The British and Irish Lions touring rugby union side have announced a partnership with Fanatics, giving fans access to an expanded range of merchandise produced for the team’s 2021 tour of South Africa. Rugby fans can book British lions 2021 tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
The exclusive global ecommerce agreement will provide supporters with the widest array of products ever created for a Lions tour, while also expanding Fanatics’ rugby portfolio. The sports apparel giant already oversees England Rugby’s retail and online stores.
The Lions merchandise will be available at the team’s new online store from 15th October.
“We are excited to be able to offer Lions supporters an extensive range of new products that they can wear with pride when supporting the team,” said Ben Calveley, the British and Irish Lions’ managing director.
“The new store will become the online destination to purchase Lions merchandise including the new replica shirt, as well as other Canterbury apparel and Hackett products when they come on the market later this year.”
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Zohar Ravid, Fanatics’ international general manager, added: “The Lions are one of the most iconic teams in global sport and it is an honor to be partnering with them for the 2021 tour to South Africa.
“In partnering with Fanatics, the Lions will gain access to cutting edge e-commerce systems and industry-leading technology. This will provide rapid navigation for fans across online and mobile sites meaning larger, hi-resolution product displays, frictionless checkout, faster website performance, and the quickest access to new product offerings.”
Fanatics reportedly raised a further US$350 million in August as part of a Series E funding round that saw the company’s valuation soar from US$4.5 billion to US$6.2 billion.
The Lions, meanwhile, will be hoping that Fanatics’ global reach can help boost their commercial income. In July, the touring side struck a deal with Vodafone that made the telecommunications giant their lead partner for next summer’s tour.
That tie-up came shortly after the Lions teamed up with South Africa Rugby (SAR) to combine their commercial offering, enabling broadcasters, partners, and licensees the chance to fully leverage and activate around a new centralized program.
Despite the commercial drive, there are still concerns over whether the 2021 series will go ahead amid Covid-19 restrictions. In August, SAR chief executive Jurie Roux warned that the absence of supporters would make the tour, which is due to start on 3rd July, commercially unviable.
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