The International Rugby Board has announced that Specsavers will sponsor the match officials for the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour to Hong Kong and Australia, which kicks off on June 1.
As part of the arrangement, the officials will wear Specsavers-branded kit for each of the tour matches, including the three Tests between the Lions and Australia.
IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “This is good news for Rugby and shows the healthy state the sport is in as regards attracting top-class commercial partners.”
“Specsavers has a proven track record within the sports sector and we are looking forward to working closely with them.”
Specsavers chairman and former Llanelli second row Doug Perkins said: “Good eyesight is clearly very important in competitive sport. While there continues to be exciting technological innovations to aid referees, we will always rely on their personal judgement too. At Specsavers we’re glad to do our bit where we can to help ensure that they get the best possible support to do their job.”
Specsavers will be supporting the tour, which runs from June 1 to July 6, with sponsorship of the referees running in conjunction with a typically innovative advertising campaign across television, internet and social media.
In addition to the Lions match officials, Specsavers is building on its existing portfolio of sporting sponsorships that includes the Scottish Football Association match officials, RaboDirect PRO12 league and women’s GAA in Ireland.