Rugby America

Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective

Breaking News: Adidas & World Rugby Shop Sponsor ACRL

Today the Atlantic Coast Rugby League (ACRL) announced a partnership with Adidas and World Rugby Shop to sponsor the new collegiate rugby conference. According to the partnership agreement Adidas will be the official brand of the ACRL and World Rugby Shop will be the Official Store of the ACRL. 

“Adidas Rugby is very excited partnering up with the ACRL and its member teams starting in 2011,” said Adrian Brooks of Adidas Rugby.

“We look forward to a long term partnership that advances the game of rugby here in the United States.”

Both Adidas and World Rugby Shop will provide products for the league events and teams. ACRL teams will be among the first rugby teams in the country to sport Adidas’ new line of “mi Team” rugby kit, available exclusively in the United States through World Rugby Shop.

“In 2011 we will introduce new and exciting rugby products into the market that will benefit all serious players – from custom uniform kits (mi Team Rugby) that allow players to perform at the highest level, to the lightest rugby shoes (F50 AdiZero RS7) in the game,” Brooks said.

“We expect the ACRL players and coaches to benefit from these product innovations and hopefully see a distinct advantage over their competitors during the season.”

Patrick Kane, ACRL commissioner, said of the partnership, “We are proud to have both Adidas and World Rugby Shop as partners as we embark on a new era of college rugby.  Both companies are leaders in the rugby world and have shown great enthusiasm for the ACRL. They are clearly committed to working with us to help us grow our conference, and we are honored that Adidas chose the ACRL to showcase its new mi Team rugby kit.”

Bernard Frei, CEO, World Rugby Shop, stated, “We selected the Atlantic Coast Rugby League for this unique partnership because it is one of the country’s most progressive rugby organizations. Using established conference structures and rivalries is the future of the college rugby game in the U.S. and the ACRL is pioneering this approach. We are delighted to be working with a league and group of teams that are so highly motivated to move our great game forward and improve the image of rugby in their community. This partnership will help not only establish the ACRL as a legitimate force on the college scene, but also allow World Rugby Shop to grow with this league and better serve the college market and ultimately the sport of rugby.”

The ACRL is a USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate Division I-AA rugby conference featuring teams from the universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference.  The league members include teams from Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.  The conference begins its inaugural season on February 25, 2011.  

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8 comments on “Breaking News: Adidas & World Rugby Shop Sponsor ACRL

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Rugby America » Breaking News: Adidas & World Rugby Shop Sponsor ACRL --

  2. Hot damn!
    February 15, 2011

    Great news. Congrats to the conference leaders and teams involved. If there was ever any doubt (there shouldn’t have been) about which is the best path to take, then this is a very good answer.

    Try explaining the CPL to the non-rugby fan and you have to spend 20 minutes going through the whole story. It takes less than a minute to explain the ACC to a non-rugby fan.

    What the ACC league may lack in overall talent compared to the top half of the CPL teams right now will be a non-story in the coming years. Exposure, sponsorship, and funding will close that gap real fast. Kids out there that want to play rugby in college will take a long look at the ACC teams now.

  3. Working Class Rugger
    February 15, 2011

    Even the instugators if the CPL recognise that its has a limited lifespan and that the conference system that has been adopted of the likes of the ACRL. Its a good step forward and hopefully the first of many such arrangements.

  4. Why drawing lines
    February 15, 2011

    Why are you drawing battle lines. Teams in the CPL, other than calling it a ridiculous name, have tried to do a good thing. They have created the best rugby competition in the US. And eventually when the rest of the nation’s teams catch up it will all move into the conference system. But the CPL is not an enemy. It was opt-in for christ’s sake. It isn’t exclusive. Anyone could have joined. So why hope for their failure?

  5. Rugby America
    February 15, 2011


    I definitely see your point. I also don’t believe that any of the posters above truly meant to demonize the CPL nor do I believe that they think of them as the enemy.

    I’ve had the opportunity to talk to alot of people, at length, in the past few months about these subjects and here is what I gleaned from those conversations.

    1. Many, many people have been calling for years for college rugby teams to do exactly what the ACRL did. Break away from the LAU’s and form a competition along the same lines of traditional college sports. When they did so they received much praise, now that they have taken another firm step forward, alot of people are even more excited about the prospects of other such conferences (Ivy, SEC, etc). That excitement may be misconstrued as a negative vote for the CPL, especially when comparisons are being made. I’ve done it myself.

    2. Alot of people are really disappointed in the CPL already and a single game hasn’t been played. Expectations were sky-high when the competition was announced, probably too high. Now, the realities of the competitive desparity in the league coupled with an overall lack of promotion has people wondering if this is going to be short lived. Fans aren’t going to invest too much personally or financially into the league if there is any indication that it is not on solid ground.

    There will be many positives to come out of the CPL. When it all comes down to it, the goal is to improve college rugby by any means neccessary. The strides taken this past year for all of college rugby are gigantic.

    Long-term, it is going to be the fans and sponsors that carry the most sway as to which direction the competitive structure takes. The ACRL deal with Adidas speaks loudly as to where sponsors may be setting their sights.

  6. ACC Rugby Player
    February 16, 2011

    Does this means teams in the ACC will receive free or discounted kits? Or that the sponsorship will start this upcoming season?

    • P. Kane
      February 16, 2011

      It means that the teams that are members of the ACRL will get alot of benefits. If you are a member of one of these teams, talk to your coaching staff about the specific benefits.

      • ACC Rugby Player
        February 18, 2011

        Does this mean it will take place this season or next season?

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This entry was posted on February 15, 2011 by in College Rugby, Collegiate Men, Featured, Rugby News.

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