The Union Argentina de Rugby (UAR) has officially confirmed what was already known - Argentina Rugby is now supplied by Nike and not Adidas. As shown in early February, players were wearing Nike supplied kits while training for the Wellington leg of the IRB World Sevens Series. The UAR has also confirmed that ESPN, Standard Bank and Gilbert have all extended their support of Argentine rugby for an additional four years. The changes are to be seen immediately with Los Pampas XV to wear a vastly changed strip on Sunday in its first match of the season in South Africa´s Vodacom Cup. The new uniformes, as pictured above, in purple and red feature the Standard Bank´s name on the front. Nike will also be supplying uniforms for Los Pumas as well as Argentina´s other representative sides including teams Los Jaguares and the Sevens team.
In relation to the new business contracts, the President of the UAR, Luis Castillo, said: "Being able to extend our relationship with both ESPN, Standard Bank and Gilbert, demonstrated the reliability that these sponsors have with the UAR.". In turn, Castillo also referred to the new deal with Nike, as an official sponsor of all Argentine Rugby National teams. "We are proud to have the backing of a leading company in its field, and I am convinced that working together will serve to enhance the image of our national teams" stressed the President of the UAR.
Meanwhile, the commercial manager of the UAR, Michael Dupont, emphasized the market breakthrough of the UAR in this new stage. "Fortunately we were able to accomplish these four contracts, which provide a substantial improvement to the UAR. We are at a stage in the middle of negotiations with some of our current sponsors and also with those brands that are on items that we have today and are very interested in supporting the UAR. We are aware that have provided years of great exposure and great opportunities, and I think this will be very beneficial for the UAR and our sponsors, "summarized Dupont.
Trade agreements with the brands mentioned were also taken with optimism by the sponsors. Adrian Cueto, marketing director of Nike Southern Cone, highlighted the recent agreement. "We are excited for Nike to accompany the UAR and their choices at this new stage. In recent years wehave consolidated a long career in rugby. From this partnership we aim to provide the highest technology equipment, design and innovation across our product lines designed according to its needs on and off the playing field, "said Cueto.
Meanwhile, Federico Reyna, Director of Acquisitions and ESPN Digital Media, said: "ESPN has honored its agreement to renew our contract with the Union Argentina de Rugby, especially at this historic time of Los Pumas´ entry into The 2012 Rugby Championship and the participation of Los Pampas XV in the Vodacom Cup, ESPN will televise events in their platforms."
In turn, from England, Gilbert´s Director of Marketing and Sales, Richard Gray, said: "We are delighted that the UAR s chosen to play, as this supports again the quality of the Gilbert ball and demonstrates the strong Gilbert association with the first tier of World rugby. We continue our strong relationship with Argentina and helping the Union to develop the game in its country and supporting the increased international exposure that will come in the coming seasons. We wish them every success for the future."
Finally, Laura Borsato, Head of Marketing, Product and Communications at Standard Bank Argentina, said: "We are very satisfied with the extent of our relationship with the Union Argentina de Rugby, considering that in addition to deepening our commitment to support the various sports, this will allow us to be part of a historical stage that we consider for rugby in our country with Los Pumas, who begin their regular participation in what will be one of the most important skills of Rugby worldwide, and Standard Bank accompanying Los Pampas XV, who will try to validate during this year, major achievements in its Vodacom Cup debut in 2011, one of the most competitive tournaments of the South African rugby. "