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Andy Murray-backed Castore signs kit deal with Newcastle United

Lauretta Roberts
02 July 2021

Fast-growing UK sportswear brand Castore, which is part-owned by Sir Andy Murray, will now supply Newcastle United FC in a multi-year deal worth several million pounds.

The deal will see Castore become the club’s new on and off-field partner, from the start of the new season later this year, suggesting retail tycoon Mike Ashley’s ownership of the Premier League club is coming closer to ending.

This latest deal with Newcastle follows similar agreements with Rangers FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, as Castore continues to disrupt a market dominated by a handful of global brands. It also signed up Saracens rugby club last month.

Castore will supply new designs for home, away and training kits for next season with, for the first time, fans able to buy the same quality Castore shirts that the players will be wearing.

The brand will also take over the day-to-day running of the club’s e-commerce operations, redesigning the club’s online store, and launching a much wider range of merchandise than previously available to Magpies supporters.

The move is expected to be seen by fans as another indication that Ashley is poised to exit the club.

Mike Ashley

The Castore deal has heightened speculation that Sports Direct chief Mike Ashley is set to exit Newcastle United

Ashley's Sports Direct currently runs the club shop at the stadium, which carries the chain’s name, and Sports Direct sells replica shirts in store. Sports Direct does not stock Castore products and is not expected to.

Castore is also opening a stand-alone store in Newcastle later this month for fans who cannot get to the ground.

Tom Beahon, co-founder of Castore, said: “Newcastle United has a huge and deeply passionate fan base, and we look forward to giving the Toon Army something else to get excited about next season.

“We believe the partnership signals not only a new shirt for the new season but also a new start … for this iconic club.”

Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley said: “Castore has already built a reputation as an aspirational brand in a highly competitive sportswear market and we feel they are a great partner for the club.

Castore was launched in 2015 by the Beahon brothers and has the backing of Sir Andy, New Look founder Tom Singh and original Net-a-Porter investor Arnaud Massenet.

It also recently signed up its biggest new investors – billionaire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the new owners of Asda supermarket.

The premise behind Castore is to develop products using patented fabrics and advanced technical engineering for gym use, athletics, tennis and golf – with an eye to taking on global giants Adidas and Nike.

Castore already has partnerships with a number of leading athletes, including Owen Farrell and Masters-winning golfer Patrick Reed, and recently signed a lucrative partnership with McLaren Formula 1.

The brand primarily trades online but also has stores in London and Liverpool, and hopes to capitalise on the exercise boost seen during the pandemic and the demand for so-called athleisure clothes.

Revenues are expected to hit £100 million this year and will see the company turn a profit.

Sir Andy is currently wearing kit by AMC, Castore's specialist tennis line, to compete at the Wimbledon Championship. The kit has been created in partnership with The Woolmark Company and has been engineered with Merino wool using cutting-edge technology to enhance athletic performance. It also leans on wool’s natural performance attributes – from breathability to thermoregulation.

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