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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

BLK Goes Under, RIM Looking For New Supplier

Current Eagles kit manufacturer BLK, also known as Beyond Limits Known, has been put into receivership. The Australian-based company's demise leaves not only the Eagles but a bunch of other teams in a bit of a bind. BLK sponsored the apparel for teams like Western Force, the Eagles, as well numerous Australian Football League teams. The receivership only impacts BLK's brands in Australia with licenses around the world remaining intact but with the bulk of BLK's business done in Australia it's hard to see this not having a major impact on their business outside of Australia. The U.S. left Canterbury for BLK prior to the World Cup and the brand has been with the team through the 2015 tournament and the Olympics.

RIM, the organization that handles the commercial dealings for U.S.A. Rugby, will now be on the lookout for a new supplier. From what TIAR understands RIM has already spent the last six months looking for a new partner and are optimistic they will finalize a deal in the near future. It should be stressed that most of the time the deals with apparel companies and the Eagles often involve in-kind sponsorship which means free kit. That can be quite significant but it's not a big block of money to the union and free kit.

9 comments:

  1. I know this might seem silly upon first glance, but USA Rugby really does need to hookup with a major US-based sports brand. Nike, adidas, or Under Armour have the stateside retail arm to put kit in stores. Again, this might not seem like it is of the utmost importance, but having a retail presence is huge! The sport needs legitimacy in the eyes of the casual sports fan. Having gear in stores along side soccer, football, baseball, basketball, etc. gives that credence the sports needs. It is not the end all, be all, however it can't hurt.

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    1. Under Armour would be the way to go. They already have a good rugby presence with Wales and Canada.

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    2. I am not a fan of UA. When they decided to bow to SJW bullying and drop their sponsorship of a female hunter whose husband made a good, clean, legit kill of a bear with a spear and it was all caught on a GoPro, that was it for me. If we can be so easily tossed aside just because of association with someone who has done no wrong but has become the target of ridiculous and unwarranted outrage, they are not a loyal friend, and deserve none themselves.

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    3. Under Armour approached Nigel a while back but he said no...

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    4. The main issue with UA is that they make bland kits and then charge an arm and a leg for them.

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  2. Actually what they will probable do is make there own clothing line and call it therugbyclothing.com, then sell directly to consumers and expand the brand that way, much like they are expanding american rugby on therugbychannel.com

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  3. Having worked in the commercial sponsorship field couped with seeing USAR's Financial Statements -- https://assets.usarugby.org/docs/about/financials/2015_USA_Rugby_Form_990-Public_Disclosure.pdf -- I can tell you right now that no big name would ever be there kit provider without a guaranteed ROI. That's one of the reasons why major brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma, etc. only sponsor teams that have consistently shown success both on and off the pitch. Then again, with rugby still proving to be the fastest growing team sport in America, big names might just come onboard for guaranteed exposure. Either way, I really do hope USAR gets a big-name kit provider!

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    1. would be great to see what kind of revenue is being generated by RIM and "re invested" back into USA rugby since RIM would be the beneficiary to any big name apparel deal

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  4. Thanks, "D" for the link to the tax forms. It seems as if we pay $780,000 for uniforms (see page 10 of Form 990). So BLK going under is maybe a good thing? That is a huge outlay of capital. If we can work our way UP to an in-kind sponsorship, we'd be way better off.

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