Diageo and A-B in rugby shirt launch

Drinks companies Diageo and Anheuser-Busch Europe are planning to enter the leisurewear market, with the launch of branded clothing ranges this year. The launch will target rugby union enthusiasts.

Both companies have signed a deal with textiles company Cotton Traders to launch a range of branded T-shirts and rugby shirts.

The Diageo range will be available with Guinness, Toucan and Harp branding. The shirts will be available initially through Cotton Traders’ mail-order catalogue and its website. Later in the year, the range will be rolled out through retailers.

A spokeswoman for Cotton Traders says: “A lot of leading retailers have shown an interest, but we are still in the negotiation stage.”

Anheuser-Busch is still trialling its Budweiser-branded range.

Cotton Traders wholesale director Steve Smith, a former England rugby union captain, says: “We predict that the Diageo range will have a turnover of over &£2m a year.”

The Diageo-branded clothing will be priced between &£12.99 and &£29.99.

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