Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure

Gloucester sporting giant joins forces with Rugby Australia

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 25 June 2020 8:04

Gloucester sporting giant joins forces with Rugby Australia

Rugby Australia has appointed Sports Travel & Hospitality Group (STH) as its exclusive travel provider, which sees the creation of new brand, Wallabies Travel. 

The six-year agreement, which will include Rugby World Cup 2023 and the Lions Tour in 2025, will give Australian rugby fans access to ‘once-in-a-lifetime experiences’ and travel packages, and aims to reignite the love of rugby travel in Australia. 

STH Group is a joint venture between Gloucester-based Mike Burton Group and Sodexo, set up to “delivers premium spectator experiences at the largest sporting events in the world”. 

“STH approached Rugby Australia with an innovative and broadminded approach to providing Australian Rugby fans with exceptional event experiences,” said Peter Sciberras, general manager commercial partnerships at Rugby Australia. 

“STH will market Wallabies Travel opportunities through their extensive global customer base and we look forward to welcoming them to our events.” 

STH works in partnership with rights holders to some of the biggest sporting events in the world, and has been the global rights holder for the official hospitality and travel programmes for Rugby World Cup 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019, was exclusive provider of In-Venue Hospitality (IVH) programme at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, official ticking and travel partner for the British Olympic Association (BOA) and official partner for International Cricket Council (ICC) - to name but a few. 

Mike Burton Group was founded by its namesake, former Gloucester Rugby, England and British and Irish Lions prop, Mike Burton who played 366 times for the Gloucestershire club. 

The business also has joint venture companies with the British & Irish Lions (Lions Rugby Travel) and the RFU (England Rugby Travel) - all of which operate from the company’s head office in Gloucester. 

David Caldwell, STH group general manager ANZ, said: “We are thrilled to be working with one of the most recognisable sporting brands, not just in Australia but the world. 

“We are now completely focused on building a long and successful partnership with Rugby Australia that benefits Wallaby fans and both organisations.”

Wallabies Travel is the latest STH partnership venture and joins other brands such as Team GB Live with the British Olympic Association, ICC Travel & Tours with the International Cricket Council and All Blacks Tours with New Zealand Rugby. 

“The creation of Wallabies Travel is a very exciting moment for STH as it means we have now expanded our global footprint into Australia,” said Simon Jefford, the CEO of STH Group. 

“Our purpose is to make ‘the memorable unforgettable’ and I believe our partnership with Rugby Australia represents a major step forward for sports travel within the region and the foundation for innovative new hospitality experiences for Australian rugby fans.” 

STH, the world’s leading provider of sports travel and hospitality, now have offices in the UK, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. 

In addition to its extensive travel programme line-up, STH operate and market hospitality programmes at some of the world’s biggest sporting events, including being the exclusive provider of In-Venue Hospitality (IVH) at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

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