Tag Archives: sportswear

Nike will have to pay up to extend Manchester United deal

Nike will have to dig deep to extend Man United sponsorship deal

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UPDATED:

19:00 GMT, 14 November 2012

Nike face having to shell out huge sums of cash if they want to maintain their association with Manchester United.

The American sportswear giants are due to sit down with Red Devils officials in February at the start of an exclusive six-month negotiating period with United over their 303million kit supply deal.

And whilst United officials were giving little away today during a conference call to provide information on their first quarter results, it seems obvious Nike will have to come up with an enormous sum to satisfy the club’s owners, the Glazer family.

Swoosh: Manchester United's current kits are made by Nike

Swoosh: Manchester United's current kits are made by Nike

In July, United announced a staggering 357million deal with General Motors for the Chevrolet logo to be worn on their shirts for seven seasons from 2014.

That figure prompted United to buy-out the present deal with DHL for United’s training kit, which will now come to an end at the climax of this season.

'We feel we know, with some clarity, the value of our rights, and we are bullish about the abundance of opportunities available to accelerate the growth of this business,' said Woodward.

'The planning on DHL started post-GM deal. We are always monitoring the value of our rights. We can improve the amount, duration and rights-package about that deal.

'Our six-month negotiating window with them (Nike) starts in February. We look forward to sitting down with them then.'

Privately, United officials do not see the way the Nike deal is structured fits with the more commercially aggressive Glazer regime.

When the present deal was negotiated in 2002, United were a publicly floated company and preferred to take as much risk as possible away from any sponsorship tie-up.

Therefore, a profit-share arrangement was put in place which ensured United received only a proportion of the cash generated from worldwide shirt sales in exchange for a guaranteed sum.

The Glazer family have not gone down the same route. They have even stopped the policy of contracting out pre-season tour arrangements, believing they can negotiate better deals themselves.

Costly: If Nike want to extend the deal they will have to cough up

Costly: If Nike want to extend the deal they will have to cough up

As a battle is presently taking place
between Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne for two proposed matches in
Australia during 2013, the value of such an attitude is obvious.

It has also been noted Nike now pay the
French Football Federation almost 40million-a-year, without a
profit-share arrangement, for a seven-year period which began at the
start of last season.

Sponsorship certainly appears to be a lucrative revenue stream for United given they posted a 32% increase to 27.8million for the three months to September 30, 2013.

Including the General Motors contract, United did 10 sponsorship deals during that time, confirming an increase in workforce from 670 to 735 was almost exclusively connected to the marketing sector.

They now have mobile phone partnerships in 44 countries, with Woodward claiming the three-year deal with Japanese soft drinks manufacturer Kagome came as a direct result of opening an office in Hong Kong.

He added that the USA was the 'next natural place' for the club to open a regional centre given as many supporters watch United live there as do so in the United Kingdom.

Lucrative: From 2014 United will be sponsored by General Motors

Lucrative: From 2014 United will be sponsored by General Motors

It was also confirmed United received 2.5million as a result of being an Olympic Games football venue, plus 1.3million in compensation for players appearing at Euro 2012.

In addition, United used proceeds of IPO to reduce total debt by 17% to 359.7million.

This is unlikely to appease the vast numbers of anti-Glazer United supporters though.

An ‘exceptional item’ of 3.1million related to professional advisor fees in connection with the IPO, part of what is estimated to be an overall spend of 550million in interest and fees since the Glazer takeover in 2005.

Rory McIlroy poised to sign 156m deal to replace Tiger Woods as face of Nike

McIlroy poised to sign 156m deal to replace Woods as face of Nike

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UPDATED:

08:55 GMT, 24 October 2012

Rory McIlroy has taken over from Tiger Woods as world No 1… and now the 23-year-old Northern Irishman is set to replace the fallen superstar as the face of golf for Nike.

McIlroy is poised to sign a staggering
10-year deal worth 156miilion with the American sportswear giants when
his present contract with golf equipment firm Titleist finishes at the end of December.

