EPCR is pleased to announce that Kappa has become the Official Technical Apparel Partner of European club rugby tournaments. The famous Italian brand will supply match officials kit for the Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup, as well as apparel for EPCR staff and various other organisational purposes, for the next three years until the end of the 2021/22 season.

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The partnership – brokered in conjunction with gameplan Limited – sees Kappa join leading global beer brand Heineken, Tissot, Financial Times and Gilbert as a valuable new addition to EPCR’s commercial portfolio. As part of the deal, Kappa will be producing a line of clothing branded for European club rugby tournaments which will be available to the general public through an online store and on site at selected matches throughout the season.

The Heineken Champions Cup features stars of the global game contesting high-intensity matches over nine weekends in what is widely regarded as the strongest club rugby tournament in the world. The competition kicks off on Friday,15 November when Gloucester Rugby take on four-time winners Toulouse.

Kappa joins forces with EPCR at a time when audiences have never been stronger for the tournament which celebrates its 25th anniversary this season. Viewing figures for the Heineken Champions Cup increased by over 40% in the United Kingdom during 2018/19 with Channel 4 providing free-to-air live action from one match per weekend to supplement the comprehensive coverage of BT Sport.

That service will continue this season in conjunction with Virgin Media in Ireland, whilst French fans will have two free-to-air matches to enjoy on France Télévisions in addition to blanket coverage by beIN SPORTS.

EPCR CEO, Vincent Gaillard, said: “Kappa is one of the leading brands in sportswear and lifestyle worldwide, so to have match officials kitted out in high-quality attire in the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup is both an exciting prospect and a highly appropriate partnership.”

Rémi Garnier, Director of Sport Division of Kappa Europe, said: “This new partnership between Kappa and EPCR is intended to strengthen our rugby presence in Europe and, more specifically, in the United Kingdom. We already have a strong presence in France with nine professional clubs (including Stade Français Paris, Castres Olympique, Montpellier and Bayonne), so the idea is to bring our know-how on a larger scale and to establish a long-term presence throughout Europe. We are delighted to be able to offer all of our ranges (match kit, training and lifestyle) to the match officials and the organisation’s staff.”