Liverpool sportswear brand in £25m kit deal with Glasgow Rangers FC

Liverpool-based Castore sportswear has signed a deal worth £25m to be the new kit and retail partner to Rangers Football Club.

It is the first deal of its kind since the firm announced a £7.5m fund raising in February this year to accelerate its penetration of professional team sports, including football.

The fast-growing British brand – which last year launched a partnership with tennis star Sir Andy Murray – has agreed a long term deal with the Ibrox club.

The new partnership will commence in the 2020/2021 season and sees Castore supply Rangers with all on- and off-field technical apparel and take over their physical and e-commerce retail operations, including the Ibrox stadium megastore.

As part of the deal Castore plans to open 10 Rangers stores across the UK and internationally.

Castore will have the global rights to merchandise replica Rangers kit which will be priced in line with that of other leading British clubs.

This is the Liverpool-based company’s first move into professional football and comes hot on the heels of its partnership with the West Indies Cricket Federation.

Castore will supply the West Indies team with kit during the coming season, including their defence of the T20 World Cup in Australia in October. Castore has also signed a lucrative partnership with McLaren.

The company – with its slogan “Better Never Stops” – was founded by sporting brothers Tom and Phil Beahon in 2015.

It develops highly innovative sportswear which is made using patented fabrics and advanced technical engineering for gym use, athletics, tennis and golf.

It has set out ambitious plans to take on global sportswear giants such as Adidas and Nike, particularly in top level football in the UK and Europe.

The company operates a digital, direct-to-consumer business model that has allowed it to grow extremely rapidly since launch and avoid the much publicised challenges of many traditional bricks and mortar brands and now sells into 64 countries globally.

Castore is backed by a consortium of high profile private investors.

They include a billionaire family who invested in January to facilitate Castore’s entry into the global football market, where the brand believe there is an opportunity to disrupt the establish players at the highest levels of the sport.

Castore will partner with three to five leading European clubs for the 2021 season and utilise its digital expertise and capabilities in technical engineering to create products that enhance player performance and increase club revenues from branded merchandise.

Tom Beahon, co-founder, said: “We are delighted and honoured that Rangers has chosen Castore as their kit and retail partner. Rangers are one of the biggest clubs in football with legendary fans and a brand that resonates all over the world.

“We take the responsibility of being the partner to this great football club extremely seriously and have every confidence that Castore can to help contribute to a new era of success for Rangers FC.”

Steven Gerrard, Rangers manager and former Liverpool FC captain, said: “This is a significant moment for our football club. The Beahon brothers, like myself, are proud of our Liverpudlian roots. Liverpool and Glasgow are proud cities. In both cities, the city makes the football club, and the football club makes the city.

“Rangers wants to be the best, and to help us do that our players, staff and supporters deserve the best. The design and high-quality product provided by Castore suggests they share our ambition. It’s no accident they have chosen Rangers to be their first football partner.”

John Bennett, Rangers vice-chairman, said: “Kit and merchandise has been one of the great challenges faced by Rangers and its loyal supporters in recent years, and this wonderful new partnership with Castore offers us a new beginning. This is a clean slate. A fresh start. A new era.

“We recognised instantly that Castore are incredibly ambitious but also have a strong financial backing through their shareholders to support this ambition.”