The British & Irish Lions have appointed London agency Turnstile to provide sponsorship valuation services as part of the early stages of the build-up to their tour to Australia in 2025.

This might suggest that there would be a search on for a fourth principle partner in four tours, with Vodafone having signed up one year out from last year’s tour to South Africa.

There has been no indication on whether this might be renewed for Australia. The two tours prior to ’21 were Standard Life and HSBC.

Turnstile is a big player in the global market having been employed by F1, UEFA and the Rugby World Cup to undertake similar projects in recent years.

The premise they work on is determining the respective value of the three key components of sponsorship – benefits, exposure and intellectual property.

Tom Halsey, Commercial Director of The British & Irish Lions, explained that they were looking for an approach that provides powerful and transparent insight about the fair market price of their sponsorship assets whilst also capturing the value to partners of associating with such an iconic rugby brand, and possessing a sizeable and highly passionate fan base.

“We felt Turnstile ticked these boxes really well,” he said. “Their deep insight into the market rates being paid for Exposure assets such as playing apparel and digital content really stood out to us, as well their market-leading approach to valuing Intellectual Property.’

“Turnstile will provide us with valuations that are not only rigorous but reflect the entire value proposition of The British & Irish Lions.”

“We’re thrilled to be supporting The British and Irish Lions,” said Dan Gaunt, General Manager at Turnstile.

“We’ve been tracking their fan base in our global consumer research program for some time and, unsurprisingly, we know there are really strong levels of consumer sentiment towards the brand. We’re confident that our experience in valuing deals across many of the world’s biggest rugby properties will deliver invaluable insight.”

Sport for Business Perspective

The Lions is one of Rugby’s mega sponsorship deals as evidenced by three different sponsors, all of them major blue-chip companies, in the last three tours. It could well be that Vodafone will renew given a strong partnership with the sport and presence on both hemispheres, but valuing a rights bundle is more likely if the indications are that this will be going to market again.

 

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