Vodafone to back Lions home match; Leicester get stadium sponsor
The British & Irish Lions, the representative rugby union team, is to play a rare home match, against Japan, next year.
The Lions will meet the 2019 Rugby World Cup holders at BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh on 26 June.
The match will be known as The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup, and serve as preparation for the team’s subsequent tour of South Africa.
Mobile phone operator Vodafone is the lead partner of the Lions for the tour, while 1888 was the year of the first Lions overseas tour.
The team has not played a match on home soil since facing Argentina in Cardiff in 2005, as a warm-up to that year’s tour of New Zealand.
The Lions are due to play three test matches and five other tour games in South Africa in July and August of next year.
Meanwhile, Leicester Tigers, one of England’s most famous clubs, have secured a first stadium naming rights partner for their Welford Road home after signing a five-year deal with wealth management firm Mattioli Woods.
The company is based in Leicester, and has been an official partner of the team since 2016, with shirt sponsorship and naming rights to the stadium’s East Stand.
Under the new deal, the stadium, home of the Tigers since 1892, will be known as Mattioli Woods Welford Road, and the sponsor will receive branding around the dugouts and externally around the venue.
It also retains rights to the East Stand and branding on the back of the team’s shirts.