The British & Irish Lions has revealed that Vodafone will be the team’s new lead partner for its upcoming 2021 Tour of South Africa.

As a result of the deal, Vodafone’s logo will be prominently featured on the front of the Lions’ shirts. Moreover, the deal will provide the rugby union team with much needed financial support during the global health pandemic with multiple media reports valuing the deal at around £6-7m.

Ben Calveley, Managing Director of the British & Irish Lions, stated: “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.”

Additionally, the partnership also sees the British & Irish Lions being supplied with communications equipment while also being provided technical support for training and player performance, courtesy of the telecommunications company.

While also providing fans with giveaways and other engagement opportunities, the firm has revealed that it will be creating ‘innovative’ initiatives through ‘experiential activations’ for both traveling supporters or fans at home.

Max Taylor, Commercial Director of Vodafone, said: “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. It’s time to unite the pride.”

The announcement follows on from the Lions’ statement last month that the Tour of South Africa would go ahead as scheduled in July and August 2021 with the hope that global restrictions would allow the event to happen by that time.