Sportswear brand raises £7.5m to break into professional football kits sector

From left: Tom Beahon, Sir Andy Murray and Phil Beahon

Castore, the Liverpool-based premium sportswear company, has raised £7.5m from undisclosed private investors to accelerate its move into professional team sports where it will go head-to-head with global giants Nike and Adidas.

The company, founded by brothers Tom and Phil Beahon in 20156, will leverage its expertise in technology-driven product development and digital marketing to provide a differentiated offering to clubs.

Castore expects to become the official kit supplier of teams from the Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga for the 2021 season.

In addition to top-flight football, the brand is targeting endorsement deals with international rugby and cricket federations.

Castore sells sportswear for gym use, athletics, tennis and golf in 57 countries.

In January 2019 it forged a partnership with tennis ace Sir Andy Murray.

He wears Castore kit on court and is a shareholder in the business.

Castore made its first move into team sports in December 2019, signing a three-year deal with Cricket West Indies to become their official team kit partner from June 2020. Castore will also launch a collaboration with McLaren Automotive later this year.

The £7.5m fundraising is the largest yet by the company which has grown rapidly in the past five years and is forecast to reach annual revenues of £37m in 2020.

Castore began sounding out potential backers last Summer.

As well as funding from new high net worth investors, whose names have not been disclosed, it has secured finance from existing shareholders including Arnaud Massenet, the co-founder of Net-a-Porter fashion group, Robert Senior, a former Saatchi & Saatchi chief executive, and Tom Singh, founder of New Look.

Tom Beahon said: “Our latest fundraise is a strong endorsement of the businesses performance to date and our strategy of building Castore into a global premium sportswear brand.

“These funds give us the firepower to expand in a number of exciting areas including partnerships with some of world’s most exciting professional teams.

“Castore creates products that enhance athletes’ performance and we look forward to more leading athletes benefiting from our truly innovative technologies.”

Castore expects to sign its first football deals in time for the start of the 2020-21 season. Some of the new funds raised will also be used to launch its first range of footwear and to accelerate international growth.