British & Irish Lions Appoint Mike Burton

The British & Irish Lions have appointed the Mike Burton Group to exclusively manage the Official Licensed Operator programme for the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa.

The contract will see the Mike Burton Group recommend for appointment a network of specialist travel and hospitality agents, who between them will market and sell a variety of official ticket-inclusive supporter travel and corporate hospitality products.

After a competitive tender process to appoint the Official Licensed Operators, the Mike Burton Group will manage the tickets allocated to the British & Irish Lions travel and hospitality programme for all of the provincial fixtures and the three Test matches.

It is the first time that the British & Irish Lions have appointed one company to manage the entire travel and hospitality operation.

Commenting on the appointment John Feehan, the British Lions Limited chief executive, said: “The Mike Burton business offers unrivalled knowledge and expertise, and has a proven track record in supporter travel, corporate hospitality and event management.

“Tens of thousands of supporters travelled to New Zealand in 2005 and the number travelling in 2009 is expected to be considerably more.

“With demand for tickets set to outweigh supply, the Official Licensed Operator programme will provide fans with a clear and secure way to guarantee their place on the tour to South Africa.

“It is important to highlight that fans obtaining tickets from unofficial sources run the risk of having those tickets cancelled.”

The British & Irish Lions appointment builds on the Mike Burton Group’s existing long standing official contracts with Rugby World Cup Limited and the Rugby Football Union.

Andrew Burton, chief executive of the Mike Burton Group, said: “The official appointment supports our long term business objectives.

“This is a prestigious contract and we are extremely proud to be associated with the British & Irish Lions.

“Lions tours are steeped in tradition and there is always unprecedented demand to follow the team.”

The Official Licensed Operator programme will see a number of specialist companies appointed to sell official ticket-inclusive supporter travel packages and official corporate hospitality products.

A new company, Lions Tour Limited, has been set up to manage the contract.


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