IMG, the global sports and entertainment agency, has been appointed as the worldwide licensing agency of the British and Irish Lions rugby union touring team through to 2027.

As part of the deal, unveiled today (October 11), IMG will develop a range of licensed products for fans, in the build-up to the Lions’ 2025 tour of Australia.

The range of branded products will include fan merchandise, fashion apparel, and sporting accessories.

In April, the Lions (made up of players from England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland), launched a joint venture with the Rugby Australia body to combine the commercial offering and then brought in CSM as the tour’s exclusive sponsorship agent – a designation it has held for the last four Lions tours.

Commenting on the new deal, Tom Halsey, the British and Irish Lions commercial director, said: “This partnership comes at a critical time as our preparation for the 2025 tour continues to ramp up and underlines our long-term strategic ambition, which is to be the most successful and admired sporting brand. To achieve this, we need to be working alongside the very best agencies and IMG falls into that category.

“Partnering with IMG will allow us to grow the Lions brand further by helping us to connect with fans on a broader scale providing them with high-quality Lions merchandise and experiences.”

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Mickael Andreo, IMG’s vice president of licensing, added: “The British & Irish Lions is one of the strongest brands in sports. The fans are at the core of the team’s legacy, making every tour memorable in its own way. We are honored to work with The British & Irish Lions to help capture the imagination of a new generation of rugby and broader sports fans and ensure that the 2025 Tour is the most iconic one yet.”

In July, international insurance group Howden was named a new principal partner of the Lions and designated the official front-of-shirt sponsor.

The Australia 2025 Lions tour will run between late June and early August, with three tests scheduled.

Earlier this month, meanwhile, Premier Women’s Rugby (PWR), the top tier of English women’s rugby union, partnered with IMG to drive its new digital and content channels strategy.