London, UK; 22 March 2004: – The British Lions Limited announced the appointment of Octagon Marketing as their sponsorship and partner management agency for the forthcoming British & Irish Lions Tour to New Zealand in 2005. The international sports marketers won the contract following a highly competitive pitch and will be responsible for the overall partner development, commercial management and PR support required for this hugely anticipated series.

The Lions Tour will kick off on 04 June 2005 with a ten fixture series including three test matches against the All Blacks. The Tests will be played at Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland on 25 June, 02 and 09 July respectively.

John Feehan, Chief Executive, British Lions Ltd, commented, ‘We are delighted to announce the appointment of Octagon Marketing, whose wealth of experience from the previous Lions Tours to South Africa and Australia, demonstrated a real ability to deliver the essential growth for the Lions brand. The increase in professionalism in rugby demands excellence in all aspects of our approach to this tour, not least in our sponsorship management and delivery – undoubtedly Octagon Marketing provides us with the necessary understanding and expertise.’’

Aidan Day, Managing Director, Octagon UK, said, ‘This is an extremely important appointment for us reflecting the wealth of knowledge accumulated in our rugby team. We are thrilled to once again be working with the premier brand in world rugby. Our appointment demonstrates that our track record in rugby, as well as our global network, is best positioned to deliver an outstanding product for the British & Irish Lions. As Rugby fans we are particularly excited to be able to play a supporting role in what will be the ultimate rugby feast, the meeting of the two biggest names in world rugby.’’

For more details contact:

Ruth Wicks, Tel: +44 (0)7900 246 586