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New Crusaders and Matatū apparel partner to provide one-off jerseys and larger retail range

Alongside all other New Zealand-based Super Rugby clubs, the Crusaders are excited to announce Classic as our new apparel partner, with one-off and heritage jerseys expected as well as a larger retail range. 


Their appointment comes after a thorough tender process which canvassed over 15 sports apparel brands worldwide. 


While Adidas have been our apparel partner for approximately 25 years, the opportunity for a new partner presented itself and Classic stood out from the rest for their expanded product range and quick turnaround. The Australasian apparel company has been manufacturing high quality sportswear since 1934. 


Through this new partnership, Classic will produce playing kit for all New Zealand-based Super Rugby Pacific and Super Rugby Aupiki teams. Each club will expand their retail range and offer greater official and supporter apparel options for fans. The flexibility of Classic also enables the introduction of heritage and special themed jerseys, something which is commonplace in leagues like the NBA and NRL. 


The New Zealand Super Rugby clubs are excited about the flexibility and surety that comes with Classic, which has its own factory and an in-house art and design department and complete control of all production capabilities and supply chain.  


With a strong pedigree across the NRL and partnerships with leading clubs including the South Sydney Rabbitohs and St George Illawarra Dragons, Classic has expertise in technical athletic apparel that is exceptionally constructed. 


Colin Mansbridge, Crusaders CEO, said production flexibility was a big positive of the Classic partnership and he looked forward to what that will mean for fans. 


“Classic is a proven provider of quality high-performance sports apparel and we’re excited to see what this partnership will mean for our players and our fans,” Mansbridge said. 


“With their own factory, and art and design department, NZ Super Rugby clubs look forward to working with Classic to create custom jerseys and great supporter gear through their reliable supply chain.” 

Mansbridge thanked Adidas for their association with Super Rugby for generations here in New Zealand. 


“Adidas has been an important partner of ours for years, and I know I speak on behalf of both our players and fans when I say thank you for all you’ve done in that time for rugby in New Zealand.” 


Warren Carney, Classic Sportswear Managing Director, said he’s excited to partner with the five Super Rugby clubs, the number one sporting code in the New Zealand market. 


“As the demonstrated trusted official apparel partner to the NRL’s elite national teams, the Kangaroos, Jillaroos, Indigenous All Stars, NRL Maori All Stars, as well as six of the NRL Clubs South Sydney Rabbitohs, St George Illawarra Dragons, Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, NRL Dolphins, Cronulla Sharks, and Newcastle Knights, we have significant experience in delivering quality, cutting edge elite sports product,” Carney said. 


“It is this industry leading experience, coupled with a passion for the wearable technology applied to our on-field kit and our complete commitment to delivering a comprehensive supporter range for rugby fans in New Zealand, that sets Classic apart. 


“At the heart of Classic’s product development strategy is our investment and commitment to creating the Rugby range, specific and bespoke to Rugby requirements, developed and wearer trialled directly and hands on with both the male and female Rugby athletes. 


“We are looking forward to seeing Classic kit on the rugby field, the training field, and on Rugby supporters all over New Zealand.” 


Super Rugby NZ apparel will be available through the Super Rugby Club Stores and retalilers from December 1, 2023, and designs for the Crusaders 2024 home, away and training jerseys are expected to be launched later this year.