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Vodafone signs new four-year deal with IRFU

Telecommunications Vodafone has renewed its main sponsorship deal with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the governing body of rugby union in Ireland.

The new four-year deal will commence on July 1, 2020 and will run through to 2024. Vodafone’s previous four-year deal began in 2016 and had been due to expire next summer.

Vodafone Ireland will continue as the principal sponsor of the Irish rugby team and as the IRFU’s communications partner. Vodafone also becomes the official sponsor of the IRFU Women’s Interprovincial Championship.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed but the Irish Times newspaper reported that the deal would be worth €16m ($17.7m) over four years, which would represent a slight increase on the previous €15m agreement.

Vodafone will work with the IRFU to use both new and existing technology to create events, activations and content to benefit both Irish rugby fans and Vodafone customers.

Fans will have access to Vodafone’s network services on match days, while Vodafone customers will also benefit from exclusive content and instant match highlights for Ireland’s international home matches via the My Vodafone app.

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said: “Vodafone has helped to elevate our game and our team to new levels with clever and inspirational campaigns that bring the team and our supporters together to form a ‘Team Of Us’.

“Strong and committed partners, who understand our game and its values, are vital to the long-term investment we require to develop Irish Rugby at every level.

“We are also very pleased that our partnership is delivering for Vodafone and its customers, and we are excited to work with Anne (O’Leary, chief executive of Vodafone Ireland), and all her team, in the months and years ahead.”

Vodafone replaced Three as the IRFU’s official telecommunications partner.