced by Can­ter­bury.

Ben Calve­ley, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Lions, said: “To­day’s an­nounce­ment rep­re­sents two iconic brands com­ing to­gether. Along with sup­port­ing War­ren [Gat­land] 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 are de­lighted to have them on board.”

Gat­land, the Lions head coach, said: “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 am sure [Voda­fone] 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.”

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