O2 and RFU sign new five-year deal marking one of the longest shirt sponsorships in sporting history

  • O2 to Wear the Rose for five more years as principal shirt sponsor commencing from September 2021
  • This year marks twenty-five years of O2 sponsorship of the England Rugby Team with the renewal taking the partnership to thirty years
  • O2 has pledged to equally fund the men’s and women’s game over the course of the partnership.
  • Priority Tickets for both the men’s and women’s fixtures available to O2 customers 48 hours ahead of general release as part of a set of exclusive offers and experiences
  • Increased connectivity at Twickenham Stadium

O2 and the RFU have today announced a new five-year partnership of the national teams, bringing spend parity across the men’s and women’s games. O2 is the principal shirt partner for the England Senior Men’s and England Senior Women’s teams with O2’s logo appearing front and centre on all match day and training kit.

As part of the new agreement, O2 has pledged to equally fund the men’s and women’s game over the course of the partnership. O2 and the RFU have the collective ambition to grow both the profile of the Red Roses and increase attendance at future games.

The deal also provides O2 customers the opportunity to access Priority Tickets for all England Rugby games, 48 hours before general release. As the UK’s No1 network, O2 is committed to offering the very best offers and experiences. Through Priority, O2 customers will have the opportunity to access exclusive player meet and greets, 20% matchday discount on England Rugby kit at the Twickenham Stadium store and O2 Ultimate Fan – winning the chance to go on summer tour with the team.

O2 Inside Line will continue as the exclusive England Rugby behind the scenes content series, now with equal commitment to both teams. This includes content from inside training camps, live broadcasts from camps during test week, and exclusive pre and post-match content from the O2 Blueroom. O2 Inside Line will be multi-format series including live stream, video and podcast.

The deal also brings a joint commitment from O2 and the RFU to support the country’s grassroots clubs through exclusive rugby community offers from O2, and a vision for Twickenham to become more connected, utilising O2 5G and O2 Business products and services.

Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO commented: “O2 have been a loyal supporter of England Rugby, a partnership that has lasted for 25 years and we are proud to continue to carry their logo front and centre on our shirts for a further five years. O2’s commitment to equally support both our elite teams is commendable and it’s great to collaborate with a partner that truly shares our same passion to see the women’s game flourish and continue to grow for future generations to enjoy.”

Nina Bibby, CMO of O2 said: “There has never been a more important time to get behind rugby, a sport we love and have invested in for over 25 years. We are proud to support the RFU through our extended partnership, which we believe is the longest shirt sponsorship in the history of UK sport. Our new agreement brings investment parity from O2 to England Men and England Women. The future for English rugby is bright, and together we want to make sure that rugby emerges from the pandemic stronger than ever before.”

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Notes to Editors
O2 Press Office contacts
Telephone: 01753 565656 / 02035 889700
Email: pressoffice@o2.com

England Rugby Media Contact
Kathryn Williamson, Communications Director
kathrynwilliamson@rfu.com / +442088317686

About O2
O2 is the principal commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited
, part of the global telecommunications group Telefónica S.A, headquartered in Spain and operating in Europe, and North, Central and South America.

No.1 Network: O2 is the UK’s largest network with more than 34 million connections, providing 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G services while operating a nationwide O2 Wifi service.

Best Network Coverage For three consecutive years O2 has won Best Network Coverage provider at the publicly voted USwitch Awards (2018, 2019, 2020).  It won Best Network Performance at the Mobile News Awards 2019 and was named Most Reliable Network by GWS in 2020. The company is the network of choice for mobile virtual network operators giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Lycamobile and manages a 50:50 joint venture with Tesco for Tesco Mobile.

O2 has led the industry with its commitment to Customer Fairness. Since 2013 O2 Refresh has split airtime and device costs so customers never pay for a handset they already own, and the evolution of customisable plans gives customers true flexibility over how they pay for their mobile phone. From exclusive Priority Tickets which provide customers with pre-sale tickets for The O2 and O2 Academy venues, 48 hours before everyone else, to England Rugby matches – who O2 have proudly been sponsors of since 1995.

O2 strives to do the right thing both as a business and for its customers.  It has committed to becoming net zero by 2025 and to working with supply chain partners to reduce carbon emissions by 30% in the next five years. O2 has 6,500 employees across three main office sites and more than 440 retail stores, and was named a Best Place To Work in Glassdoor’s 2019 Employee’s Choice Awards.  Its industry-leading inclusive policies have seen it recognised with a National Inclusion Standard accreditation. In 2019 the company introduced 14 weeks’ paid paternity leave for heterosexual and same-sex couples, and it launched a toolkit for employees considering transitioning at work.  It is the only teleco named in the Social Mobility Employer Index for the last three years.

Telefónica UK Limited is registered in England and Wales. Registration number: 1743099.  Its registered office is at: 260 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 4DX, United Kingdom.

About The Rugby Football Union / England Rugby

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is the National Governing Body for rugby union in England and supports participants and fans from the grassroots to the national team.

For more information visit www.englandrugby.com

Keep up to date with all RFU news on @EnglandRugby