Telecommunications giant Vodafone has been announced as the new front-of-shirt sponsor for the senior men’s Wales rugby union team as part of a new multi-year partnership expansion with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) governing body.

Under the deal, Vodafone becomes the principal partner of the men’s senior squad and pathway teams, including the U20s and U18s, adding to its existing WRU deal as a principal partner of the Wales women and girls’ rugby teams.

Vodafone’s logo will replace UK-based online car retailer Cazoo on the front of the squad’s shirts after the upcoming Rugby World Cup in France. The brand will also feature on the back of the men’s shorts.

As part of its partnership, Vodafone will support player performance and welfare across the whole of Welsh rugby through innovative tech solutions, including the continued investment into its Player.Connect platform.

Max Taylor, chief commercial officer at Vodafone UK, said: “Vodafone’s expanded partnership with Welsh Rugby Union now covers both the men’s and women’s game, from grassroots up. With the World Cup just around the corner, it is a hugely exciting time for rugby, and we are excited to see how technical innovation can help take player performance, player welfare, and fan engagement to the next level.”

Cazoo’s two-year “multi-million-pound” tie-up in 2021, which GlobalData estimates to have been worth $10 million in total, saw the brand feature on the front of the play and training shirts of the Welsh men’s and women’s national teams. It replaced Japanese commercial vehicle manufacturer Isuzu, which had been the WRU’s main sponsor for the previous four years.

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By GlobalData

The announcement comes as the U20 squad prepares to compete in the U20s World Cup in New Zealand from June 24. The men’s Rugby World Cup will run from September 8 to October 28, while the inaugural WXV tournament in New Zealand also later this year will see the Wales Women’s team in action.

WRU chief executive Nigel Walker said: “We are delighted to have secured Vodafone as our key front-of-shirt sponsor for the Wales senior men’s side and pathway teams.

“Vodafone’s partnership with, and support for, our Wales Women’s side and pathway teams, and with Principality Stadium as our digital transformation partner, is already paying huge dividends to Welsh rugby.

“These are exciting times for the game in Wales, with sustainability now established off the field allowing increased potential for long-term success on it.

“Through their partnership, Vodafone will play an integral part in the future of the game in Wales and we are delighted to welcome their further commitment and support for Welsh rugby today.

“Finally, I’d like to say good luck to the U20s team who play their first match of the World Rugby Championships against New Zealand in Paarl this Saturday proudly wearing that Vodafone-sponsored jersey.”