Pony pulls the plug on Premier League football sponsorship

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The Independent Online
PREMIER LEAGUE football clubs Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham and Southampton will be forced to look for new kit sponsors after a decision by Pony, the sportswear firm, to withdraw from the sponsorship market. Pentland, the group which owns the brand, has decided to exit the market after intense competition caused a rapid inflation in sponsorship costs. It will honour existing contracts but will not seek to renew them. Teams such as Norwich, Oldham and Huddersfield will also be affected.

Pentland is choosing to concentrate its investment on leading brands such as Ellesse, Speedo and Kickers in an effort to increase margins across the group.

The move is part of a review of the business undertaken by Andrew Rubin, the new chief executive of Pentland, who replaced his father in the role last autumn.

The group also announced a shake up of its loss making US fashion footwear business. It is sacking 60 people and closing an office in New York at a cost of pounds 3.9m in an effort to guide the division back into profit. Pentland announced an 11 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to pounds 40.5m despite a disappointing performance at Berghaus, best known for its outdoor clothing, which suffered due to abnormally mild weather.