At a press briefing in London today (March 9) Accolade Wines CEO, Paul Schaafsma and the British & Irish Lions COO, Charlie McEwen, confirmed the Lions 2017 tour sponsorship.
Schaafsma (pictured right with McEwen) said : “A Lions’ tour is huge, especially one hosted by the world champions. We have high ambitions for our already successful Mud House brand. We’ll be working closely with the British & Irish Lions to activate a £2m support campaign here in the UK and the team in New Zealand will activate our partnership on the ground ahead of the tour next June.”
Former All Black skipper, Sean Fitzpatrick and England’s former winger Jason Robinson, have come on board to support the sponsorship as Mud House brand ambassadors.
Accolade Wines has in addition confirmed sponsorship of all Southern Hemisphere rugby coverage, to be broadcast on Sky Sports UK throughout 2016. This includes the Super Rugby, The Rugby Championship, The Mitre 10 Cup (New Zealand) and The Currie Cup (South Africa).
Marketing director, Amy White said: “To support this Sky Sport sponsorship, we have filmed a set of new Mud House idents, starring five legends of rugby who have either played for, or against, the Lions. Sean Fitzpatrick (New Zealand), Jason Robinson (England), Gavin Hastings (Scotland), Shane Williams (Wales) and Paul Wallace (Ireland) all feature with the strapline; ‘Rugby and Wine - It’s as clear as Mud’ playing on the not so obvious relationship between wine and rugby in a premium yet jovial way”.
The Lions Tour of New Zealand will consist of 10 games played throughout the country between June 3 and July 8, including three test matches against the double world champions.