Lions announce new partnership with URC and Premiership Rugby
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The British & Irish Lions have forged an exciting new partnership with the United Rugby Championship (URC) and Premiership Rugby for the 2025 Lions Tour to Australia.
The Lions will work collaboratively with the two competitions to ensure every player selected for the British & Irish Lions is available for all pre-tour activities. The partnership will also establish a collaborative approach to marketing and promotional activities, especially with sectors such as the online gambling industry.
Rugby already receives extensive coverage on sportsbooks in the United Kingdom and Ireland, while many betting companies have strong links with the sport through sponsorship.
However, there is undoubtedly scope for expansion, particularly in Ireland where rugby vies with Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) events for recognition.
With the GAA reluctant to forge formal links with the betting industry, the pathway is clear for rugby to strengthen its ties with the sector over the next few years.
As highlighted by the top Irish bookmakers for GAA sites many leading operators already offer coverage of the URC, Premiership Rugby and other major events.
However, stronger official links with the Lions will make the sport even more enticing for the betting sector, particularly with regards to marketing and advertising activities.
British & Irish Lions Chief Executive Officer Ben Calveley believes the new partnership will play an integral role in boosting rugby’s profile and helping the Lions succeed.
“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Premiership Rugby and United Rugby Championship and want to thank them for their support in reaching this landmark agreement,” Calveley said.
“Our relationship with the clubs, who are the guardians of all potential Lions, is critical to any success we have, and we are committed to working with Premiership Rugby and United Rugby Championship in a spirit of collaboration.
“It is crucial that this agreement benefits not just The British & Irish Lions but also Premiership Rugby and United Rugby Championship.
“Our ambition is to make 2025 the greatest Lions Tour ever and we believe the opportunities for collaboration across marketing, promotional and wider activity will add significant value to all organisations.”
The link-up between the British & Irish Lions, URC, and Premiership Rugby could also be extremely good news for a Manchester-based travel specialist.
Destination Sport Group recently expanded its rugby offering by announcing a new partnership with the URC which will see the firm manage its travel requirements.
URC staff and match officials will benefit from global, 24/7 support with travel and accommodation, while fans will also be able to access ticket and hotel breaks for the URC Grand Final.
Destination Sport Travel managing director Rob Slawson said:
“With teams across Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales, the United Rugby Championship is a competition which features a significant volume of travel for corporates, staff and match officials.
“We’re well versed in navigating the complexities of this travel, having worked with a number of United Rugby Championship’s teams for several years.
“We look forward to providing a best-in-class travel provision for United Rugby Championship and its teams, staff and officials, plus creating a new range of supporter travel packages via our Sportsbreaks.com brand.”
Having built up plenty of previous experience in managing travel arrangements in professional rugby, Destination Sport Travel are well-placed to oversee the URC’s requirements.
A future link-up with the British & Irish Lions could be the next natural step for a company that has forged an excellent reputation over the past few years.
The 2025 tour to Australia promises to be an historic one, with the Lions set to face the hosts at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Thousands of British and Irish fans will follow the team Down Under, which will be logistically challenging for the tour organisers. Support from firms such as Destination could be crucial.