SANZAR has announced a two-year extension of its long-standing partnership with Gilbert – the WPRFU’s exclusive ball and equipment supplier – to continue in its role as the exclusive ball supplier in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.
“Gilbert has been a great supporter of rugby in the southern hemisphere and is one of our key relationships, going all the way back to the competition’s inception in 1996,” commented SANZAR CEO Greg Peters.
“I’m sure our players will be thrilled with Gilbert’s reappointment as their balls are widely recognised as the best in the world, providing an unmatched level of quality and consistency.
“This was emphasised during extensive product testing throughout a select group of Super Rugby players in all three territories where the Gilbertball performed exceptionally well.”
Nick Gray, Gilbert’s Sales & Marketing Manager, added: “Everyone at Gilbert is delighted to be extending our partnership with SANZAR and Super Rugby.
“We have enjoyed being a part of this thrilling competition since 1996 and look forward to the continuation of the expansive play which has seen Super Rugby lead the way in global rugby entertainment.”
Gilbert Brand Manager Jon Clarke added further: “In recognition of our renewal we are delighted to announce that we have introduced a new range of Super Rugby match ball designs for the 2014 season.
“We wanted to produce a design that better reflected the speed and excitement of Super Rugby while also highlighting the fierce rivalries within each conference. Although we have retained our traditional trademark ellipse, it now includes a series of stripes that accentuate the rotation of the ball in flight and the addition of lime green increases visibility for players.
“We have also produced a ball designed for local derby matches which features a gold (Australia), silver (New Zealand) or green (South Africa) trim as a nod to the home nation. Replicas of these newly designed balls will be available in stores from early March.”