Connacht senior development executive Gavin Duffy and head of marketing & commercial Alex Saul, plus players Nathan White, Jake Heenan and Ronan Loughney, are pictured with Life Style Sports' Mark Stafford and Debbie Byrne
Connacht Rugby have announced Life Style Sports as their new title sponsors from July 2014. The four-season sponsorship deal sees the Irish-owned sports retailer replace Mazda as the province's main sponsors.
Life Style Sports will become the province's official retail partners and will operate Connacht Rugby's online and stadium retail platforms.
Speaking at the launch in Galway, Mark Stafford, Life Style Sports Group CEO, said: "This new partnership with Connacht Rugby is a very exciting development for us all at Life Style Sports.
"We see the association as so much more than just a logo on the front of a shirt. Like Connacht Rugby, Life Style Sports are passionate about sport and we are excited to be able to help Connacht and its fans engage in different ways throughout the year and across the province.
"The unique identity of Connacht Rugby together with its growing, loyal support base in the west and throughout Ireland provides an excellent fit for Life Style Sports and we look forward to promoting Connacht Rugby and our association with them through more than 63 stores across the country.
"The needs and wants of the Connacht supporter was a major focus for both parties during the negotiation process and we are delighted to offer distribution of Connacht merchandise as well as a discount on all products in all Life Style Sports stores for Connacht Season Ticket holders.
"With a revised European competition, new players, new coaching personnel and a new CEO in Willie Ruane coming in, it is a hugely exciting time for Connacht Rugby and its supporters and we are really looking forward to playing our part."
Alex Saul, head of marketing & commercial at Connacht Rugby, added: "Life Style Sports are an exciting and innovative Irish-owned company and their investment will help to drive Connacht Rugby forward.
"We are constantly looking at opportunities for our passionate supporter base to engage with the province and Life Style Sports will help provide a strong presence in stores around the country, enabling the Connacht Clan access to a wide range of clothing, equipment and merchandise.
"We look forward to working with the team at Life Style Sports and welcoming them to the rugby family."
The 2014/15 Connacht playing jerseys will be revealed in August with the full supporters' range available in stores and online at lifestylesports.com from early September.
Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has made ten changes for Munster's return to GUINNESS PRO12 action as the province take on Benetton Treviso at Stadio di Monigo on Saturday in the penultimate round of the Championship (kick-off 7.05pm local time/6.05pm Irish time).
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Speaking to Rob Murphy after Connacht's PRO12 victory over the Dragons, head coach Pat Lam said: "There are some things to learn from, but we're pleased to start with a win. When you consider nine in that starting group are under 23, it's good to see some of those talented guys get a chance - particularly the new ones."
Irish Rugby TV ventured west to cover the launch of Mazda's continued support of Connacht Rugby. We hear from new arrival and Mazda Ambassador Mils Muliaina, Kieran Marmion, Jake Heenan and former captain Gavin Duffy.
Looking forward to the new GUINNESS PRO12 season, Connacht captain John Muldoon said: "We've a lot of younger guys who have big years ahead of them and a few big name signings who will hopefully be able to fit into the system and work hard among the ethos of Connacht Rugby."
Irish Rugby TV was at the launch of the GUINNESS PRO12 and we caught up with Jamie Heaslip, Pat Lam, John Muldoon, Matt O'Connor and Rory Sheridan of Diageo as the new sponsor gets ready to kick off an exciting season.
Speaking during Connacht's training trip to Ballinrobe RFC, captain John Muldoon said: "It's great to see the jerseys and the people coming out to support us today. Long may it continue because we're not a Galway team, we're a Connacht team and that's what we want to push and that's why we come out on these days out."
Young hooker David Heffernan, who extended his current deal with Connacht in April, enjoyed a trip back to his native Mayo as Pat Lam's men held an open training session at Ballinrobe RFC earlier this week.