Clean cut: World No 1 Rory McIlroy

Clean cut: World No 1 Rory McIlroy

Woods is currently paid 12.5m a year by Nike but his 'family-man' image has been tarnished by revelations of his extra-marital affairs.

McIlroy, 23, who takes on Woods in an exhibition match in China on Monday, was coy over the deal.

'I’ve never been motivated by money,' said McIlroy. 'All the business stuff will work itself out. What I want is more trophies.

Star appeal: Tiger Woods is still a favourite with fans

Star appeal: Tiger Woods is still a favourite with fans

'I leave it to Conor [Ridge, McIlroy’s manager] to sort out as it leaves
me to concentrate on my golf. I have enough to think about trying to
get the ball in the hole. I’ve got a very important end to my season
coming up.'

Dublin-based Ridge, who moved another of his players, Ross Fisher, to
Nike from Titleist earlier this season, refused to confirm the move.

He
said: 'Rory is under contract with Titleist. It is our policy not to
pass comment regarding any industry speculation related to our players.'

According to SportPro Media survey,
McIlroy is now the second most marketable athlete in the world, behind
Brazilian football star Neymar.

Dream couple: McIlroy with his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki

Dream couple: McIlroy with his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki

McIlroy already earns an eight-figure income from his current list of
sponsors, which include the Dubai-based Jumeirah Group, Oakley,
watchmaker Audemars Piguet and bank Santander.

For many years Woods has been 'the face' of Nike but clean-cut Rory is being groomed as the fallen superstar’s eventual replacement.

And with Lance Armstrong’s career imploding in disgrace, Nike need to make the right call.

The company have been described by Forbes magazine as the most valuable sports brand in the world, worth 10bn.

Newcastle fans celebrate as St James" Park sign is restored

Out with the new and in with the old! Toon fans pop their corks as St James' Park sign is restored to Newcastle's famous home

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UPDATED:

14:34 GMT, 17 October 2012

Newcastle fans celebrated in style outside St James' Park after finally being allowed to call the famous old stadium by it's original name once again.

Members of the Toon Army knocked back the champagne as the Sports Direct signs were taken away and the old name was officially unveiled.

There was outrage when the club announced a sponsorship deal with owner Mike Ashley's sportswear retailer last season which included the naming rights to the stadium to end 119 years of history in the city.

Let's get fizzy-cal: Newcastle supporters celebrate the stadium name changing back to St James' Park

Let's get fizzy-cal: Newcastle supporters celebrate the stadium name changing back to St James' Park

But the Magpies have now signed a 32million shirt and stadium sponsorship deal with short-term loans company Wonga.com for the next four years.

It does does kick in until next season but the club moved quickly to get their name back and a few fans were there to mark the occasion.

The rest of the Magpies faithful, most of whom refused to acknowledge the change to the Sports Direct Arena, will be able to celebrate this victory at next home game, in the Europa League against Club Brugge.

The boss: Magpies manager Alan Pardew said last week he welcomed the change back to St James' Park

The boss: Magpies manager Alan Pardew said last week he welcomed the change back to St James' Park

So everything's good again on Tyneside Not quite. Supporters are furious with plans to have Wonga emblazoned on the front of the famous black and white stripes.

The company, already sponsors of Championship club Blackpool and top Scottish side Hearts, have been labelled a 'legal loan shark company' for offering short-term loans at an APR of 4,214 per cent.

Fan-tastic: Newcastle supporter Ian Davison was a happy man outside St James' Park

Fan-tastic: Newcastle supporter Ian Davison was a happy man outside St James' Park

Nike dump Lance Armstrong amid "insurmountable evidence" he was drugs cheat

Finally, they've just done it: Armstrong dumped by Nike over doping and lying after investing tens of millions in cheat

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UPDATED:

12:58 GMT, 17 October 2012

Nike has terminated their sponsorship agreement with Lance Armstrong 'due to the
insurmountable evidence' he 'participated in doping and misled Nike for more
than a decade'.

