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Russell Athletic Team Up With The NZ Breakers

Russell Athletic Team Up With The NZ Breakers

AUCKLAND, 24 June 2004 – Global branded athletic and active wear leader, Russell Athletic, has teamed up as the official clothing supplier to Kiwi NBL franchise team, the New Zealand Breakers.

The official clothing and merchandising partnership contract was signed in Auckland today by Earle Thomas, Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand of Russell Corporation, and Peter Chapman, General Manager of the Harvey Norman NZ Breakers.

Details of the sponsorship were not revealed, but both parties confirmed it was for a substantial five-figure sum and is for a two-year term. It provides for Russell Athletic to supply the NZ Breakers with all team playing, training and casual clothing and all staff uniforms. In return, Russell Athletic would hold all merchandising rights for NZ Breakers clothing in the New Zealand and Australian markets.

Founded in 1902, Russell Athletic is the largest supplier of baseball and basketball team uniforms across the United States and is also the No.1 seller of men's sweatshirts and fleecy tops. This is Russell Athletic's first foray into a major sporting sponsorship in New Zealand.

"We are delighted to be able to partner with the NZ Breakers, who had such an encouraging debut season in the NBL last year," said Mr Thomas." There is no doubt basketball has become one of the most popular team sports in New Zealand in recent years and we believe we can help fuel that growth by linking our brand with the Breakers."

Thomas, a former New Zealand soccer captain who played 43 games for the All Whites between 1967-78, is no stranger to basketball, having played at representative level in his youth for Wanganui and Waikato.

The Breakers, according to Mr Chapman, see their relationship with Russell Athletic is the start of what they hope will be an on-going relationship. "We see it as win-win for both organisations," he said.

"For us to be able to team up with such a famous team wear brand is a real bonus," he said, "but we will do everything we can to help Russell Athletic grow their brand in what we all know is a sporting-mad market.

"We have already got away to a flying start with our home and away uniforms. They are still being finalised, but we are confident the new Russell Athletic strip will be well received by the public, and I can tell you the players will just love it.”

Founded in 1902, Russell Corporation is listed on the NYSE and posted turnover of more than US$1.2 billion for the last financial year.

EDNS

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