Press Release | 21 Sep 2022

Vodafone announces landmark multi-year partnership with Welsh Rugby Union

Partnership sees Vodafone become the Founding Principal Partner of women and girls’ rugby in Wales, as well as a Digital Transformation Partner of Principality Stadium, Cardiff.

  • Vodafone will work with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) to support the continued growth of women’s rugby, aiming to reach over 10,000 female players in Wales by 2026.
  • The partnership will allow the WRU to develop its female performance pathway further.
  • Vodafone’s Digital Transformation Rights to Principality Stadium, Cardiff, will see the brand use its 5G network and innovative tech solutions to bring fans closer to the action.
  • The commercial partnership being announced today is the first step in a broad, multi-year partnership between the WRU and Vodafone, that will further support, develop and benefit the whole of Welsh rugby.

Vodafone has announced a landmark multi-year partnership with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) to become the Founding Principal Partner of women and girls’ rugby in Wales and a Digital Transformation Partner to Principality Stadium.

Vodafone will work with the WRU to support the continued growth of women’s rugby, with the aim of reaching over 10,000 female players in Wales by 2026 through continued investment in grassroots clubs and programmes.

Vodafone Wales Women Rugby Sponsorship shoot -
(left to right) Wales Women Rugby players Jazz Joyce, Natalia John, Siwan Lillicrap, and Alisha Butchers

The partnership will allow the WRU to further develop its elite female pathway, through expanded talent identification and development initiatives and by supporting the Wales Women U20 and U18 programmes to discover more promising young players and provide effective routes to the highest level of the sport.

As part of the deal, Vodafone will be front-of-shirt sponsor for Wales Women, on a unique women’s fit kit from Macron which will be worn for the first time in the 2023 Tik Tok Six Nations.

Meanwhile, Vodafone’s role as a Digital Transformation Partner to Principality Stadium will see the brand use innovative tech solutions and the power of Vodafone 5G to bring fans closer to the action, with the aim of making Principality Stadium the most connected stadium in the world.

The landmark sponsorship of Wales Women marks the first step in a growing, multi-year partnership between Vodafone and the WRU to develop Welsh rugby.

(left to right) Max Taylor, Vodafone's UK Consumer Director; Jasmine Joyce, Wales Women; Nigel Walker, WRU Performance Director.
(left to right) Max Taylor, Vodafone’s UK Consumer Director; Jazz Joyce, Wales Women; Nigel Walker, WRU Performance Director

Vodafone’s UK Consumer Director, Max Taylor, said: “It is such an exciting time for women’s sport and with the Women’s Rugby World Cup just around the corner I am incredibly proud to announce our new partnership with the WRU.

“We’ll work with them to support the growth of Welsh rugby from the grassroots up. This is only the first step in an ambitious partnership with the WRU, and we can’t wait to get started.”

WRU Performance Director Nigel Walker said: “Women’s rugby in Wales is going from strength to strength, and we’re delighted to have a partner that shares our commitment to the continued growth of the women’s and girls’ game.

“Vodafone are supporting Welsh rugby to make further significant progress at all levels of the game for women and girls in Wales as well as growing the performance  pathway,  including our U18 and U20 programmes

“The support will also enable further developments within the full-time, international programme and of course significantly add to the growing profile of Wales Women.”

WRU CEO Steve Phillips added: “This partnership and the initiatives it will support will have a directly positive impact on participation levels in community rugby, where we aim to produce over 10,000 players by 2026. It will provide significant help to the development of the next generation of female players.

“We are also looking forward to seeing how Vodafone can work with us to create unique experiences for supporters at Principality Stadium, with the aim of bringing fans even closer to the action than ever before in what is an incredibly exciting time for us.”

The announcement follows Vodafone’s role as Official Connectivity Partner of Wimbledon and Lead Partner for the British & Irish Lions for the 2022 Tour to South Africa, and builds on Vodafone’s commitment to support grassroots sport and help develop the next generation of talent.

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Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

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