Under Armour to quit Welsh rugby deal after 2020

Sports apparel brand Under Armour is to terminate its kit deal with the Welsh Rugby Union at the end of 2020, with four years left on the contract, according to UK press reports.

The US-based company has been the WRU’s kit supplier since 2008, and signed a nine-year renewal in 2015, worth a reported £3.7m (€4.3m/$4.8m) per year, to 2024.

According to the BBC’s Wales Online service, the union is currently in discussions with a number of suppliers to take over the deal from 2021.

Craig Maxwell, the WRU’s sales & marketing manager, told Wales Online: “We had conversations with Under Armour middle to end of last year, where they were identifying their strategy was changing.

“So we decided after 11 years together it was probably best for both of us that we looked at what else was in the market. We have had a massively successful 11 years together.

“They have been incredible with their support for us. They have been absolutely amazing and we have done a lot to help them, launching in the European market.”

Read this: Under Armour wraps up Wales rugby until 2024

Maxwell said that both parties wanted to keep the partnership in place for this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

“We also wanted to go further than that, so any supporter buying a jersey for Japan can know it’s got that normal 18 month to two year longevity on it,” he said.

Maxwell said talks with prospective new partners began before Christmas. Conversations continued with five or six companies during the Six Nations championship, which was won by Wales.

“We are now in a position over the next month where we are waiting to receive the offers and we will need to make a decision then,” he said.

The WRU is looking for a seven-year commitment from the new partner.