Rangers Football Club have added PUMA and Blackthorn as their new new official supplier and licensee of replica merchandise and shirt sponsor respectively.
The Scottish Third Division club will wear PUMA branding on their team kit, replica kit, training wear and equipment starting from the 2013/14 season, with the Blackthorn Cider logo appearing on their shirt.
The news comes after retailer Sports Direct agreed to jointly run the club’s merchandise operations.
Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, is amongst the largest shareholders in Rangers International Football Club plc, the parent company of The Rangers Football Club Ltd.
Rangers Chief Executive Charles Green said: “We are delighted to announce this partnership with PUMA, who are one of the world’s iconic lifestyle brands.
“Rangers and PUMA are massive global brands and this relationship will undoubtedly improve the distribution of Club merchandise in the UK and overseas.
“PUMA are renowned for their technical innovation and expertise in product design and support systems and we look forward to enjoying a productive and successful partnership over the next five years.”
Tony Ward, Managing Director, PUMA UKIB, added: “Rangers Football Club is an iconic club with a rich history. When the opportunity arose to develop a technical partnership with Rangers, we were delighted to reach agreement with the club.
"We are extremely proud to be associated with the club, and look forward to providing technical and training wear for Rangers Football Club.”
Regarding the Blackthorn deal, Green commented further: “We are very pleased to have reached a sponsorship agreement that will see the Blackthorn Cider name on Rangers’ strips next season.
“The arrangement is yet another example of leading brands wishing to be associated with Rangers and reflects the fact that the Club is one of football’s great institutions. The deal we have reached is very much in keeping with our business plan and strategy of developing significant commercial partnerships for the benefit of the Club.”
Paolo Mortarotti, Managing Director of The Shepton Mallet Cider Company, owners of Blackthorn Cider, said: “The Rangers fans’ reaction to the Club’s recent troubles has been remarkable and we are immensely proud to partner with the Club.
“Blackthorn is a popular cider across the UK, with traditional strongholds in both the South West of England and in Scotland, and we believe this partnership with Rangers will help deliver our ambitious growth plans for the brand.
“We wish Rangers every success this season and look forward to supporting the Club as it continues its journey back to the top flight of Scottish football.”