The ground-breaking, new model aims to maximise the Tour’s appeal by bringing together two of the biggest brands in world rugby to work in a more collaborative way.
Under the terms of the new venture, The Lions and SA Rugby will combine their commercial offering, enabling broadcasters, partners and licensees the chance to fully leverage and activate around a new centralised programme.
A more joined-up approach to CRM, digital and social content will provide more opportunities to engage with the global rugby fanbase, while also unlocking new assets such as a Tour documentary that can now be packaged together to offer access inside both Lions and Springboks camps. There will also be a co-ordinated ticketing, travel and hospitality programme to ensure fans have more access to the Tour matches taking place in South Africa next year.
“We are pleased to announce the formation of our new joint venture with SA Rugby; the first time a Lions Tour has been approached in this way,” said Ben Calveley, Managing Director of The British & Irish Lions.
“A Lions Tour is a global sporting event and its continuous commercial growth over the last decade has made it clear that a more collaborative, efficient and optimised structure was needed.
“Together with SA Rugby, this new approach will ensure that the 2021 Tour will reach new heights and avoid some of the inefficiencies we have experienced on previous tours. While competition on the field of play is great, off the field we should aspire to work collaboratively to create a whole greater than the sum of the parts.”
Commenting on the announcement, SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, said:
“The creation of the joint venture is an important milestone on our journey towards next year’s series against the Lions.
“Our partnership with the Lions is a good example of rugby’s northern and southern hemispheres working together to create greater benefits for both organisations.
“I am confident that this new more collaborative approach will help unlock new and increased revenues for South African rugby and the British & Irish lions, which gets reinvested in the game, and look forward to working in close partnership between now and the Tour next year.”