MLR and XBlades ink exclusive apparel deal
SALT LAKE CITY (December 20, 2017) — “Major League Rugby (MLR) today announced a multi-year deal with Australian sports apparel and boot company, XBlades, as its official on-field apparel partner. Renowned for its innovative and bespoke approach to sportswear, the Aussie brand will outfit all seven MLR teams and match officials in the company’s pro team apparel for the inaugural season.
XBlades will provide all the on-pitch kits for all seven teams highlighted by custom-designed home and away jerseys that will all be available for sale to fans directly through the teams. Jersey sales are expected to a key driver of revenue for both the teams and XBlades as the League launches and grows.
A leader in apparel and footwear technology, XBlades has over 25 years of experience in outfitting elite rugby athletes around the world. This season, MLR athletes will train and compete in high-performance gear and apparel designed in collaboration with the teams for injury protection, comfort, and playing longevity.
Additionally, XBlades will provide players of each club with the revolutionary bladed sole rugby boots the brand has become renowned for and looks forward to collaborating on custom-designed footwear in the future.
XBlades CEO Leighton Richards is excited about the new partnership and what it means for both the sport of rugby and the Aussie-brand, as they continue to expand globally.
“We’re thrilled to be the official on-field apparel partner of Major League Rugby. As a company, XBlades’ focus is on being athlete led and product driven. During all steps of the design process we’ve sat down with each team and extensively collaborated to ensure the uniforms are tailored to meet each team’s unique needs, both on and off the field,” said Richards.
“We’re excited to expand the company’s international portfolio, and with this new MLR partnership, XBlades now has a presence in eight countries worldwide, and we can’t wait to see teams in the U.S. suit up in our XBlades apparel. We specialize in creating innovative, custom designed footwear for sports like rugby and we hope to collaborate on this in the future.”
MLR Commissioner Dean Howes sees strong synergies between XBlades and MLR and is excited to collaborate on growing the game of rugby in the United States.
“MLR is excited to partner with one of the top rugby brands in the world and help them expand their footprint in America. This partnership with XBlades will enhance our on-field product, and be mutually beneficial off the pitch as we work together towards a successful launch,” Howes said. “MLR and XBlades are aligned in our commitment to advance the values of rugby on the pitch and grow the game in local communities.”
MLR will launch with seven teams in Austin, Glendale (Colorado), Houston, New Orleans, San Diego, Seattle and Salt Lake City (Utah). Each is a key rugby market with a long history of support for the game. All teams have strong, local and civic-minded ownership groups with deep ties to their communities, established grassroots programs, venues in place or in development, and a player pool featuring the best players in North America, reinforced by up to five international signings in the 15-player, Rugby Union format.”
MLR is a professional rugby league that will launch in April of 2018. It’s an initiative of the American rugby community, in partnership with private investors, who believe that American rugby can thrive at the highest levels: as a commercial enterprise; as an influential player on the international scene; and as a participation sport at the youth and senior level. MLR will be the pinnacle of the American rugby and provide a rallying point for local communities, a focal point for American rugby fans, and an aspirational destination for young athletes.
Established in Australia in 1989, XBlades is best known primarily for its football boots, with the brand having developed the very first bladed outsole. Connected to its Australian roots, XBlades specializes in creating apparel and footwear for native Australian sports; Rugby & Australian Rules Football (AFL).
XBlades are now much more than a football boot company. It has taken this revolutionary vision and technological perspective to develop other core product categories, including performance sports apparel and protection gear. The quality of the product range is evident in XBlades’ partnerships as the football boot and/or kit suppliers to many of the top grade rugby teams around the globe, notably Australia and the United Kingdom.