O2 has sponsored England Rugby for 21 years, being associated with the game since it went professional in 1995. The extension deal will see the partnership explore how digital technology can play an increasingly important role in fans' experience of English rugby, as well as using digital techniques to bring fans closer to the game and team.
O2 has confirmed that experiential and events will have a major place in the renewed deal, and will include elements such as the O2 blueroom in Twickenham’s West Fan Village. The Blueroom will host pre-match entertainment, and offers free pies and pints, as well as interviews with three players immediately after the match. The room is exclusively for O2 customers.
O2 customers will still benefit from access to Priority tickets for matches at Twickenham Stadium. Priority is set to host more events and opportunities, including a chance for customers to attend the summer Test series with the England Rugby team.
The mobile network provider has confirmed its continued committment to grassroots rugby, specifically with O2 Touch - the fastest growing community programme in the country with 17,500 registered players. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) will also be offering work experience to young people, as part of O2's 'Think Big' initiative.
O2 and England Rugby will also work together to create a pre-match video, which will be available via O2's Priority app 48 hours before it can be seen anywhere else. O2 will also be releasing a 'Behind the Scenes' series, featuring in-camp digital content and key details on match-day. The series will be called 'O2 Inside Line'.
Mark Evans, CEO of O2, said: "This new agreement is a testament to our sponsorship strategy, focusing on high quality, long-term partnerships. Rugby is in O2’s DNA and we’re excited to take this fantastic sport to even more people than ever before, from grassroots to elite. We will continue to passionately support the team through Wear the Rose with a commitment to using technology and connectivity to bring our customers and rugby fans across the country even closer to the action."
O2's 'Wear the Rose' campaign will continue to play a central part in the extended partnership, and will encourage fans to support the England Rugby team in both a physical and digital capacity.
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