Rangers finally announced a new five-year kit deal with PUMA after Charles Green had announced plans to ditch current kit suppliers UMBRO back in November. The German sports company will become the official supplier and licensee of replica merchandise for the club.
The deal will kick off at the start of next season and will see the Ibrox side wear the PUMA brand on all the club’s merchandise, kit, training wear and equipment.
It was no great surprise that PUMA ended up as the kit supplier to the Ibrox side, after chief executive Charles Green signed a deal with retail company Sports Direct to run the Third Division’s retail venture, taking over from JJB Sports.
Rangers Chief Executive Charles Green commented: “We are delighted to announce this partnership with PUMA, who are one of the world’s iconic lifestyle brands. Rangers and PUMA are massive global brands and this relationship will undoubtedly improve the distribution of Club merchandise in the UK and overseas.
“PUMA are renowned for their technical innovation and expertise in product design and support systems and we look forward to enjoying a productive and successful partnership over the next five years.”
Back in September, Green and commercial director Imran Ahmed travelled to America and spoke to members of the NARSA on a tour of North America.
Ahmad told fans in Toronto: “Fingers crossed we will sign with Adidas this week. They said to me we’ve lost Liverpool and Real Madrid, Rangers will be the biggest club we have. We would have spots in Adidas stores in North America. There are massive brand development opportunities.”
After months of talk, the deal was finally signed but with rival German company PUMA. Ironically the company founded by the brother of the founder of Adidas.
Rudolf and Adi Dassler, during the Second World War both brothers were members of the Nazi Party, but a rift grew between the pair and eventually reached crisis point in 1943 during an Allied air raid. The business did not split in two until 1948 with Rudolf starting up PUMA and Adi starting up Adidas. With the latter becoming one of the top two sports brands in the world – with Nike being the other. PUMA sit in fourth spot behind Reebok in third.
PUMA are now owned by a French retailers Pinault-Printemps-Redoute.
Tony Ward, Managing Director, PUMA UKIB, added: “Rangers Football Club is an iconic club with a rich history. When the opportunity arose to develop a technical partnership with Rangers, we were delighted to reach agreement with the club. We are extremely proud to be associated with the club, and look forward to providing technical and training wear for Rangers Football Club.”
There are a number of Scottish clubs with PUMA kit deals, including Clachnacuddin, Dundee, Falkirk, Greenock Morton, Hibernian, Motherwell and Stirling Albion.
Just like the Ibrox side’s announcement of the kit sponsor Blackthorn, Rangers did not disclose how much the deal was worth. Scotzine contacted PUMA for comment on the partnership, but no such comment was forthcoming.