Thursday 27 May 2021 4:27 pm

Week in Sportbiz: Castore eyes Chinese market with Wolves kit deal; Rosberg signs up IG Prime to Extreme E team; Koepka does rival DeChambeau a favour

Change is in the air at Wolves, and not only because manager Nuno Espirito Santo departed this week.

The Black Country’s finest have also signed a new kit deal with fast-growing premium British sportswear brand Castore.

Castore has been canny in its choice of sportspeople and teams to get behind, from Andy Murray to Owen Farrell and new Scottish champions Rangers, the label’s first foray into football.

So why Wolves? Well, co-founder Tom Beahon believes that partnering with the Chinese-owned club offers a springboard to international growth, especially in the Far East.

“I don’t think many clubs are as ambitious as Wolves are in wanting to expand their international footprint,” Beahon told City A.M. 

“A lot talk about it; Wolves are really serious. There is a real alignment there in terms of what Castore is trying to do.”

An unusual aspect of the deal is the split: Castore will design and make the high-spec kit worn by players in matches and training, while Wolves will produce the replica version.

Castore will make the pro version of Wolves' match and training kit but the club will produce more affordable replica versions
Castore will make the pro version of Wolves’ match and training kit but the club will produce more affordable replica versions. (Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

While the more affordable replica kit will be more popular with most fans, the pro version will also be on sale and, Beahon believes, resonate in Asian markets in particular.

“There’s a mutual belief between Castore and Wolves that that consumer will want to buy these higher-end products,” he added.

Rosberg signs IG Prime to Extreme E team

Nico Rosberg is enjoying a fruitful start to life in Extreme E, the new electric off-road series.

First, his team, Rosberg X Racing, won last month’s first ever X Prix in Saudi Arabia. 

Then this week, ahead of the second Extreme E race weekend in Senegal, they announced a new sponsorship deal with brokerage service provider IG Prime.

Former F1 world champion Nico Rosberg has seen his team make a wining start to Extreme E
Former F1 world champion Nico Rosberg (left), pictured with drivers Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson, has seen his team make a wining start to Extreme E. (Photo by Colin McMaster / LAT Images)

The former Formula 1 world champion says he is hands-on in all aspects of running Rosberg X Racing – even negotiating sponsorship deals such as this one.

“I’m always involved personally,” he told City A.M. “The personal touch makes a big difference – it’s the only way to really create partnerships.” 

Look out for the full interview with Nico Rosberg next week on cityam.com.

Koepka does rival DeChambeau a favour

The beef between beefcakes Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau has engrossed and amused golf this week.

For anyone who missed it: a leaked clip showed Koepka rolling his eyes and muttering about DeChambeau at the US PGA Championship last weekend, leading to some social media sparring between the US Ryder Cup team-mates.

Koepka’s disdain may be doing DeChambeau a favour, however. It has generated plenty of buzz around the latest instalment of The Match, the made-for-TV exhibition contest which will pit DeChambeau and NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers against US PGA winner Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in July.

Burnley join the NFT stampede

Burnley’s transformation from meat-and-potatoes football club to digital visionaries continues at warp speed.

Fresh from their dip into AI-enhanced scouting, the Clarets have become the latest name in sport to experiment with NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and blockchain technology.

Burnley is partnering with NFT marketplace YellowHeart to explore possible applications in ticketing and fan collectibles.

Says the Premier League club’s chairman Alan Pace: “There is a technological revolution going on in the world right now and it is something that we want to be a leader on in football.”

Amateur out to conquer 138-mile route

Breaking new ground is increasingly difficult in sport but one amateur runner from Essex is setting out to do so next month.

Gavin Noffki is planning to run the 138-mile Harcamlow Way through Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in one gruelling 30-hour session. 

The route is well known to walkers but Noffki believes that no one has attempted to run the treacherous trails and bridleways all at once before. 

He says he has been called “a lunatic” and accused of having “a midlife crisis”.

Square Mile fixed income specialists Guy Butler are among those sponsoring him as he aims to raise £5,000 for the British Heart Foundation and St Mary’s Church in Manuden, Essex.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Gavin can do so via his JustGiving page here.

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