IRFU 'delighted' to seal €14m long-term jersey sponsor deal
THE IRFU have renewed their partnership with 02, which will see the telecommunications company sponsor the Irish rugby team through the 2015 World Cup up until 2016.
The deal is understood to be the biggest jersey sponsorship agreement in Irish sport, believed to worth between €12m and €14m, which places it comfortably ahead of other arrangements in soccer and Gaelic games.
Last August, the FAI agreed a four-year €7.5m deal with 3Mobile to sponsor the Irish soccer team, while Vodafone's partnership with Dublin GAA was valued at between €800,000 to €1m per annum when they signed a six-year deal in 2009.
O2 have been the primary sponsors of Irish rugby since 2006, having come on board as mobile communications partners in 2002, and the continuation of the partnership was warmly welcomed by the IRFU yesterday.
"We are delighted to extend our partnership with O2, one of the best and most successful sponsorships in Irish sport," said IRFU president John Hussey. "As well as money, O2 provide a commitment to supporters and grassroots rugby in this country and we thank them for their continued commitment."
The sponsorship will include the O2 logo featuring on all of the Ireland senior international and Ireland Wolfhounds teams' playing and training kits, as well as on a wide range of team-related IRFU merchandise.
In addition, it was announced yesterday that Ireland will hold an open training session from 9.30am on Thursday, August 25 in Lansdowne Road to allow supporters to gain a view of the squad's preparations for the final warm-up international against England two days later.
Admission to the session will be free, but entry is by ticket only. Tickets are available online at ticketmaster.ie.
Meanwhile, Mick O'Driscoll, Niall Ronan and Marcus Horan, who all played in Ireland's game against Scotland last Saturday have been released back to Munster and will travel with the squad to France tomorrow for a training camp that concludes with the first of three pre-season matches.