25 Jan 2013

Puma cuts sponsorship of rugby

11:30 am on 25 January 2013

The German sportswear manufacturer Puma is withdrawing from sponsoring rugby in Europe, leaving the Irish Rugby Union team looking for a new kit provider.

The Irish Rugby Football Union, Puma's biggest sponsorship in the sport, said Puma would continue to supply kit to cover the 2013/14 rugby season.

Puma, whose shoes are worn by sprinter Usain Bolt and football player Cesc Fabregas, is trimming its product range and cutting back on less lucrative sponsorship deals to counter falling profits as part of its biggest reorganisation in 20 years.

Owner PPR, which also controls the Gucci luxury brand, is also shaking up management at the German company, with chief executive Franz Koch to leave in March.