Vodafone unveils ‘Ireland’s Ball’ ahead of Rugby World Cup in Japan

Vodafone Ireland’s Ball includes 32 signatures from fans from all over Ireland, signifying how rugby unites everyone

Vodafone Ireland, the official sponsor of the Irish rugby team, recently unveiled ‘Ireland’s Ball’ ahead of Rugby World Cup in Japan. It is part of the brand’s #TeamOfUs campaign.

The concept of the ball, unique as it is, was created by agency JWT Folk. The brand celebrates the nature of how rugby brings people together and unites the whole country, and even the world, despite many differences; which is why the ball features the fingerprints of 32 people who represent the 32 counties in Ireland. The 32 fingerprints were selected from fans from all over Ireland.

Contributors of the fingerprints include Brian John Spencer, a Belfast artist; Ciarra Griffin (Kerry), women’s rugby captain; John Burke (Clare), who climbed Mount Everest in 2017; Maeve Cox (Meath), the first baby born in Ireland in 2019; and Matt Ni Grioffa (Connemara), founder of An Ghaeltacht Rugbaí, an Irish-speaking rugby team.

The ball will travel to Japan with the team as a special symbol of the campaign and what it signifies.

The brand has also launched a competition searching for a special individual to present the ball to the Irish rugby team before they depart for Japan. The presentation of the ball will take place at the Aviva Stadium on 6 September.

“In the world cup year, we have explored the inclusive nature of rugby in Ireland and how our #TeamOfUs sponsorship can play a key role in this. We are conscious that most fans won’t be able to travel to Japan, even though support exists in every corner of Ireland,” said Vodafone’s Head of Sponsorship and Business Brand, Gerry Nixon.

“Ireland’s Ball will carry the identity of people from all 32 counties showing this support and it will go all the way to Japan, so even though lots of fans cannot be there, they can be represented in this way”

Karl Waters, Creative Partner from JWT Folk added: “Through our latest strand of the Team of Us sponsorship, we have explored how rugby can be inclusive and a unifier on the island of Ireland.

“Ireland’s Ball brings this to life in a really exciting way. We have created a symbol that represents people from the across the country, that can not only go to Japan but live in beyond there too.”