SA Rugby and the British & Irish Lions on Friday announced on Friday the creation of a unique joint venture for the 2021 tour to South Africa.
The ground-breaking, new model will aim to maximise the tour's appeal by bringing the two popular brands together in a more collaborative way.
Via a press statement, SA Rugby said the terms of the new venture would see it join forces with the Lions to combine their commercial offering.
This will afford broadcasters, partners and licensees the opportunity to fully leverage and activate around a new centralised programme.
It will give both sets of fans a unique social media offering, as well as documentaries with insights into both camps.
SA Rugby added that there would also be a co-ordinated ticketing, travel and hospitality programme "to ensure fans have more access to the tour matches".
SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux commented: "The creation of the joint venture is an important milestone on our journey towards next year’s series against the Lions.
"Our partnership with the Lions is a good example of rugby's northern and southern hemispheres working together to create greater benefits for both organisations.
"I am confident that this new more collaborative approach will help unlock new and increased revenues for South African rugby and the British & Irish Lions, which gets reinvested into the game, and look forward to working in close partnership between now and the tour next year."
Ben Calveley, managing director of the British &
Irish Lions, added: "We are pleased to announce the formation of our
new joint venture with SA Rugby; the first time a Lions Tour has been
approached in this way.
"A Lions tour is a global sporting
event and its continuous commercial growth over the last decade has made
it clear that a more collaborative, efficient and optimised structure
"Together with SA Rugby, this new approach will ensure that the 2021 Tour will reach new heights and avoid some of the inefficiencies we have experienced on previous tours. While competition on the field of play is great, off the field we should aspire to work collaboratively to create a whole greater than the sum of the parts."
Full 2021 tour schedule:
- Saturday 3 July: British & Irish Lions v Stormers - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
- Wednesday 7 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa 'Invitational' - Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
- Saturday 10 July: British & Irish Lions v Sharks - Kings Park, Durban
- Wednesday 14 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa "A" Team - Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
- Saturday 17 July: British & Irish Lions v Bulls - Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
- Saturday 24 July (first Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions - FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
- Saturday 31 July (second Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
- Saturday 7 August (third Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions - Ellis Park, Johannesburg
- Compiled by Sport24 staff