Puma and Blackthorn Cider to exploit club’s global fanbase despite it being in the fourth-tier of Scottish football.

Puma will replace Umbro as the Old Firm side’s kit supplier from the start of the 2013/2014 season in a five-year deal with the club. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

The club says the tie-up with the German business “complements” its joint venture with retailer Sports Direct.

Charles Green, the chief executive of Rangers, says: “Rangers and Puma are massive global brands and this relationship will undoubtedly improve the distribution of club merchandise in the UK and overseas.

Rangers were relegated to the fourth tier of Scottish football last year as punishment for going into administration. The club, however, still remains one of the world’s best supported teams.

Meanwhile, Blackthorn Cider, which is distributed by Tennents owner C&C Group, will replace the lager as the club’s new shirt sponsor from next season. The cider brand is looking to raise its profile outside of Scotland in a bid to capitalise on the growing popularity of the drink across the UK.

Paolo Mortarotti, managing director of Blackthorn Cider says: “The Rangers fans’ reaction to the Club’s recent troubles has been remarkable and we are immensely proud to partner with the Club. Blackthorn is a popular cider both in Scotland and across the UK and we believe this partnership with Rangers will help deliver our ambitious growth plans for the brand.”