The American sportswear giant had initially stood by by the seven-time Tour De France winner despite his role as ringleader in 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen'.

But Nike were forced to cut their ties with Armstrong after it became clear he had 'misled them for more than a decade'.

Frehs twist: Nike and Livestrong have distanced themselves from Lance Armstrong

Frehs twist: Nike and Livestrong have distanced themselves from Lance Armstrong

A Nike
statement said: 'Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance
Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a
decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract
with him. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing
drugs in any manner. Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong
initiatives created to unite, inspire and empower people affected by
cancer.'

The announcement came minutes after Armstrong revealed he was stepping down as
chairman of his Livestrong cancer-fighting charity so the group can
focus on its mission instead of the doping allegations surrounding the
former cycling champion.

The move came a week after the US Anti-Doping Agency released a damning report containing accusations of
widespread doping by Armstrong and his team-mates when he won the Tour de
France seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005.

The document's purpose
was to show why USADA has banned him from cycling for life and ordered
14 years of his career results erased – including his Tour titles. It
contains sworn statements from 26 witnesses, including 11 former
team-mates.

Armstrong, who was not paid a salary as chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, will remain on its 15-member board. His duties leading the board will be turned over to vice chairman Jeff Garvey, who was founding chairman in 1997.

Suspicion: Lance Armstrong is checked up back in the 2003 Tour de France

Suspicion: Lance Armstrong is checked up back in the 2003 Tour de France

'This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart,' Armstrong said in a statement.

'Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.'

Foundation spokeswoman Katherine McLane said the decision turns over the foundation's big-picture strategic planning to Garvey. He will also assume some of the public appearances and meetings that Armstrong used to handle.

Armstrong strongly denies doping, but did not fight USADA accusations through arbitration, saying he thinks the process is unfair. Once Armstrong gave up the fight in August and the report came out, crisis management experts predicted the future of the foundation, known mainly by its Livestrong brand name, would be threatened. They said Armstrong should consider stepping down to keep the charity from getting dragged into a debate over doping.

Big backers: Nike have long supported Armstrong - on the road and off it

Big backers: Nike were supporters of Armstrong – on the road and off it

The Armstrong scandal had taken a new twist on
Tuesday with the allegation that Nike paid $500,000 to the former head
of cycling’s world governing body, Hein Verbruggen, to cover up a
positive drugs test.

The
US sportswear giant, a long-time sponsor of Armstrong and his
Livestrong charity, said they were standing by him, despite the decision
of the US Anti-Doping Agency to ban him for life and strip him of his
seven Tour de France titles.

And
the company issued a statement on Tuesday night saying they ‘vehemently
deny’ that they ‘paid former UCI president Verbruggen $500,000 to
cover up a positive drug test’.

The statement said: 'In response to
the offensive allegations in today’s New York Daily News, Nike
vehemently denies that it paid former UCI president Hein Verbruggen
$500,000 to cover up a positive drug test. Nike does not condone the use
of illegal performance enhancing drugs.'

It followed a report in the New York
Daily News that Kathy LeMond, wife of three-time Tour winner Greg,
testified under oath in 2006 that she was told by Armstrong’s mechanic,
Julien Devries, about the alleged donation in July 2000.

It is alleged the payment was made by
Nike and Thom Weisel, an American financier who helped set up
Armstrong’s team, and that it was paid into a Swiss bank account
belonging to Verbruggen, president of the UCI from 1991-2005, and now
UCI honorary president and an honorary member of the IOC.

Mrs LeMond confirmed to Sportsmail
last night that her testimony in 2006 followed a conversation with
Devries in July 2000. At the time, Devries was working for Armstrong,
but he had worked with, and been close to, LeMond, who retired in 1994.

Mrs LeMond said that Devries told her
in 2000 that the payment came after Armstrong tested positive for
corticosteroids at the 1999 Tour. ‘Everything else Julien told us has
turned out to be accurate,’ said Mrs LeMond.

