adidas extends All Blacks sponsorship until 2019 adidas and the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) have extended their long-term sponsorship contract until 2019 confirming a mutual commitment to globalizing the All Blacks team and the sport of rugby. The partnership was announced during a media event in London on the eve of the All Blacks final match of their autumn tour of Hong Kong, Ireland and the United Kingdom. In attendance were CEO and Chairman of adidas AG, Herbert Hainer and NZRU CEO Steve Tew, along with All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, All Blacks Dan Carter, Ali Williams, Mils Muliaina and former New Zealand great Jonah Lomu. adidas has sponsored the world renowned All Blacks since 1999 playing over 100 games in adidas' most technologically advanced rugby apparel and boots. This new partnership runs until 2019 and sees adidas supplying apparel, boots and balls to the Tri Nations Champions. The contract extension also includes sponsorship of all five NZRU Rebel Sport Super 14 Franchises. "adidas is proud to extend its contract with the NZRU and the All Blacks, one of the most inspirational and talented sports teams in the world. Both adidas and the All Blacks have a wonderful rich sporting heritage and we look forward to bringing that heritage to new rugby markets worldwide," said Herbert Hainer, Chairman and CEO of adidas AG. "We are delighted to be able to extend the length and value of this extremely important relationship with adidas," said NZRU CEO Steve Tew. "This new agreement is the second extension of the NZRU-adidas relationship and continues its position as one of the most significant commercial partnerships in international rugby. The funding from this agreement is critical to the NZRU's ability to fund rugby initiatives including Franchise and Provincial Union rugby, Community rugby investments and retaining our top professional players in New Zealand," he said. The All Blacks current tour is taking New Zealand rugby to exciting new markets. On November 1st, 2008 for the first time ever, a Bledisloe Cup match was played on neutral territory in Hong Kong where 40,000 supporters turned out to see the All Blacks beat Australia. November 18th then saw the All Blacks play European Club Champions Munster, in Ireland. Members of the All Blacks touring squad will finish their European visit with a unique training session with football greats and adidas partners AC Milan in Italy. In 2009 adidas will launch new home and away jerseys for the All Blacks. Richie McCaw and his teammates will wear the lightest ever adidas rugby jersey incorporating the most innovative adidas apparel technologies, ForMotion™ and ClimaCool®. Weighing just 195g the jerseys, designed specifically for the New Zealand Rugby Union, are 35% lighter than the 2005 edition of the famous black jersey. The adidas ForMotion™ technology ensures the jerseys are three-dimensionally engineered to move naturally with the athletes' body during sport and in 2009 the jersey sleeves have been made longer and shaped to work in unison with the player's bicep reducing irritation and muscle restriction. Ultrasonic welding in both the jersey and shorts also makes for stronger but more comfortable kit, while ClimaCool® mesh areas have been strategically placed to optimize moisture management. The jerseys will be used in conjunction with adidas TECHFIT™ technologies to ensure the All Blacks have the most competitive apparel on the pitch in 2009.