Ulster Rugby sign multi-year deal with Castore

The province has had their kit provided by Kukri for the past 10 years

A birds-eye view of Ravenhill with Ulster Rugby and Castore logos over the image
The province signs its first new kit deal in ten years, ending its long-standing relationship with Kukri. PICTURE: Ulster Rugby

ULSTER Rugby will be taking their new look as a club to the next level after agreeing to a kit deal with sportswear suppliers Castore.

Fans of the province will have become used to seeing the Ulster players wearing the famous white and red of Ulster with the designs of Kukri, a company born out of the amalgamation of the Gurkhas and RAF in sporting competitions.

The relationship between the Ulstermen and Kukri has lasted 10 years, but now Castore will fulfil that need for the side.

Ulster will be taking the field next year with a new look as they sign 'multi-year- deal with Castore. (Harry Murphy / SPORTSFILE)

The company will supply men’s and women’s team kits, replica kits and an innovative leisure and training wear range, including a special edition home kit to mark the centenary of Ulster Rugby’s home ground, launching in August.

Interim CEO of Ulster Rugby, Hugh McCaughey said: “As the club looks to mark 100 years of playing at Ravenhill throughout the 24/25 season, we are confident that supporters will enjoy the return to playing kits which reflect the heritage of the club, but with a high-quality, modern design.

“This represents the best commercial deal yet for Ulster Rugby, and we are looking forward to both the club and supporters reaping the benefits of this new partnership.”

Castore will also take over the management of Ulster Rugby’s online retail platforms, and physical distribution and fulfilment channels, which it claims will improve brand reach for Ulster

The complete management of merchandise sales is a model which Castore has successfully introduced to a number of leading European sports teams, including fellow URC sides Leinster and Scarlets as well as Premiership Rugby sides Bath Rugby, Saracens Rugby, and Harlequins and the Republic of Ireland national soccer teams.

Tom Beahon, co-Founder of Castore, said: “Castore is proud to partner with winning teams across a number of global sports, and we humbled that Ulster Rugby has placed its trust in us.

“While Castore is a young company seeking to disrupt the establishment of the global sports apparel market, we recognise Ulster Rugby’s storied history and its commitment to long-term partnerships, and we are looking forward to working together to bring future success to the club.”

The nine-year-old manufacturers have come under fire for some of their manufacturing, with some shirts tearing easily and design flaws being spotted on their player-issue kit.

Premier League sides Aston Villa and Newcastle United have both swapped out their deals with Castore for German manufacturer Adidas.

Castore inked a multi-year contract with Aston Villa ahead of the 2022/23 season, reportedly worth £3 million per year.

However, the partnership has been on shaky ground since last September when players complained about ‘wet-look’ shirts, which they said retained sweat and were affecting performance.