Axed: Matthew White

Sacked: Armstrong's former team-mate Matthew White was axed by Cycling Australia on Tuesday after admitting doping between 2001 and 2003

She originally revealed her
conversation with Devries during a 2006 deposition in Texas after
Armstrong filed a lawsuit against SCA, an insurance company who withheld
a $5million bonus because of doping allegations in the book L.A.
Confidentiel.

The LeMonds — among the first
high-profile people to go public with their suspicions that Armstrong
doped — were called to testify by SCA. In the event, SCA paid the bonus,
though they have intimated in the last week that they will seek to
reclaim the money.

A UCI spokesman yesterday insisted
they would say nothing about the Armstrong case until 31 October, which
is the deadline for their response to USADA’s ‘Reasoned Decision’
against Armstrong and his team, US Postal.

Nike’s decision to continue
supporting Armstrong has drawn criticism and protests, with a former
team-mate of Armstrong, Paul Willerton, yesterday leading a group of
cycling fans to the company’s corporate headquarters in Beaverton,
Oregon.

Banners brandished by protesters included a variation on Nike’s slogan: ‘Just do the right thing: sack Lance.

Claims: Kathy Lemond pictured alongside husband Greg

Claims: Kathy Lemond pictured alongside husband Greg

'My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation
and that will not change. We plan to continue our service to the
foundation and the cancer community. We will remain active advocates for
cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer,' Armstrong said.

CharityWatch, which analyzes the work of approximately 600 charities,
lists the foundation among its top-rated organizations. That status
normally goes to groups which 'generally spend 75 percent or more of
their budgets on programs, spend $25 or less to raise $100 in public
support, do not hold excessive assets in reserve' and disclose of basic
financial information and documents.

Livestrong says it had functional expenses totaling nearly $35.8 million
last year and 82 percent of every dollar raised went directly to
programs, a total of more than $29.3 million.

The foundation reported a spike in contributions in late August in the
days immediately after Armstrong announced he would no longer fight
doping charges and officials moved to erase his Tour victories.

Daniel Borochoff, founder and president of Chicago-based CharityWatch,
said last week it may take some time for donors to digest the
allegations against Armstrong.

'Individuals that admire and support an individual who is later found
out to be severely tarnished, don't want to admit it, don't want to
admit that they've been duped,' Borochoff said. 'People, though, do need
to trust a charity to be able to support it.'

Nike strongly deny they paid to cover up failed Lance Armstrong drugs test

Nike hit back against claims they paid $500,000 to cover up failed Armstrong drugs test

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UPDATED:

20:29 GMT, 16 October 2012

Sportswear giant Nike have vehemently denied suggestions they paid $500,000 for a failed drugs test from Lance Armstrong to be covered up.

The astonishing claims emerged from a testimony by Kathy Lemond from back in 2006 and comes now with many calling for the company to cut their ties with shamed American Armstrong.

Lemond, the wife of American cyclist
Greg Lemond, claimed under oath in 2006 that Nike helped pay former UCI
president Hein Verbruggen $500,000 to cover up a positive drug test from Armstrong.

Suspicion: Lance Armstrong is checked up back in the 2003 Tour de France

Suspicion: Lance Armstrong is checked up back in the 2003 Tour de France

But in a statement released on Tuesday night, Nike said: 'In response to the offensive allegations in the New York Daily News, Nike vehemently denies that it paid former UCI president Hein Verbruggen $500,000 to cover up a positive drug test. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs.'

It was claimed the cash was paid to cover up a positive test in 1999 for corticosteroids, which Armstrong had used to treat saddle sores.

Big backers: Nike have long supported Armstrong - on the road and off it

Big backers: Nike have long supported Armstrong – on the road and off it

Speaking to the New York Daily News on Tuesday, Lemond said she stood by her testimony. She said: 'I’m sure Julian was telling the truth.'

