Sportif ditches Lennox Lewis sponsorship deal

Sportswear company Le Coq Sportif has decided not to renew its 1.5m sponsorship deal with WBC heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

A spokesman on behalf of Lewis’ management company Pannix says: “The deal ended amicably. We are talking to other companies and we expect to have another company in place shortly.”

Lewis is one of the richest sportsmen in the UK, with a personal fortune estimated at over 30m. However, with his mid-Atlantic accent and unassuming public image, he has had trouble endearing himself to the UK public.

When the Sportif deal was announced Lewis’ brother Dennis said: “Sportif is looking to use Lennox as their figurehead.”

Prince Naseem Hamed also has a two-year sponsorship deal, for an undisclosed fee, with Adidas. The sportswear company has said it is keen to renew the deal with the boxer.

Le Coq Sportif is made under licence by sportswear company Gilbert and Pollard. It acquired this brand and three other businesses in April last year for 925,000 as well as paying off 1m worth of debts.

Lewis’ company Pannix is trying to arrange individual sponsorships, of between 10,000 and 25,000, for its stable of 50 boxers.

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