O2 and the Rugby Football Union (RFU) today announced that they have extended their partnership through to September 2021. A proud partner for 21 years, O2 has been at the heart of England Rugby since the game turned professional in 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’s, England Women and England Saxons teams. O2’s logo will continue 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 explore how digital technology will increasingly play a role in the fan experience, with the ambition of creating more integrated, connected and personalised experiences direct to fan’s mobile devices. This will include a renewed focus on using digital technology to bring rugby fans closer to the team, in the run up to and during match days, evolved LED stadium display presence at Twickenham Stadium and by supercharging O2’s highly successful Priority platform.
O2 and England Rugby will also work to together to produce exclusive pre-match video content available through the Priority app 48-hours before anywhere else, and all behind the scenes in camp digital content, plus key match day digital content, will now be part of O2’s behind the scenes online series, O2 Inside Line. O2 customers will continue to benefit from access to Priority Tickets for all England matches at Twickenham Stadium and Priority will host even more unique and exclusive opportunities than ever before including, once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as going on the summer Test series with the England Rugby team.
O2 has also reaffirmed its commitment to grassroots rugby, specifically O2 Touch, which is the fastest growing community programme in the country with 17,500 registered players. In addition, the RFU will offer work experience to young people to support O2’s Think Big initiative.
O2’s award-winning ‘Wear the Rose’ campaign will become even more central to its support of England match days, 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, focussing 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 twenty-one 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.”
Visit www.o2.co.uk/weartherose to find out more about O2 and England Rugby or follow @O2sports on Twitter and Instagram using the hash tag #WearTheRose