ERC and adidas
adidas extends partnership with ERC as official match ball supplier to Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup
Building on the successful initial two season agreement, adidas and ERC are proud to announce the extension of their partnership. The new agreement will see adidas continue as the official ball supplier to European club rugby’s elite tournaments, the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup for a further four years.
Under the partnership, which will now extend to 2015, adidas will continue to develop and provide specific match balls for use in the Heineken Cup, recognised as the ultimate stage for club competition in the northern hemisphere, and for the Amlin Challenge Cup, which features premier and emerging clubs from across Europe.
adidas will continue to produce distinctive and stylish match official apparel for both ERC tournaments across eight countries and will also retain the right to develop and distribute official merchandise for European Club Rugby.
Max van den Doel, Head of adidas Sports Marketing for Team Sports said: "Our partnership with ERC has provided a fantastic opportunity to showcase the outstanding performance of the adidas Torpedo ball to a European audience and beyond. Over the past two seasons we have witnessed the heightened profile and appeal of European Club rugby and that profile will be further enhanced this season with the first ever staging of a Heineken Cup game in the southern hemisphere when Saracens play Biarritz Olympique in Cape Town. adidas is proud to be the official ball supplier to these two prestigious and ambitious tournaments.”
Derek McGrath, ERC Chief Executive said: "The global adidas brand has proven to be a loyal and innovative partner over the past two seasons who shares our ambition to ensure that the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup continue to set the standards for the Club game around the world. We look forward to building on our successful partnership for at least a further four seasons and taking the game to new audiences.”
For the 2011/12 European season the new look Torpedo Respect match ball will take centre stage. 100% hand stitched and crafted from natural rubber, the interior of Torpedo Respect is composed of a mixture of latex and butyl to offer exceptional quality and durability both in handling as well as kicking. In addition, through positioning the valve in the seam and not in the middle of a panel, there is an enhanced sweet spot area ideal for a more accurate kicking.
Double Heineken Cup winner and Leinster out-half Jonathan Sexton said: “For a rugby player it is essential to have the support of reliable materials which give me confidence to perform well during a match. The new adidas Torpedo Respect brings that assurance to the European pitch, I find its handling very easy and resistant and the kick is amazingly accurate.”
With a new iconic Design, the Torpedo Respect delivers optimum visibility for players, fans and media using the traditional colours of both competitions. The ball was created at the adidas headquarters in Germany, and during the design process, the brand had the benefit of calling on the direct involvement of adidas Rugby experts such as Mick Byrne and professional players, who went through diverse and accurate ball tests, giving their professional input about technical features. The official replica ball will be available at selected sports specialists in the UK, Ireland and France.
(Caption for attached photograph: Derek McGrath, Chief Executive of ERC, Marco Bortolami, captain of Aironi Rugby and Max van den Doel, adidas sports sponsorship manager pose with the Heineken Cup during the Heineken Cup Launch at Pavillon Royal, in Paris, France on November 7 2011)