Rhino Rugby today announced its appointment as Official Ball Supplier to the RaboDirect PRO12 for the next 4 seasons.
The ball, called the Rhino Vortex Elite, was trialled by some of the tournament’s leading kickers, including Stephen Jones (Scarlets) and Chris Paterson (Edinburgh) as part of the approval process – it passed with flying colours.
Previously Rhino supplied the Official Ball of the British & Irish Lions 2009. However, the RaboDirect PRO12 deal represents an extremely significant move into the performance rugby ball market, which has to date been dominated globally by a small number of suppliers.
In addition to the match balls, Rhino will continue to supply the kit for the competition’s referees and touchline officials.
John Feehan, CEO of RaboDirect PRO12, said ‘We are delighted that Rhino has entered into this agreement with the tournament to supply both match balls and officials’ apparel. It is one of a small, elite group of sponsors involved in the RaboDirect PRO12 and we are looking forward to building a strong relationship’.
Best known as the world’s leading supplier of scrummaging machines, contact and training equipment, Rhino has recently made its mark in other areas such as artificial turf, teamwear and fashion under CEO Reg Clark.
Reg Clark commented ‘This deal is fabulous news for Rhino. As a company and as a brand we are on a roll. It’s going to be great to see the leading professional sides of Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales using our top of the range ball for the next 4 seasons’.
The RaboDirect PRO12 begins on Friday 2nd September. All twelve teams in the competition have been training with the new ball since 1st August. Limited numbers of Rhino Vortex Elite balls will be available for public purchase exclusively via Amazon until 31st August 2011.