Fresh for 2023, we have become the RFU's Official Partner to the England Men's team, the Red Roses and the title sponsor of the Continental Tyres Schools Cup.
Our partnership will focus on performance and safety both on and off the pitch, through the RFU's involvement with schools and other opportunities for both boys and girls to play.
Inside the stadium, the sponsorship will see our branding run along the perimeter advertising screens, as well as on television screens around the concourse, entrance, team areas, and the big screen.
Outside the stadium, there will be more than 1,000 stewards kitted out in our branded uniforms, on hand to help guide and direct fans safely on match days, including from the newly rebranded Continental Tyres Rosebine Car Park.
As excitement is already building around the Men's World Cup later this year, we will also work closely with the RFU to focus on accelerating growth of the women and girls' game through school linked activity.
Steve Grainger, RFU Executive Director of Rugby Development said: "We're really pleased to announce Continental Tyres' long-term partnership with the RFU. The Conti Schools Cup is an important part of the age-grade rugby competition landscape and support from Continental Tyres to enhance this over time is significant. In addition, they will work with us on our broader rugby activity in schools for both boys and girls."
Whilst everyone enjoys the fast-paced action of a rugby game and the high level of performance demonstrated by the players, it's important this goes hand-in-hand with the safety of all involved, both on and off the pitch. Along with our core value of Passion to Win, we are excited to kick off this high-profile partnership following our long history of involvement in both male and female sport, from grassroots to the very highest level.
Across February and March of this year, we were proud to support the Senior Men's team across the Guinness Six Nations Tournament. Even though Ireland came out on top across the whole competition, it was great to see England defeat Italy and Wales to secure fourth place in this year's tournament. For all home fixtures at Twickenham we were thrilled to host a VIP circle (located just outside the Spirit of Rugby entrance), to ensure a few lucky few got the chance to see the Senior Men's team up close and personal to share their support ahead of the big game.
We also showed our support through prominent branding, which could be seen both inside and outside of the stadium. With the Guinness Six Nations now complete for this year, we look forward to getting behind the Senior Men's team later this summer for the Men's World Cup!
Following the Guinness Six Nations, we had the final stages of the Continental Tyres Schools Cup take place, where Twickenham Stadium hosted the U18 & U15 teams to compete for the coveted Vase and Cup trophies. It was great to see so much support for the teams on the day and it was also streamed live on YouTube where over 68,000 people tuned in to watch!
For the Under 18’s Cup Final, Oakham School ended their 20-year wait for a title by defeating last year’s winners Trinity School 31-24. When it came to the U18 Vase Final, Old Swinford Hospital School claimed the trophy, despite drawing 33-33 with Samuel Whitbred Academy (in the end it all came down to who scored the first try!). With the U15’s Cup Final, Northampton School for Boys took the win against King’s College Wimbledon with the final score being 38-21, whilst Old Swinford Hospital School claimed further glory earlier in the day winning the U15 Vase final, defeating Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School 40-21. All in all, it was a lovely day both on and off the pitch and we look forward to working with the RFU to grow this competition further in years to come.
From our continued support of women’s football over the past 12 years, it’s fair to say we have always recognised the value of sport. From our uninterrupted role as title partner to The FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup starting back in 2011, to being the Official Tyre Partner to the England Senior Women’s Team, the growth of women’s football has been outstanding.
We are proud to say we supported the Lionesses during their World Cup journey back in 2019, all the way to their well-deserved win at the UEFA European Women’s Championship in 2022! Through our associated Grip the Nation campaign, we championed the message that sport is for everyone, whilst keeping safety and performance at the heart of everything we do.
In addition to our support of the senior women's division over the years, we had another goal in mind to get the younger generation involved in sport too. That’s why back in 2011-2015, we worked with the FA Girls’ Football Festivals to come up with Grassroots, a festival where 35,000 children in England got involved in various interactive games, in addition to playing mini matches and getting a chance to meet many WSL players. They also had the opportunity to see the official women’s football trophies for themselves - inspiring the next generation has always been important to us.
With all this experience under our belt, it felt natural to partner with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) too. Read more about our latest partnership below.
"We're really pleased to announce Continental Tyres' long-term partnership with the RFU. The Conti Schools Cup is an important part of the age-grade rugby competition landscape and support from Continental Tyres to enhance this over time is significant. In addition, they will work with us on our broader rugby activity in schools for both boys and girls."
Steve Grainger, RFU Executive Director of Rugby Development
From the defiant act of William Webb Ellis picking up a ball and running with it back in 1841, from the school he attended (Rugby School) adopting it as a sport, it's fair to say Rugby has jumped through leaps and bounds to get to where it is today.
In 1871 (the same year Continental was founded), the first governing body of Rugby was formed as we all know it today being the Rugby Football Union. From this point onward, Rugby as a sport really started to grow, with rules officially set, the first international match took place - Scotland vs. England, where Scotland historically took the first win.
With the years that followed, Rugby continued to go from strength to strength. In 1879, the iconic Calcutta Cup made its first appearance. The famous trophy, made from 270 melted down silver rupees left in the bank account of the disbanded Calcutta Football Cup, was presented to the Rugby Football Union in 1878. From that point onward, the trophy has become quite the tradition between all England vs. Scotland fixtures, creating a great sense of competition over the years, right up to this present day!
By the early 1900's, the Rugby Football Union decided it was time for the sport to have a home ground in England. They bought a piece of land, then known as Fairfield Estate on the outskirts of Isleworth and Twickenham and by 1909, Twickenham Stadium hosted its first match - and it's been the home of England Rugby since.
Throughout the 1900s, notable events such as World War I and II also shaped Rugby culture as we see it today. Did you know, the Rose and Poppy Gate at Twickenham Stadium is a recognised War Memorial in memory of all fallen rugby players?
Another notable event over the years was the Rugby Football Union's Centenary, where they celebrated their 100th year in 1971, with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II famously seen greeting All-star teams from around the world to the stadium.
Following in the 1980s, the introduction of one of the fastest growing sports was established when the Women's Rugby Football Union (WRFU) was formed in 1984. Thanks to those original women who met at University College in London to make this possible, the women's sport has accelerated to where it is today. Even this year, the Red Rose's will be playing their first standalone match vs. France in Twickenham this April - you won't want to miss that!