SA Rugby and the British & Irish Lions have agreed a new unique venture for next year’s highly-anticipated tour.
On Friday the two organisations announced a newly invented model, which aims to fully maximise the tour’s appeal by collaborating two of world rugby’s biggest brands.
The model will see SA Rugby and the Lions combine their commercial offering by allowing different broadcasters, partners and licenses to gain full access to a centralised programme of the tour.
The combined approach will provide more digital and social content opportunities for all parties to expand their reach to the global rugby community, which will also include an exciting tour documentary, which was announced on Thursday.
‘The creation of the joint venture is an important milestone on our journey towards next year’s series against the Lions,’ said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
‘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 into the game, and look forward to working in close partnership between now and the tour next year.”
Ben Calveley, Managing Director of the British & Irish Lions, said: ‘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.
‘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.’
The Lions will start their tour with a clash against the Stormers at Cape Town Stadium on 3 July before culminating in the final Test match against the Springboks at Ellis Park on 7 August.