Armstrong’s lawyer Mark Fabiani hit back, saying: 'We have absolutely no idea what Mrs Lemond, a long-time Lance-hater, was talking about when she gave her deposition. And to this day we have no idea what she was talking about.'

Claims: Kathy Lemond pictured alongside husband Greg

Claims: Kathy Lemond pictured alongside husband Greg

Armstrong was last week exposed as a
liar, bully and cheat in the United States Anti-Doping Agency's report
into his alleged doping in the US Postal team.

Despite the damning evidence against Armstrong, Nike continue to back their man – reissuing the same statement from August.

It
read: 'We are saddened that Lance Armstrong may no longer be able to
participate in certain competitions and his titles appear to be
impacted.

'Lance has stated his innocence and has
been unwavering on this position. Nike plans to continue to support
Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors.'

Sports Direct signs torn down at St James" Park, Newcastle

Newcastle fans rejoice as Sports Direct signs are ripped down from St James' Park

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UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 15 October 2012

To the joy of Newcastle fans around the world, the club have begun the process of tearing down the Sports Direct signs to return the club's historic name: St James' Park.

There was outrage when the club announced a sponsorship deal with the sportswear retailer which included the naming rights to the stadium to end 119-years of history in the city.

And anger directed at Mike Ashley – owner of both club and retail giant – in a move the fans regarded as running roughshod over the iconic heart of the city.

Good riddance: Newcastle fans will be pleased to see the back of these signs

Good riddance: Newcastle fans will be pleased to see the back of these signs

Controversial new sponsors Wonga.com have recently signed a 32million four-year shirt and stadium sponsorship deal.

The deal does not start until next season, but the club have immediately pulled down the Sports Direct signs and restore the St James’ Park name.

The original lettering is due to be restored for Newcastle’s next home game, in the Europa League against Club Brugge. The move is a victory for supporters who have refused to acknowledge the change to the Sports Direct Arena.

However, Toon army are furious with plans to have the short-term loans company's name emblazoned on the front of the famous black and white stripes

And one local MP has threatened to boycott the Wonga Arena if Ashley renames the stadium for a second time as part of a three-year deal worth a reported 8m a year.

The controversial company, already sponsors of Championship club Blackpool and top Scottish side Hearts, have been labelled a 'legal loan shark company' for offering short-term loans at an APR of 4,214 per cent.

Controversy: Many fans have expressed unease at new sponsors Wonga

Controversy: Many fans have expressed unease at new sponsors Wonga

But Newcastle boss Alan Pardew told Sky Sports News he was thrilled with the decision to revert back to the original name last week

He said: 'I'm a romantic, so the stadium change last year hurt me and hurt our team. It's one of those business decision that you can't get your head around at times as a football person.

'I made a point of saying that the same sign should go up, not a new one, the same sign, 'St James' Park', and I'm absolutely overjoyed with that.'

Nike replace Umbro for England kits

FA announce deal with Nike to kit out England as American giants replace Umbro

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UPDATED:

10:47 GMT, 3 September 2012

American sportswear giant Nike will be the new official kit provider for the England football team.

As revealed by Sportsmail, Nike will launch a new England strip as next spring as the Football Association marks its 150th anniversary.

The new kit will be released just a year after the current version went on sale, which in turn replaced one used for just eight games.

Change strip: How the England kit may look with the Nike swoosh

Change strip: How the England kit may look with the Nike swoosh

WHAT THE DEAL INCLUDES
Supplying kit and match-balls to all of Club England’s 24 football teams at every level, including the men’s national teams, women’s, Futsal, disability and amateurSponsorship and support of St. George’s Park, the home of the National Football Centre in Burton-upon-Trent, which in addition to hosting the England Senior team will train and develop a generation of coaches, referees and medical staff every yearSupporting partner of Wembley Stadium, the home of English footballSupporting partner for The FA Cup, supplying match balls for every round of the world’s most famous cup competitionSupply of product to County FAs

Fans will be reluctant to splash out on yet another replica which commands a price tag of around 50.

