Clarke takes fielders’ glove experience to the world
Having used the product for 12 years, cricket hero Michael Clarke will now help bring Rawlings fielders’ glove to Australia and the world.
Agency Reliance Sporting Goods says Rawlings Sporting Goods Company is expanding into cricket with the signing of Clarke to a multi-year endorsement. He will travel to the USA next month to work with their product management team on development of a signature fielders’ glove line, set to debut worldwide later this year.
The gloves are a popular element in cricket practice, but are not used in competitive matches. Reliance general manager John Gavin says the response in the Australian industry so far has been “very positive”.
“We’re very excited by the endorsement which will help raise the profile of the gloves in Australia and elsewhere,” he says.
Rawlings senior brand marketing director Kurt Hunzeker says cricket and baseball share many game-related characteristics, with fielding as a primary pillar in both sports: “With that in mind, Rawlings’ expansion into cricket is a logical next step, and Michael is the perfect ambassador,” he says. “His innovative leadership, aggressive style and unparalleled passion align perfectly with the Rawlings brand, and we look forward to a long-lasting partnership with one of the best athletes in the world.”
The endorsement deal is Rawlings’ first-ever in cricket, where the brand has enjoyed “significant sales increases” in the past three years of its fielders’ gloves. These are same used by baseball players throughout the world, and also in cricket-centric markets such as India and South Africa.
Clarke began using the gloves at the suggestion of Mike Young, Cricket Australia’s current fielding coach and former manager of Australia’s national baseball team. Hunzeker saw firsthand cricketers’ integration of baseball fielding gloves during a visit to Australia this January, as players participating in the KFC T20 Big Bash League used Rawlings gloves during training. Young introduced the two shortly after Clarke’s Australia whitewashed England 5-0 in the Ashes.
In January, Rawlings signed new three-year agreements with the Australian Baseball League and Baseball Australia, establishing Rawlings as the official baseball batting helmet and catchers’ gear provider for both. Last month, Rawlings announced a new partnership with the Chinese Baseball Association.
Photo: Cricket Australia
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