Irish rugby handed massive boost by Puma deal
The Irish Rugby Football Union, the governing body of rugby union in Ireland, has secured what is believed to be the single biggest sponsorship deal in Irish sporting history. Puma will pay US$53 million to manufacture the kit for the Irish national team, which recently won the Grand Slam in the Six Nations Championship, for the next eight years.
The national team's existing deal with Canterbury runs out at the end of the current season, and the IRFU has moved quickly to capitalise on its Six Nations success. Another of the IRFU's major sponsors, O2, is keen to extend its six-year, US$16m deal, which runs until 2012.
"The IRFU is delighted to enter into this relationship with Puma, an organisation, we feel, that not only understands rugby supporters but also has a proven track record in the sport," said IRFU chief executive Philip Browne. "With all of its proven technical experience, innovative product design and development and support systems, we are very excited about the future with Puma and we look forward to a very successful partnership."
Puma chief executive Jochen Zeit said: "This is a fantastic opportunity and we are thrilled to announce our partnership with the Irish Rugby Football Union — one of the world’s leading rugby teams."
- Length of contract: 8 years
- Annualised value: US$6.6 million
- Overall value: US$53 million
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