6th March 2001 – adidas, the world’s leading rugby brand, today announced a sponsorship deal to become the Official Kit Supplier of the British and
Irish Lions rugby side to tour Australia in June and July. The deal means the 2001 Lions will be the best-equipped Lions team ever with access to the most technologically advanced apparel and footwear.

The apparel will come into its own in the vastly different weather conditions expected in Australia. Whether facing the famous ‘Freemantle Doctor’ winds in Perth, the cool of a Brisbane winter or the rain in Sydney
the ‘shirt for all seasons’ will keep the wearer dry, comfortable and able to perform at the best of their ability.

adidas has taken the revolutionary technologies of the All Blacks kit – as seen in the Rugby World Cup ’99 – and incorporated them into the new Lions strip. The finished design is still under tight security and will be revealed to the world at the announcement of the final touring squad before being fitted precisely to each Lions player prior to departure.

adidas sponsored Martin Johnson, captain of the ’97 Lions and current England captain said of the shirt, ‘My lips are sealed as to what it will look like but it will provide genuine benefits to the boys lucky enough to wear it. It’s important to wear your shirt with pride, but the 2001 Lions will be wearing this with pride and the knowledge that it can give them an extra edge over the World Champions.’

Donal Lenihan, manager of the Lions said, ‘This is going to be an extremely tough tour and we are delighted to have adidas on board. After the successful partnership in South Africa in 1997, the quality of our ongoing relationship and the promise of the best shirt and equipment technology available they were the natural choice.’

Robin Money, Head of Sports Marketing at adidas said, ‘adidas is driven by a passion for sport and the Lions Tour is unique in the spirit and passion it invokes among players and fans. It is an exciting prospect to think that our product could genuinely play a part in helping them beat Australia.’

For more information contact:

Anthony Kayne/Tara O’Driscoll –
Cohn & Wolfe
Tel: 020 7331 5300
M: 07818 036 739/ 0796 888 8402