Portsmouth Football Club and the world's leading rugby brand, Canterbury of New Zealand, have announced a ground breaking deal, which will see the international sports wear manufacturer supply the Premier League side with first team kit, training apparel and bench wear from the beginning of next season.
The deal will also bring to football, the first layered kit system with Canterbury combining its revolutionary BaseLayer product with playing apparel.
The deal will also see Canterbury work in conjunction with the club to produce a bespoke range of Off-Field clothing for fans.
The long-term agreement marks Canterbury's entry into the lucrative football kit manufacturing market, having established themselves as the leading global brand in rugby with kit deals in place with many of the world's top rugby nations including; Australia, Ireland, South Africa, Scotland and Japan as well as Heineken Cup finalists London Wasps.
Canterbury's initial involvement in football came through the supplying of their innovative BaseLayer products to players and clubs in all of Europe's top leagues. The BaseLayer range launched in 2004 has quickly become the leading technical product of its kind. In a year that will see the company supply five international Rugby Unions with playing, training and BaseLayer product for the IRB 2007 Rugby World Cup, the development of a new football business is further evidence of Canterbury's ongoing position as a respected sports technology company.
Peter Storrie, Chief Executive of Portsmouth FC, said: "At a time when the ambitions and development of Portsmouth FC are growing on the pitch, it is essential that we look to commercial partners who mirror our aspirations. Canterbury's global presence as well as their innovative and fresh thinking approach to kit manufacturing will help the club to develop both on and off the field.
"The kit that Canterbury is providing the club will be the most technically advanced in the Premiership, and the first ever to include a layered system combining Canterbury's BaseLayer technology with our football shirts. This coupled with the commercial advantages of Canterbury providing a bespoke fashion range for the fans means the partnership is an exciting prospect that everyone at the club is looking forward to.
Joe Middleton, CEO Canterbury of New Zealand, commented: "The deal with Portsmouth FC brings together two brands that are looking to use technology and innovation to grow their respective businesses. The move into football marks an exciting time for the Canterbury brand as well as an excellent opportunity to showcase the expertise of the company to a new audience.
Both Canterbury and Portsmouth FC are companies with similar ambitions to grow and achieve success in the sporting arena, so this deal is seen by both parties as an ideal partnership.
"Our company is in a unique position to not only be able to call upon a rich sporting heritage, but also be able to offer Portsmouth FC our proven track record in the production of high tech performance equipment." Established in 1904, Canterbury's sporting credentials over the past century have included providing kit to the New Zealand, Australian, South African and Irish national rugby union sides, the 1995 New Zealand America's Cup team as well as player endorsements with a host of leading international rugby stars.
In 2004 the company launched its BaseLayer technical performance range which has been used by athletes including golfer Michael Campbell, cricketer James Benning, South African rugby star Bryan Habana as well as a host of Premiership footballers.