The British & Irish Lions and SA Rugby have today announced that Mzansi’s National beer brand, Castle Lager, will be the official title sponsor for the British & Irish Lions 2021 Tour of South Africa.
As a brand that is woven into the South African sports fabric, Castle Lager is a fitting title partner for a tour that will see the best from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland play against the current southern hemisphere and reigning World Champions, the Springboks.
At the heart of the Castle Lager brand is the desire to celebrate the diverse cultural backgrounds. Celebrating 125 years, the brand has been the embodiment of resilience and unity, bringing people together around two of the nation’s favourite pastimes, sport and braai. This makes Castle Lager the perfect partner for the Lions Series, which is hosted in South Africa every 12 years.
“We are very proud to become the official title partner for such a massive sporting event in the Lions Tour,” said Castle Lager Brand Director, Kudzi Mathabire. “Castle Lager has an established track record of enhancing the sports events it is associated with, and we look forward to working with the Lions and SA Rugby to create a truly memorable Series”.
As part of the agreement, Castle Lager will receive a comprehensive range of
in-stadia rights, including ticketing, hospitality, pouring rights, as well as kit branding rights, and access to Springbok and Lions players and coaches.
The deal also sees a newly-created Castle Lager branded Tour Series logo for use across a wide range of broadcasting, merchandising, digital and social media platforms.
The announcement comes off the back of the massive interest in the Castle Lager Lions Series from South African rugby supporters. More than 324 000 applications for tickets have been made since the ballot opened just nine weeks ago, with tickets for the three Test matches being oversubscribed.
It also coincides with the launch of the Castle Lager Lions Series dedicated website [lionsseries.com] and social media channels, where rugby supporters can keep up to date with all the latest tour news, read and watch exclusive content, as well as enter competitions to win merchandise.
“Castle Lager has extensive experience in rugby sponsorship, and we are delighted that they have made such a significant commitment to supporting the Tour,” said Ben Calveley, British & Irish Lions Managing Director.
The new partnership with Castle Lager reaffirms the brand’s commitment to uplifting sport in South Africa through sponsorship, in particular SA Rugby and the Springboks – with whom it has had an association since 1997.
“This represents a hat-trick for our friends at South African Breweries. They have now been the series partner for all three British & Irish Lions tours to South Africa in the professional era: first under the Lion brand in 1997 and with Castle Lager for the 2009 and 2021 tours.” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“It’s a tribute both to their enduring support for South African rugby, but also to the appeal of the sport and of a tour by the British & Irish Lions. The first two professional series to South Africa were epic events that entranced the rugby nation. I am sure next year’s edition will be the same,” Roux added.
The Castle Lager Lions Series kicks off on Saturday, 3 July 2021 and sees the Lions visit some of the most impressive stadiums in world sport. The Lions face the DHL Stormers in Cape Town in the 1st match. Three weeks later, the “Calabash” – the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, a venue which previously hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup final – will host the first Test. The second Test follows on Saturday, July 31 at the Cape Town Stadium, before the tourists return to Gauteng for the final Test on Saturday, 7 August at Emirates Airline Park, the storied venue of the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.
The Lions have toured South Africa on 13 previous occasions, with the first Tour taking place in 1891. In that time, the Lions have won four Test series, and lost eight with one drawn. Their overall record against the Springboks is: played 46, won 17, lost 23 and drawn six.