The strip could make its debut in the Auld Enemy clash with Scotland at Wembley on August 14.

The contract runs until 31 July 2018 and replaces the deal with Umbro, who Nike bought in 2007 but decided to sell this summer.

And rather than stick with the Manchester-based brand who have supplied England's kit for most of the last 60 years, the FA opted to transfer their allegiance to the parent company before the sale went through.

The FA refused to confirm the value of the deal but it is understood to be at least the same value as the contract signed with Umbro.

It also includes sponsorship rights at the new National Football Centre and Wembley and the supply of match balls for the FA Cup.

FA general secretary Alex Horne said: 'I am delighted that the FA has secured this new wide-ranging and comprehensive partnership with Nike.

'It is an extremely exciting time for both parties with the opening of St George's Park this year and The FA's 150th anniversary in 2013.

New order: Rooney and Co are set to be kitted in strips by Nike instead of Umbro

New order: Rooney and Co are set to be kitted in strips by Nike instead of Umbro

'I would also like to place on record
our gratitude to Umbro and their significant contribution to the game,
the FA and England teams, over a 60-year period.'

Nike Brand president Charlie Denson
added: 'The pride and passion of England fans is renowned throughout the
football world and we are delighted to partner with the FA.

'We look forward to supporting England
teams at every level with innovative product technology and playing our
part to help develop the future of English football through our support
of St George's Park.'

Nike to replace Umbro for England kits

EXCLUSIVE: England to be kitted in Nike as American giants agree deal to replace Umbro

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 27 August 2012

American sportswear giant Nike are on the verge of signing the deal to be the official kit provider for the England football team.

Nike, who already supply the England rugby team, are believed to be launching a new England away strip as early as next spring, despite the fact the existing deal with Umbro was supposed to run until 2018.

Consumers eager to wear the current strip may have to fork out for another new England kit, though Nike's plans are not yet clear.

New order: Rooney and Co are set to be kitted in strips by Nike instead of Umbro

New order: Rooney and Co are set to be kitted in strips by Nike instead of Umbro

The move, which will earn the FA millions, will be seen as a fightback after German rivals adidas dominated the Olympics by supplying Team GB.

FA officials were last week ready to announce that a relationship with Manchester-based manufacturer Umbro was about to be terminated.

And while the FA refused to comment last night, Sportsmail understands an agreement has been reached for Nike to take over.

Done deal: An agreement has been reached for Nike to take over

Done deal: An agreement has been reached for Nike to take over

Umbro's link with England dates back to the 1950s, and their 20million a year deal runs until 2018.

It stipulated that only Umbro could supply the England team. But Nike announced in May their plan to sell Umbro – having bought them in 2007 for 285m – and made a proposal to the FA that the governing body seem ready to accept.

In a move first mooted in Sportsmail's Sports Agenda column, Nike offered the FA the chance to sign a lucrative new deal or stay with a company facing an uncertain future, given how important the England contract has been to the brand for so many years.

Tradition: Umbro's current 20m-a-year deal runs until 2018

Tradition: Umbro's current 20m a year deal runs until 2018

Nike have also taken over the contract Umbro had with Manchester City. It was only in 2009 that the English champions signed a 10-year deal with Umbro, worth 6m a year.

City will wear Nike shirts from next season, and Nike England away shirts are due in spring.

The home strip was launched only in February and for two years, but the Nike 'swoosh' is likely to replace the Umbro badge on that kit as well next spring, which may not impress fans.

Wimbledon 2012: Andy Murray new shorts switch

Exclusive: New shorts please, Andy! Ball blunder forces kit switch for Murray

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UPDATED:

21:22 GMT, 1 July 2012

Andy Murray will wear a new pair of shorts when he steps on to court for his fourth-round match against Croatia's Marin Cilic on Monday.

After the spare ball slipped from his pocket three times during Saturday's late-night encounter with Marcos Baghdatis – he was twice punished with lost points – the British No 1 will change into a different version manufactured by adidas.

