Rangers: We’ve struck it rich with £25m Castore kit deal

Marketing chief claims new partnership can become the ‘most valuable’ in Scotland

Sir Andy Murray is an investor in Castore. Picture: SNS.

Rangers believe their new £25 million kit and retail deal with Castore can become the most lucrative commercial partnership in Scottish sport.

The Ibrox club have announced a ‘multi-year’ contract with the emerging British brand who have set out ambitious plans to challenge the dominance of global giants Nike and Adidas in the European football market. Castore say Rangers are the first of up to five major clubs whose kit they will supply for the 2020-21 season.

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The Liverpool-based company last year signed a deal with Sir Andy Murray, who is also an investor in the firm, and recently agreed a three-year contract with the West Indies cricket team.

Rangers’ retail operations had been financially hamstrung since 2012 by the controversial long-term deal struck with Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct which saw the club receive as little as 4p 
from every £1 spent on its
merchandise.

After forcing regime change at the club in 2015, former Rangers chairman Dave King was involved in a series of costly legal battles with Sports Direct in a bid to extricate them from the contract.

The new agreement with Castore has been hailed as a ‘clean slate’ by Rangers commercial and marketing director James Bisgrove. “It’s not an understatement to say this is an incredibly significant partnership for this football club,” said Bisgrove. “Given the challenges we have faced over the years in relation to kit and merchandise and retail, to be moving forward now with a fresh beginning is incredibly 
exciting.

“It is, without a doubt, the most valuable partnership we have entered into in our recent history and we believe it actually has the potential to be the most valuable partnership in Scottish sport.”

In addition to supplying Rangers with their training and matchday kit, Castore will run all of the club’s retail operations. Bisgrove revealed there will be a £250,000 revamp of the Ibrox Stadium megastore, while Castore plan to open ten new Rangers stores across the UK and internationally. Castore was formed in 2015 by brothers Tom and Phil Beahon. Along with tennis icon Murray, their investors include Sunday Times Rich List businessman Tom Singh, founder of the New Look fashion retail chain.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has welcomed the new deal and the former Liverpool captain expressed his satisfaction at Castore’s links with his home city.

“This is a significant moment for our football club,” said Gerrard. “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 want 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.”

Castore co-founder Tom Beahon, who played professional football for Tranmere Rovers, 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 help contribute to a new era of success for Rangers FC.”

Rangers deputy chairman John Bennett believes the level of investment attracted by Castore since the company was launched is testament to its potential. “We recognised instantly that Castore are incredibly ambitious but also have a strong financial backing through their shareholders to support this ambition,” said Bennett.

“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.”

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