Irish Rugby Football Union Bags $27M Kit Deal With New Zealand Manufacturer Canterbury
The Irish Rugby Football Union has secured a bumper kit deal with Canterbury said to be worth €20M ($27M) over six years, according to Ruaidhri O'Connor of the IRISH INDEPENDENT. The deal "is the biggest of its kind in Irish sport and comes as a major boost to the coffers at Lansdowne Road after the union had to shell out to keep the likes of Jamie Heaslip and Sean O'Brien from moving to France at the end of the season." The New Zealand manufacturers "will replace outgoing partners Puma," which paid €11.5M last year to break from its €40M contract signed in '09. While the replacement deal "is not on par with that record agreement," the €3.3M ($4.5M) it will contribute to the accounts "will come as a welcome fillip to the union who have not gone unscathed by the impact of the economic downturn" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 1/28). The IRISH TIMES reported Canterbury has previously been kit supplier to the IRFU "and the new deal will cover two World Cups in the time period" up to '20. The deal "covers all match day, training and bench wear for the national squad as well as all junior and underage teams and women’s national side" (IRISH TIMES, 1/27).