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Super Rugby snaps up Vodafone on 4 year naming deal

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Vodafone has announced a stunning return to Australian Rugby after today being confirmed as the new naming rights partner for Super Rugby in Australia.

Australian Rugby Union (ARU) and Vodafone today announced a new four-year partnership in time for the 2017 season, which kicks off on February 23 when the Melbourne Rebels host the Blues (NZ) in Melbourne.

Vodafone was previously naming rights partner for the Super Rugby competition in Australia from 2001-2003 and naming rights partner for the Wallabies for 5 years, with its brand featuring on the front of the Wallabies jersey from 1998 to 2003.

The telecommunications giant will also break new ground in its involvement with Rugby by becoming the back of jersey sponsors for Australia’s women’s fifteens team, the Wallaroos.

ARU CEO, Bill Pulver said: “Vodafone and Australian Rugby have a long history together dating back to when the Vodafone logo first appeared on the Wallabies jersey in 1998 and we are proud to welcome them back as the naming rights partner for Super Rugby in Australia for the next four years.

“You could argue that this is the biggest ‘comeback’ in Australian Rugby this season and we look forward to working with Vodafone to make this 22nd season of Super Rugby in Australia the best yet.

“We are also incredibly proud to have Vodafone’s support for the Wallaroos in a huge year for Women’s Rugby with the World Cup taking place in Ireland in August.”

Vodafone Australia Customer Business Director, Ben McIntosh said: "Vodafone is thrilled to be returning to Rugby, where we had fantastic success building our brand in the early 2000s. It’s a sport we all love, and gives us a great opportunity to really connect with Australians right across the country.

"With teams based across the country, Super Rugby gives Vodafone a chance to show off the significant investment in the network we have made throughout Australia. Independent tests have shown that we have the best network in the cities where teams are based, giving us a great platform to show it off.

“We’re also equally excited to be a major supporter of the Wallaroos and women’s sport in Australia.”

Vodafone’s return to Rugby is one of its first forays back into sports partnerships in Australia after a four-year absence from 2012-2016.

As well as its extensive history in Australian Rugby, Vodafone is a significant supporter of Rugby worldwide with existing partnerships across the globe including in New Zealand, South Africa (Vodacom), the UK and Ireland.

Note to editors: Stephen Moore and George Smith (both Queensland Reds) are the only players currently on an Australian Super Rugby roster who were playing in the competition when Vodafone last held Super Rugby naming rights in Australia in 2003.