Digital Shirt & TVC Lead HSBC Lions ‘Legendary Journey’

HSBC, principle sponsor of the British and Irish Lions, is building excitement around the team’s upcoming tour of Australia with a new film, TV spot and interactive YouTube experience.


The spearhead ‘Legendary Journey’ commercial leverages the fact that it is 125 years since the British & Irish Lions first set sail to Australia.


The creative re-imagines Captain Cook’s epic voyage aboard HMB Endeavour.


The explorer, navigator and cartographer actually made three journeys to the Pacific Ocean and achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia.


But this time retelling of his story sees the vessel is crewed by Brian O’Driscoll, Warren Gatland and other famous lions legends and rugby figures.


The campaign features a selection of HSBC rugby brand ambassadors – including Jason Robinson, Jonathan Davies, Gavin Hastings, Brian O’Driscoll and George Gregan – all of whom will provide unique insights in to the Lions through the course of the tour.


The TV ad was launched to coincide with the squad announcement – which was also covered by HSBC’s Lions Monthly long-form video updates.



Supporting the online trailer and the TV ad, an interactive YouTube experience hosts the story of the legendary lions. This platform will also evolve with up to the minute exclusive content including all the latest news from the tour.


Another online element of HSBC’s British & Irish Lions campaign sees the launch of a digital Lions shirt as the centrepiece of the main online destination for all Lions rugby fans – www.lionsrugby.com.


The touring team’s iconic red jersey has been reworked as an online content sharing platform which hosts hundreds of existing Lions related photos and videos. It also invites fans themselves to upload their own Lions-related photos and good luck messages into the digital shirt’s empty pixels.


The digital jersey, which can be viewed and shared online, features innovative ‘deep zoom’ technology (created by software and data visualisation outfit Shoothill).


Former Lions (and Scotland) captain Gavin Hastings, in his role as HSBC ambassador, fronts a digital shirt promotional video.



The digital Lions shirt, complete with all its support messages, will be shared with The Lions squad to illustrate the depth of support they have from fans around the world.


‘It’s fitting that as we celebrate 125 years of The British & Irish Lions we have been able to create a virtual version of the iconic jersey that allows all fans to be a part of the shirt,’ says Charlie McEwan, Director of Sales and Marketing for British Lions Limited. ‘We’re urging as many fans as possible to sign up and register their messages of support and play their role in the success of the Tour off and hopefully on the field.”


‘Rewarding fans with exclusive never- seen-before imagery and videos as well as providing an opportunity to lend their support has been a priority for HSBC since we renewed our partnership with The British & Irish Lions,’ outlines Andrea de Vincentiis, Head of Rugby Sponsorship HSBC Holdings plc. ‘We are urging everyone to join the journey and upload their messages of support for the team.’




The bank was the Principal Partner to the last British & Irish Lions Tour to South Africa in 2009 and becomes the first Lions Principal Partner to renew their association for two consecutive tours.


HSBC has a long-standing investment in global rugby, with several professional and grass roots community rugby programmes around the world.


HSBC’s support for the game aims to boost the international growth of the game and to help rugby to achieve its potential for bringing together different people from different cultures through a shared love of the game.


The objective of the TV part of the latest campaign is to build excitement around the tour and awareness of HSBC’s Lions partnership, while the digital shirt aims to encourage fans to get directly involved and become part of history.


HSBC will also use the sponsorship to continue building long-lasting relationships with its key stakeholders, provide unique opportunities to its customers and to further engage and motivate its employees.




Lions Legendary Journey TVC Trailer YouTube



Lions Website



Digital Lions Shirt Online Film YouTube



Digital Lions Shirt Mosaic Website



HSBC Website



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