The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and Vodafone Ireland have announced a new four-year sponsorship of the Ireland team.
The agreement, which commences on 1st June ahead of the summer tour to South Africa, will also see Ireland's leading total communications provider become official telecoms partner to the IRFU.
The new Canterbury manufactured Ireland jersey was revealed at the Aviva Stadium today and will be worn by the team in South Africa for the first time.
Over the coming four years Vodafone will use both new and existing technology to create events, activations and content that will benefit all rugby fans and Vodafone customers in Ireland. Vodafone's investment will allow fans to experience world class network services on match days.
Speaking at the sponsorship announcement, Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O'Leary said: "We at Vodafone Ireland are very proud to partner with the IRFU for what promises to be an extremely exciting sponsorship. This four-year partnership with the IRFU will take us up to and beyond the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Irish rugby has built something very special. There is a bond there between the players, individually and as a group, and the supporters from the four corners of Ireland and beyond which epitomises the very essence of sport.
Supporting the Irish rugby team brings the whole country together and this mirrors exactly what our business does in connecting people around Ireland and further afield.
Our aim is to bring supporters even closer to Irish rugby and we have innovative plans to do this on match days and right throughout the season. We will have live mobile match highlights for Vodafone customers, exciting priority ticketing for the Guinness Series and a jersey amnesty initiative, to name just some of our plans."
Philip Browne, IRFU Chief Executive commented, "We are delighted to be welcoming Vodafone to Irish Rugby's family of sponsors.
They are a leading global technology brand with a proven track record in sponsorship. We look forward to working closely with the Vodafone team and helping them realise their ambitious strategies to enhance the fan experience."
Chris Stephenson, CEO Canterbury of New Zealand "The new Ireland rugby jersey is packed with technology & features designed to meet the specific needs of the Irish rugby team and has been created in collaboration between the IRFU team management, the squad and Canterbury's Innovation department.
On the field this jersey will enable the team to perform without compromise or distraction and off the field it will unite supporters from all four provinces"