The British & Irish Lions Appoint IMG
The British & Irish Lions have appointed global sports and culture company IMG as its worldwide licensing agency in a multi-year deal through 2027.
The partnership will see IMG develop a wide range of licensed products for fans of the iconic rugby union team, as they prepare for their eagerly anticipated tour of Australia in 2025. Inspired by the team’s rich legacy and identity, The British & Irish Lions branded range will include fan merchandise, fashion apparel and sporting accessories for all genders and ages. The new partnership will aim to further grow the Lions brand beyond the field and into new markets through innovative and authentic collaborations and experiences.
The British & Irish Lions is an iconic sporting brand in the world of rugby. Every four years, the Lions – the best players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are selected to travel to the southern hemisphere to take on Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa on landmark tours. In addition, The British & Irish Lions is currently exploring the concept of an inaugural Lions Women’s Tour following positive findings arising from a feasibility study which investigated all key aspects of creating a first ever Lions Women’s Tour. The British & Irish Lions has global fan base of almost 14 million people and this new agreement with IMG will help bring the fans closer to the Lions, giving them new and varied avenues to engage with the team and express their pride.
Tom Halsey, Commercial Director at The British & Irish Lions said; “We are delighted to be partnering with IMG in what is an exciting period for the organisation as we build towards the eagerly anticipated 2025 Tour to Australia and beyond. The British & Irish Lions brand and organisation has never been stronger with a growing global fan base, a strong level of engagement through our various digital platforms, and a range of commercial partners comprised of some of the biggest brands and organisations in the world.
“This partnership comes at a critical time as our preparation for the 2025 Tour continues to ramp up and underlines our long-term strategic ambition, which is to be the most successful and admired sporting brand. To achieve this, we need to be working alongside the very best agencies and IMG fall into that category. Partnering with IMG will allow us to grow The British & Irish Lions brand further by helping us to connect with fans on a broader scale providing them with high-quality Lions merchandise and experiences.”
Mickael Andreo, Vice President of Licensing at IMG, said, “With more than a century of history and tradition and high resonance across the globe, The British & Irish Lions is one of the strongest brands in sports. The fans are at the core of the team’s legacy, making every tour memorable in its own way. We are honoured to work with The British & Irish Lions to help capture the imagination of a new generation of rugby and broader sports fans and ensure that the 2025 Tour is the most iconic one yet.”
The deal strengthens IMG’s licensing foothold in rugby. As World Rugby’s global master licensee, the agency has delivered licensing programmes for the Rugby World Cup 2023 and 2019, as well as the Women’s Rugby World Cup and the World Rugby U20 Championship. IMG also exclusively represents the global licensing rights for Fédération Française de Rugby (FFR).