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SARU names Asics as new kit partner

Sports performance brand Asics has agreed a six-year deal to become the official apparel sponsor of the South African Rugby Union (SARU).

The deal will run for six years, from 2014 until 2019.

The agreement comprises the South African national team’s kit as well as all associated national teams – including women’s sides and all age-group teams, as well as SARU referees.

The new kit will be worn for the first time by an SARU team in January at the International Rugby Board Sevens World Series, and the deal also covers two Rugby World Cups, in England in 2015 and Japan in 2019.

“Making use of local manufacturers was one of the criteria in the tendering process and we have been impressed in the way Asics has approached this,” SARU chief executive Jurie Roux said. “Their team has already held a number of discussions with potential suppliers around the country.”

Alistair Cameron, president and chief executive of Asics’ Europe, Middle East and Africa division, added: “With South Africa providing huge growth potential, Asics’ partnership with SARU is a chance for us to continue to build our brand awareness and positioning in the South African market, whilst also supporting the Springboks in their quest to become the number one rugby side in the world.”

Asics is already a partner of the Athletics Australia organisation and the Cricket Australia governing body.