Wimbledon 2019: Why is Andy Murray wearing Castore kit and not old sponsors Under Armour or Adidas?

Murray signed a lucrative deal with the British sportswear start-up earlier this season

Luke Brown
Tuesday 09 July 2019 18:34
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Sir Andy Murray makes his return to Wimbledon this evening when he plays alongside Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the men’s doubles, but will do so wearing a different kit to previous seasons.

The 32-year-old was almost forced to retire because of a persistent hip injury which required surgery, but he has slowly worked his way back to full fitness and won at Queen’s Club recently.

That convinced him he could play at Wimbledon this year, although not in the singles. Instead, he will play both the men’s and mixed doubles, having paired up with Herbert and seven-time champion Serena Williams.

But Murray will not be wearing his usual Under Armour kit, which he donned in 2016 when he lifted the Gentlemen's Singles Trophy trophy for a second time.

Instead, he will be kitted out in Castore clothing, having signed a lucrative deal with the British sportswear start-up earlier this season.

What is Castore?

Sportswear start-up Castore was launched in 2016 by the Liverpool-based Beahon brothers. Phil is a former top-level cricketer, while his brother Tom was a professional football player.

Castore markets itself as a “high quality sportswear” manufacturer, creating premium products for athletes. As well as tennis clothing, the company also produces a range of sportswear, including tee-shirts, shorts, sunglasses and headwear.

Murray is wearing Castore at this year's Wimbledon

“It’s strange for me because I never see myself as a brand,” Murray said upon the announcement of their new partnership.

“I see myself as an athlete and as an individual first and foremost and that was always my number one priority. But I hope [Castore] is right and I hope I can make a difference.

“I hope I can help with [Castore’s future sales]. It’s one of the reasons why both of us decided to enter into the agreement with each other. I hope I can add some value.”

How much is the deal worth?

According to The Financial Times, Castore’s deal with Murray is worth £1m-a-year for the next eight years.

Murray remains very marketable (Getty)

Murray is now 32 and most likely doesn’t have many years left as a professional tennis player — but that doesn’t mean his value to brand is likely to diminish anytime soon.

David Frossman-Miller, W Comms' director of media and entertainment, recently told marketing magazine The Drum: “While some with a short-term view will be concerned on his immediate value to sponsors, Andy should now move into a more cerebral role as one of Britain’s sporting greats, much like Beckham, and carry on his work in raising awareness for issues on equality and mental health.

“This will also enable him to sign premium global brands to long-term partnerships that look beyond the world rankings or his latest trophy haul.”

What kit has Murray worn in previous years at Wimbledon?

When he first burst onto the scene, Murray had a sponsorship deal with Fred Perry.

However, in 2010, he signed a “long-term” deal with the German giants Adidas, which lasted until 2014. The partnership earned him close to £15m, including numerous performance-related bonuses.

He then joined forces with the American company Under Armour in December 2014, in a deal worth £15m over four years.

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