Nice try, Andy, but they've got to be white: Murray arrives for practice in blue shorts on Sunday, a day after the balls fell from his pocket (right)

Shorts shrift: Murray complains as a ball falls from his pocket during his match against Marcos Baghdatis

Nice try, Andy, but they've got to be white: Murray arrives for practice in blue shorts on Sunday (left), a day after the balls fell from his pocket (right) in his third round clash with Marcos Baghdatis

What the law says…

There is no specific rule about balls falling out of a pocket but it comes under the hindrance law. The law states that, if a player is hindered in playing a point by a deliberate act of an opponent, the player wins the point.

If unintentional or outside of the player's own control then the point is replayed.

When the ball fell out of Murray's pocket a second and third time it was no longer deemed 'outside of his control' and he lost the point.

Murray was penalised under rules governing hindrance during play.

The sportswear manufacturer last night put the incidents down to human
error, saying the pockets on the hand-finished shorts had been made too
shallow.

Murray's progress towards Sunday's final could be further disrupted by the weather and his scheduling on Court No 1.

The fourth seed is due second on the uncovered show court and heavy rain is forecast.

If Murray's match against Cilic cannot be completed, the Scot would be forced into playing on consecutive days.

At least Murray's shorts shouldn't trouble him.

On Saturday the ball popped out three times, each at a critical stage.

The
first time it happened umpire Steve Ullrich ordered they replay the
point, but on the latter two occasions the points went to Baghdatis.

Murray, sponsored by adidas since late 2009 in a 3m-a-year deal, has worn the brand's Barricade Short since the start of Wimbledon.

Baghdatis, Fernando Verdasco and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga wear the machine-finished Barricade Bermuda shorts, which look almost identical but are longer.

The German sportswear giant investigated the issue before issuing a statement, which read: 'Adidas works closely with Andy on the design of all his kit and we believe the issues were the result of an individual technical error in the handmade pockets of those shorts. Andy will now wear the Barricade Bermuda short.'

What happened when our man Laurie Whitwell tested the shorts

After Andy Murray's tennis ball mishap, I put a replica pair of Murray's shorts to the test…

On
Murray Mount, I ran a series of 15-metre sprints, side-stepped a bit
and jumped up and down on the spot for 60 seconds but I was unable to
dislodge a ball from the pockets on Sunday.

Ball wiggler: Daily Mail sports writer Laurie Whitwell tries out a pair of the naughty shorts

Ball wiggler: Daily Mail sports writer Laurie Whitwell tries out a pair of the naughty shorts

Ball wiggler: Daily Mail sports writer Laurie Whitwell tries out a pair of the naughty shorts

It was only when I violently wiggled my legs that I could get the ball to nudge even slightly.

Murray's thighs are at least double the size of mine but the key difference was the pockets on my shop-bought shorts (for 30) were finished correctly.

Perhaps Andy should have nipped down the High Street.

Everton announce Nike deal

Everton say au revoir to Le Coq Sportif as Toffees announce Nike deal

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UPDATED:

09:00 GMT, 29 March 2012

Everton have signed a three-year kit deal with Nike, starting from next season. The sportswear giant take over from Le Coq Sportif and will be the official and recognised technical partner on all of Everton's match and training kits.

Everton's new deal, negotiated in close collaboration with their retail and merchandise partner Kitbag, is the first with Nike.

New deal: Everton have gone into partnership with Nike

New deal: Everton have gone into partnership with Nike

'We're all excited by the prospect of working with Nike's design, marketing and retailing teams,' said Toffees chief executive Robert Elstone.

'We look forward to seeing some impressive, original kits and products, as well as being on hand to take advantage of new retail opportunities that we'll be working with Kitbag to drive forward.

'Nike has an impeccable reputation and we are confident that our supporters will be excited by the new partnership, with all of us looking forward to seeing our new home shirt this summer.'