The British & Irish Lions has appointed Sports Marketing Agency Two Circles to undertake its Women’s Lions feasibility study.
Two Circles will carry out a consultation process looking into the rugby, brand, commercial and operational opportunities as well as the challenges for a Women’s Lions Tour.
Funded by Royal London, who are also the inaugural ‘Principal Partner’ of the Women’s Lions programme, the study will provide recommendations on the overall viability of a Tour.
Speaking on the announcement, British & Irish Lions Managing Director Ben Calveley welcomed the appointment of Two Circles and said it is imperative that the opportunities and challenges presented by a Women’s Lions Tour are “robustly investigated”.
He said: “Two Circles is a hugely respected marketing agency in the sport industry and has a track record in growth strategies for women’s sport, so we are delighted to have them on board to carry out the Women’s Lions feasibility study.
“It’s critical that all opportunities and challenges are robustly investigated during this study, especially in terms of the creation of a sustainable operating model, so that the Steering Group can consider all factors. I look forward to working with Two Circles in exploring the opportunity of creating a Women’s Lions team.”
Two Circles will present its findings to the Women’s Lions feasibility study Steering Group, who will then make recommendations to the Lions to consider the final decision.
And Ieuan Evans, a three-time Lions tourist, member of the Lions Board, and chair of the Women’s Lions Steering Group, said the appointment will ensure that “no stone is left unturned” when it comes to the possibility of a Women’s Lions Tour.
He said: “We recognise that there is a great deal of support for the concept of creating a Women’s Lions team, and so the Women’s Lions feasibility study Steering Group are fully committed to working closely with our Principal Partner Royal London, and Two Circles to ensure that no stone is left unturned throughout the feasibility study.”
Two Circles has a history of of using data and fan insight to develop commercial strategies for sports right-holders, forging long-term relationships with a number of high-profile clients.
Current clients include the Premier League, European Tour Group and the Wimbledon Championships, while Two Circles has supported rights-holders including UEFA, R&A and FA on strategies to grow their women’s sports properties.
Susie Logan, Group Chief Marketing Officer at Royal London, said: “As the first ever Principal Partner of the Women’s Lions programme, we welcome Two Circles to join us in our aim to explore the feasibility of a potential Women’s Lions team and we look forward to hearing their findings.”
Clare Vigers, Two Circles Strategy Lead, added: “The growth of women’s sport will define the future of the sports industry. At a time when participation levels and support of women’s rugby is growing year in and out, we are honoured to work with The British & Irish Lions to review the possibility and feasibility of establishing Women’s Lions team.”