30 April 2009 - International oil, metals and minerals commodities trader Trafigura has agreed to become a sponsor of the British and Irish Lions for their 2009 tour of South Africa. The Tour, which takes place between 30 May and 4 July, is the sporting event of 2009 with an estimated 50,000 fans travelling to South Africa from the British Isles, and a projected global television audience of 220 million.
Trafigura will join British Airways, Guinness and First Cape Wines as the Lions Fourth Official Sponsor, in a commercial family that is led by Lions Principal Partner HSBC and adidas the Official Kit Supplier.
This agreement builds on Trafigura’s growing rugby interests, as the company recently renewed its sponsorship of Rugby Canada’s national senior men’s team following their 2008 European tour.
“The Lions Tour is always one of the most exciting series in world rugby, particularly as 2009 will see the tourists take on the world champions in their own backyard,” commented Trafigura’s Head of Fuel Oil Andy Summers, who is responsible for the company’s rugby sponsorship activities. “We are already extremely proud of our rugby ties and are delighted to be sponsoring such an historic event. We wish the players and management the very best of luck.”
Gerald Davies, the Lions’ Tour manager, commented: “We are very pleased to strengthen our sponsorship team with the addition of Trafigura. They are fast becoming known as a global supporter of rugby and it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to draw upon their undoubted passion for the game.”
Trafigura’s involvement with the Lions will also include close collaboration between the Lions Trust and the company’s community investment vehicle, the Trafigura Foundation. The Lions are renowned for their holistic approach to touring with an emphasis on using their reputation to raise the profile of ethical and charitable causes. The Trafigura Foundation supports many employee-driven projects around the world, and during the tour it will be available to assist the Lions Trust’s activities in South Africa.