The British and Irish Lions’ shirts will be adorned with Vodafone logos next summer in South Africa after the tourists secured a multi-million pound sponsorship deal.
In 2017 asset management company Standard Life Investments are believed to have paid around £6.25m to sponsor the Lions’ shirts on the New Zealand tour.
And Sportsmail understands that Vodfone’s deal is of similar value – a big coup for the Lions which will help fund their challenge against the world champion Springboks in 2021.
The Vodafone-branded Lions jerseys, made once again by Canterbury, will be unveiled later in the year.
The telecommunications giant already sponsor Ireland and Wasps, and claim this is ‘the most significant sponsorship Vodafone has embarked on in recent years’.
Their customers will be able to gain exclusive access to match tickets and merchandise.
Ben Calveley, Managing Director of the British & Irish 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 we are delighted to have them on board to enhance the experience of the Lions fans across the world.’
Head coach Gatland added: ‘I am excited to welcome aboard Vodafone as team sponsor for the Tour next summer.
‘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 cannot think of a brand that knows more about bringing people together than Vodafone.
‘I am sure they 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.’