Italian sportswear brand Macron has become the referee kit and retail partner to the Guinness Pro14, the annual rugby union competition involving sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.
From the start of the 2017/18 Guinness Pro14 season the league’s match officials will be wearing Macron match-day apparel after the two parties agreed a multi-year deal ahead of the new season. Its elite referee squad contains ten international-level referees, such as 2015 Rugby World Cup final official Nigel Owens and retired Irish rugby union player John Lacey.
“We saw close to 300 international players appear in the Championship last season,” said Dermot Rigley, commercial and marketing director of Pro14 Rugby. “This demands that our referees are in peak condition in order to keep up with these world-class athletes. Greg Garner, our elite referee squad and our union referee managers ensure that match officials in the Guinness Pro14 are physically and mentally prepared to officiate.”
Ross Cook, sports marketing manager from Macron, said: “We are so proud to become a partner of the Guinness Pro14 which is now a world leader in rugby. Macron has already had success in the Championship with both Glasgow Warriors and Scarlets (both Macron clubs).”
The Guinness Pro14, which was named Pro12 until the coming season, became a cross-hemisphere tournament in June with the addition of South African sides the Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings.