The Italian sportswear company will supply the senior men’s, women’s and pathway teams for the next seven years
A seven-year contract has been agreed, meaning the Italian sports brand will supply bespoke matchday kits, training gear and leisurewear to the senior men’s, women’s and pathway teams until the end of 2027.
It means Wales will have a new kit – which is due to be unveiled early next month – for this autumn’s fixtures, starting with a warm-up match against France in Paris on October 24.
The deal is believed to be worth in the region of £30 million overall, the same as the reported value of the WRU’s nine-year contract extension with Under Armour in 2015, but does not include naming rights for any future autumn campaign, which was part of the UA deal.
The 300 grassroots rugby clubs in Wales will also benefit from the deal, with Macron pledging £6 million worth of kit to the amateur game over the duration of the deal.
The brand already have a foothold in the sport. As well as manufacturing the Cardiff Blues’ and Scarlets’ kits, they also supply Scotland, Italy, Newcastle Falcons, Northampton Saints, Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh Rugby and three Top14 clubs.
“The Welsh Rugby Union has a rich history in world rugby and is a Union that boasts incredible accolades – but, more importantly, plays a fundamental role in Welsh culture and society.
“Partnerships with the Scarlets and Cardiff Blues have given us an appreciation of the love that Welsh fans have for the sport. That same love and passion grows even stronger every time the national team enters the field.
“We at Macron will offer the Welsh Rugby Union our technical competence, creative ability and a bit of Italian flare to develop their match day kit, their clothing lines as well as a merchandising collection that will be unique to this great nation and one that we hope will capture the hearts of players and fans alike.”
It brings the Welsh Rugby Union’s 12-year partnership with Under Armour to a close. Last year it was announced that the two had agreed to part ways amicably four years into a nine-year contract extension.
“Under Armour and Welsh rugby grew significantly together in the last 12 years and we would like to thank UA and their employees all around the world for all the support during a genuinely fantastic partnership,” added interim WRU CEO Steve Phillips.
“But now we look forward to an exciting new partnership with Macron, which comes with a huge amount of potential benefit for both the international and community game.”
The new deal is positive news for the community game, with millions of pounds worth of kit being pushed in their direction in the next few years.
Further details are to be worked out, but the 300 clubs across Wales will be in with a chance of benefiting from the scheme, with £1 million of credit each year up for grabs, starting in 2021.
“We have agreed a unique and progressive partnership with Macron to not only supply team and leisure wear to our national squad, but to also provide an invaluable offer to our community game in their second season with us and beyond,” added Phillips.
“Macron understand the importance of the community game in Wales and, together, we are determined to ensure that this end of the game also reaps the benefits of this new commercial alliance.
“They are a company with pedigree looking to expand in world sport and we are very much looking forward to continuing our own growth alongside them over the next seven years.”
Isuzu will remain the primary sponsor on the front of the jerseys, with that deal due to expire in June 2021.
More details on the new kit – such as price points and how long it will be worn – are expected at its unveiling next month.
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