Press Release | 20 Jun 2023

Vodafone adds to principal partnership with WRU in major new front-of-shirt deal with Wales senior men’s team

Major new multi-year deal continues to grow Vodafone’s partnership with the WRU.

  • Vodafone is now Principal Partner to the Wales Mens’ senior rugby side and pathway teams in a major multi-year deal which includes front-of-shirt and back-of-short.
  • This landmark deal adds to Vodafone’s existing partnership with the Welsh Rugby Union, following its first year as Founding Principal Partner of Wales Women and Girls’ rugby and as a digital transformation partner to Principality Stadium.
  • Vodafone will support player performance and welfare across all of Welsh rugby through innovative tech solutions and the continued development of its ground-breaking PLAYER.Connect platform.

Vodafone has made an addition to its partnership with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU). In a landmark deal the company has become Principal Partner of the men’s senior squad and pathway teams, consolidating Vodafone’s commitment to Welsh rugby across the board.

Vodafone is now Principal Partner of men’s, women’s and pathway (U20s and U18s) rugby in Wales, uniting all teams within one partnership, committed to growing rugby at all levels in Wales.

Throughout the partnership with the WRU, Vodafone will support player performance and welfare across the whole of Welsh rugby through innovative tech solutions. This includes the continued investment into its PLAYER.Connect platform.

The technology has seen major developments in the past year with the addition of menstrual cycle tracking technology which helps the Wales Women’s rugby team analyse how the menstrual cycle impacts performance, wellbeing, and recovery, showcasing the brand’s commitment to growing women’s rugby.

Vodafone launches new menstrual cycle tracking technology with the Women’s Welsh Rugby Union

The new menstrual tracking programme is part of Vodafone’s PLAYER.Connect platform, which aggregates data from athletes’ wearable devices in real-time, allowing for instant analysis.

Vodafone will also use its 5G network to enhance matchday experiences for fans in Cardiff and those watching at home.

The new partnership with the men’s team builds on Vodafone’s first year with the Wales Women’s team as Founding Principal Partner of Women’s and Girls’ rugby. This saw a recording-breaking crowd of 8,862 for Wales Women’s clash against England at Cardiff Arms Park during the Six Nations championship earlier in 2023.

The announcement comes ahead of a busy year for Welsh rugby with U20s World Cup kicking off on 24 June in New Zealand, followed by the Vodafone Summer Series, the men’s Rugby World Cup in France, and the inaugural W.XV tournament in New Zealand for Wales Women.

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.”

Lions Legacy: local rugby clubs score big with Vodafone

Local rugby clubs from all four nations of the UK are now on firmer footing thanks to fundraising by rugby legends and with donations from Vodafone.

Nigel Walker, WRU CEO, added: “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.”

The announcement continues Vodafone’s broader commitment to help grow rugby at all levels of the game, following their partnerships with the Armed Forces Men’s and Women’s Rugby Teams and Premier XVs side DMP Sharks, and their landmark sponsorship of the 2021 British & Irish Lions’ Tour.

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About Vodafone UK

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.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

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