O2 and RFU

O2 to Sponsor Rugby Football Union for another five years

New five-year deal marks one of the longest shirt sponsorships in sporting history

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O2 and The Rugby Football Union (RFU) have announced a new five-year partnership of the national teams, bringing spend parity across the men’s and women’s games. O2 is the principal shirt partner for the England Senior Men’s and England Senior Women’s teams with O2’s logo appearing front and centre on all match day and training kit.

The agreement, starting in September 2021 and thought to be worth £7.5million per year, will extend the length of their partnership to three decades.

The news comes a month after the RFU called for a government bailout as it seeks to mitigate against huge losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

With all of the upcoming Tests and the entire Six Nations set to be played behind closed doors, the English game’s governing body has forecasted a £138m reduction in revenue and losses of £60m.

In addition, the community game is staring at a £86m collapse in revenue this season. The RFU has made 140 redundancies in an attempt to ease the financial crisis.

The deal also provides O2 customers the opportunity to access Priority Tickets for all England Rugby games, 48 hours before general release. As the UK’s No1 network, O2 is committed to offering the very best offers and experiences.

Through Priority, O2 customers will have the opportunity to access exclusive player meet and greets, 20% matchday discount on England Rugby kit at the Twickenham Stadium store and O2 Ultimate Fan – winning the chance to go on summer tour with the team.

O2 Inside Line will continue as the exclusive England Rugby behind the scenes content series, now with equal commitment to both teams. This includes content from inside training camps, live broadcasts from camps during test week, and exclusive pre and post-match content from the O2 Blueroom. O2 Inside Line will be multi-format series including live stream, video and podcast.

The deal also brings a joint commitment from O2 and the RFU to support the country’s grassroots clubs through exclusive rugby community offers from O2, and a vision for Twickenham to become more connected, utilising O2 5G and O2 Business products and services.

Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO commented:

“O2 have been a loyal supporter of England Rugby, a partnership that has lasted for 25 years and we are proud to continue to carry their logo front and centre on our shirts for a further five years. O2’s commitment to equally support both our elite teams is commendable and it’s great to collaborate with a partner that truly shares our same passion to see the women’s game flourish and continue to grow for future generations to enjoy.”

Nina Bibby, CMO of O2 said:

“There has never been a more important time to get behind rugby, a sport we love and have invested in for over 25 years. We are proud to support the RFU through our extended partnership, which we believe is the longest shirt sponsorship in the history of UK sport.

Our new agreement brings investment parity from O2 to England Men and England Women. The future for English rugby is bright, and together we want to make sure that rugby emerges from the pandemic stronger than ever before.”

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