Performance apparel and footwear company Under Armour has signed a nine-year partnership extension with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).
The deal is the longest on record for a Wales kit supplier, becoming a 17-year partnership that will see the brand be part of the team’s sports performance through to 2025.
The sports brand’s presence in rugby is growing, with Under Armour first emerging in the sport as official technical partner of WRU in 2008, when the Wales national side became the first licensed rugby team to wear Under Armour’s technical apparel.
Under Armour has also become title sponsor of Welsh rugby’s autumn international series matches, for the next nine years. The Under Armour Series 2016, which will welcome four teams including Australia, Argentina, and South Africa to Principality Stadium on consecutive Saturdays in November.
The partnership will also provide WRU with access to Under Armour’s Connected Fitness platform, which will provide athletes with health, fitness, and training data to improve their performance.
Kevin Plank, Under Armour founder and CEO, said: “We have always identified with the WRU team’s challenger spirit and determined attitude, which align with our core values at Under Armour. I’m proud to form a long-term partnership with the WRU and look forward to seeing our innovative performance gear produce world-class results on the pitch.”
Martyn Phillips, WRU CEO, said: “Welsh rugby’s partnership with Under Armour is a key foundation for our future plans and upholding the legacy of our national sport. We have much in common, in that we are both ‘challenger brands’ who have a tendency to ‘punch above our weight’. The positive impact of this partnership, which also sees Under Armour take on the role of series sponsor for our autumn matches for nine years, will reach new heights on a global scale. I’m excited about the future, the potential for both brands and the opportunity to deliver on higher ambitions.”
Gareth Davies, WRU chairman said: “With the new partnership extension, Under Armour will become one of the WRU’s longest serving commercial partners, supporting Welsh rugby through three decades. Their support and dedication to our national side has been unwavering, reflecting some great successes for us on the field.”
In addition to match day kits, Under Armour will provide training apparel to the WRU first team, age grade squads, Sevens and Women’s teams.