Partnership to drive further engagement in gender diversity, LGBTQ+ awareness, social change, and charitable campaigns
2022 fixtures at Twickenham will mark 150th anniversary of the Varsity Rugby Matches between Oxford and Cambridge
Jefferies has today been announced as the new title sponsor for The Varsity Matches —the annual Rugby Union fixtures between Oxford University and Cambridge University. Known as ‘the Battle of the Blues’, the matches are now key events in the Rugby calendar, taking place at Twickenham and televised live.
The 2022 fixtures will be the 150th anniversary of the first meeting between the sides, which took place at The Parks, Oxford, on 10 February 1872. The ‘Oxford Football Club’ was founded in 1869 and Cambridge followed in 1871. The current series stands at 64-61 in favour of Cambridge, with 14 matches drawn.
Both Jefferies and The Varsity Matches share a commitment to supporting inclusion through increased gender diversity, LGBTQ+ awareness, and creating lasting social change in the local communities where employees and students live and work. As part of the sponsorship, the two will collaborate on a series of initiatives including promotion of higher level education for students in disadvantaged communities, LGBTQ+ awareness campaigns to expand ally networks, and partnering with Leonard Cheshire, a charity that supports independent living and working for people of varying abilities. They will also be continuing the partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation on sustainability awareness projects such as urban beach cleans and the fan cup initiative in the stadium on match day.
Tim Jones, Chairman of the Varsity Match Company, said: “This is a major boost for our two showpiece matches and will add extra lustre to our celebration game at Twickenham in 2022. The partnership with Jefferies also fills us with confidence about the direction in which we are moving with our fixtures. Having added the women’s match to our big day out at Twickenham in 2015 we now offer a double dose of excitement every year.”
“Whilst we are incredibly proud of the 150 year rivalry between the two universities, we also realise we have to continue to evolve to ensure we provide the best possible student rugby experiences for the players at both Oxford and Cambridge. We also want to continue using our platform to encourage and inspire more participation in sport from all backgrounds, especially from those in more challenging circumstances. We are hugely appreciative of the support provided by Jefferies and look forward to working with them.”
Ed Keen, Head of Equities EMEA at Jefferies, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Varsity Matches. When discussing the sponsorship, it very quickly became clear that these historic fixtures represented an outstanding fit for the culture and values we believe in at Jefferies. In particular, the Varsity Matches are champions for diversity and inclusion in sport, including gender equality through their work as strong advocates for women’s rugby. As partners, we look forward to working with the Varsity Matches to create positive social change and increase career opportunities in financial services, through the power of sport.”
Dominic Lester, European Head of Investment Banking at Jefferies, added: “Like Jefferies, the Varsity Matches celebrate and support young talent, not only in the Rugby players on the pitch, but the many schools and students with whom they work. Our two organisations both hold strong core values that promote social inclusion and diversity, including support of the LGBTQ+ community and people impacted by disabilities, in addition to gender and racial equity. We are very proud to be involved with the Varsity Matches as they reach their milestone 150th anniversary and are excited by the opportunity to help them write the next chapter.”
Becky Lane, Vice President, Equity Research at Jefferies (Cambridge Rugby Blue, The Varsity Women’s Match 2013), added: “Rugby, like many team sports, instills important lifelong skills, such as teamwork, communication, resilience, respect, and the ability to adapt to change. As a former Cambridge University rugby player, there is much I owe to the sport and some of my best memories at University were made with team-mates on the pitch. Watching the evolution of The Varsity Matches over the years, the ongoing dedication to ensuring equal access for everyone to the sport is heartening. We believe that together, through this partnership, we will be able to further drive social change and create a platform that offers the opportunity of enriching lifelong experiences to all.”
The 2022 Varsity Matches will take place in the springtime, moving from their traditional December date, and from Thursday to Saturday. This will make the event more attractive to spectators, especially families, and enable the matches to reach a broader audience. Full details of the 150th anniversary Varsity Matches, along with ticket prices, will be announced shortly.
Jefferies Group LLC is the largest independent, global, full-service investment banking firm headquartered in the U.S. Focused on serving clients for nearly 60 years, Jefferies is a leader in providing insight, expertise and execution to investors, companies and governments. Our firm provides a full range of investment banking, advisory, sales and trading, research and wealth management services across all products in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Jefferies’ Leucadia Asset Management division is a growing alternative asset management platform. Jefferies Group LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jefferies Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: JEF), a diversified financial services company. For more information visit www.jefferies.com.
About The Varsity Matches
With the first Varsity Match being played in 1872, it is one of the world’s longest running sporting fixtures. It represents the pinnacle of amateur and student rugby where two of the most prestigious universities in the world compete for the title of Varsity holders. The current series stands at 64-61 in favour of Cambridge, with 14 matches drawn, while Oxford lead 21-13 in the women’s series that dates back to 1988. Full details on the 150th anniversary Varsity Match, along with ticket prices, can be found at: https://thevarsitymatches.com/.
For media inquiries:
Sara Boyes, Head of EMEA Communications, Jefferies
+44 (0)20 7029 8022