The real action of the Lions tour begins in earnest this weekend.
Official sponsors, suppliers and partners have been building up to this moment for weeks. Working on the premise that the best of their respective campaigns, much like the rugby, is yet to come then months – if not years in some cases – of strategic planning are now going to be put to the test.
Here’s an overview of what they’ve been up to so far…
Agreements: Lions’ players will lend their images to a host of adverts.
On Sharp’s Brewery Social all cover photos highlight deal, Sharp’s Brewery retweeting Lions and using occasional promotional picture.
Hashtags/Slogans: ‘Committed to the last drop’ and ‘Together to the last drop’
— Sharp’s Brewery (@SharpsBrewery) June 21, 2017
Standard Life Investments
Agreements: Logo will appear on the front of the representative rugby union side’s matchday jerseys during their 2017 tour. Standard Life Investments will also have a range of other branding and promotional rights in the build-up to the tour.
Sponsor social: Very similar to Doom Bar. Cover photo using promotional pic of lions players etc.
Some unique content, video of Andy Murray (SLI Ambassador) wearing Lions’ shirt and a ticket giveaway.
Hashtags/Slogans: ‘One team One standard’
— Standard Life Invest (@SLI_Global) June 23, 2017
Agreements: Official kit supplier, Canterbury will hold exclusive rights to manufacture and supply playing and training kit to the Lions, as well as creating a new range of lifestyle and fashion wear for the team.
Sponsor social: Make them see red campaign with Promotional videos, Ticket give away.
Agreements: Deal is believed to be worth a low seven-figure sum, will play games at QBE stadium.
Sponsor social: QBE Rugby page on twitter as they support/sponsor lots of other rugby teams, videos, interviews with players/pundits etc
Hashtags/Slogans: ‘QBE, supporting the team behind the team’
— QBE Rugby (@QBErugby) June 23, 2017
Agreements: Firm will continue as the official vehicle of the Lions, and serve as the principal partner of their tour of New Zealand. The deal will see Land Rover supply vehicles to support the operational requirements of the Lions, both on the tour of New Zealand and while in the UK.
Sponsor social: Land Rover Rugby Twitter page, Win signed merchandise, Track the Lions video series.
Agreements: Qantas Airlines will ensure the whole team arrive in peak physical condition in New Zealand.
Sponsor social: Competition to win signed Jersey and ball. Retweeting Lions posts.
Agreements: EY is working with The British & Irish Lions to help enable sports fans and commercial partners to engage further with the 2017 Tour to New Zealand.
Sponsor social: Specific EY sports Twitter. Retweeting, video from Head Coach discussing team dynamics, player/team stats.
Agreements: British tailor will produce the official outfits, including blazers, shirts and ties, for Lions players during their 2017 tour. Thomas Pink will also design a range of formal and casual wear to be made available to the public ahead of the tour. The range will go on sale from October.
Brand will launch its very own tongue-in-cheek rugby club, captained by one of the all-time Lions’ greats and incorporating consumer events, an online content hub and monthly newsletters.
Agreements: Some current Lions players and former Lions Gavin Hastings, Shane Williams and Paul Wallace, will star in advertising campaigns in the run up to the tour in conjunction with Sky Sports.
Mud House social: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Article on their website talking about partnership, promotional pics, five short snippets with five players to either have played for Lions or played against them. Win a chance to dine in London thanks to Lions.
Hashtags/Slogans: ‘It’s as clear as Mud’ #ClearAsMud
Agreements: Gillette will activate in the UK around the tour and have access to players and staff for videos/ads. Gillette competition offering the chance to join the 2017 tour in New Zealand, runners-up UK-based experiences.
Hashtags/Slogans: The honest player, Be Prepared For Anything.
Hashtags/Slogans: Trust us to field the best
Agreements: Supply Lions with medical equipment.
Agreements: Supply training equipment and have ball licensing.
Whyte and Mackay
Hashtags/Slogans: Smooth things over
Agreements: Nutritional products/advice.
Agreements: Supplying Gin and Vodka for Lions tour, Launch of ‘Lions Gin – Limited 2017 Player’s Edition’