During Tuesday’s AGM, Rangers director of commercial and marketing James Bisgrove made an admission about the future of the club’s relationship with Castore [Glasgow Times].
The Gers announced a multi-year agreement with Castore in May 2020 with the emerging British brand taking over as the club’s kit and retail partners at the beginning of last season.
🆕 #RangersFC is delighted to announce Castore, the fastest growing premium British sportswear brand, as its official kit and retail partner from the 2020-21 football season.#BetterNeverStops | #ANewEra
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) May 17, 2020
Since then, the brand has expanded significantly, striking deals with the likes of Wolves and Newcastle United, McLaren F1 and England Cricket.
Many supporters are pleased with the majority of the kit designs Castore have come up with and there’s certainly no shortage of different ranges available online and in-store.
There have been issues, particularly early on, with both deliveries and quality, though, while many fans were disappointed to learn via the annual report that the club had earned just £4.6m from the deal.
During the AGM, Bisgrove stressed that things were going in the right direction for Rangers regarding retail and that further payments would soon land.
However, the Englishman also suggested that given that the club is now in a stronger position, they may look elsewhere in the not too distant future.
“There is a lot of context – which I don’t need to remind shareholders – about where this club has come from in terms of kit and retail,” he said [Glasgow Times] “The future is really, really bright.”
“The future from medium to long-term will be whether we sit down with Castore and have another conversation, or we go back to the market. For the first time, we’re going to have very strong sales, data and credibility.
“I think it hasn’t been perfect, particularly at the beginning when we came out of Covid and there were certain issues with customer service. But there has been fantastic progress on that. And I’m very positive and confident about the future retail and relationship with Castore.”
Rangers were keen to stress the potential of the deal with Castore right from the start and the Beahon brothers made plenty of lofty claims.
It’s clear that not everything has gone to plan, and it’s good to see Bisgrove acknowledge that, but it hasn’t been anything like the disastrous deals of old.
It seems clear from this update that the Castore partnership was about repairing previous damage and getting the club to the sort of position from which they can negotiate better terms, and this is an area where supporters will expect to see figures rise considerably over the coming years.