Castore Partner Newcastle United

WH Sports are delighted to announce a new multi-year partnership between British sportswear group Castore and Newcastle United Football Club, which will see Castore creating bespoke kit ready for the 2021/22 Premier League season.

As part of the partnership, Castore will take over the club’s retail operations – launching a new, modernised club store at St. James’ Park, a revamped online store and additional retail outlets in Newcastle city centre.

Castore – with its slogan Better Never Stops – was founded by sporting brothers Tom and Phil Beahon in 2015. It develops highly innovative sportswear using patented fabrics and advanced technical engineering and has established impressive partnerships across a wide range of sports.

As well as collaborations with several elite athletes, including Sir Andy Murray, Owen Farrell and Adam Peaty, Castore’s growing portfolio of teams includes the McLaren Formula 1 team, Glasgow Rangers and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Castore expects to partner with five leading clubs across Europe for the 2022/2023 season. It aims to utilise its digital expertise and capabilities in technical engineering to create products that enhance player performance and increase club revenues from branded merchandise.

Lee Charnley, Managing Director at Newcastle United, said: “We are delighted to confirm the new partnership between Newcastle United and Castore.

“Castore has already built a reputation as an aspirational brand in a highly competitive sportswear market and we feel they are a great partner for the club.

“We welcome them to Newcastle United and look forward to developing a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Tom Beahon, co-founder of Castore, said: “I am thrilled to be partnering with one of the most historic and famous clubs in English football.

“Newcastle has a huge and deeply passionate fan base, and we look forward to giving the ‘Toon Army’ something else to get excited about next season.

“We believe the partnership signals not only a new shirt for the new season but also a new start, a new better for this iconic club.”

British kart star Ollie Gray joins WH Sports ahead of single-seater debut

Rising British motor racing star Ollie Gray has added another string to his bow ahead of his single-seater debut with Fortec Motorsports in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost this year, after joining WH Sports’ stable of talented athletes.

The forthcoming campaign will represent Gray’s graduation to car racing, following a tremendously successful stint in karts. In 2019, the Chipstead-born ace won both the prestigious Motorsport UK Kartmasters Grand Prix and British Kart Championship at X30 Junior level, while simultaneously finishing as runner-up in the IAME Euro Series.

Last year, Gray stepped up to the international stage full-time under the colours of Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc with the Leclerc by Lennox Racing outfit. Contesting both the FIA World and European Championships as well as various WSK competitions in the OK class, he notably sped to an eye-catching victory in the WSK Euro Series at Sarno in Italy.

Now, the 15-year-old is ready to accelerate his career up through the gears after signing to race for reigning champions Fortec in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series, which benefits from the considerable kudos and exposure of being on the ITV4-live televised British Touring Car Championship package. Not only that, but it has in the past helped to catapult the likes of current McLaren Formula 1 ace Lando Norris onto the fast track towards superstardom.

As Gray prepares to take his own first steps on the FIA single-seater ladder, the highly-rated Surrey teenager will do so with the full support of WH Sports – an organisation that has already carved out an enviable reputation in the industry for spotting and nurturing future motorsport stars. The ten-weekend British F4 season will get underway at Hampshire’s high-speed Thruxton Circuit on 8/9 May.

Ollie Gray, Athlete, WH Sports, said:

“This is a big year for me and my career. Having achieved success in karting – both nationally and internationally – I am well aware of the importance of maintaining that momentum as I move into cars. I obviously have a lot to learn in single-seaters, but I’m confident of being able to do so quickly and having a team of people around me to guide and support is a resource that will be absolutely vital. I am really happy for that to be WH Sports.”

Chris Harfield, Director, WH Sports, added:

“There’s no question that Ollie has been one of the top British karting talents in recent years, and we are delighted to be representing his career. He has excelled on the world karting scene and is now ready to tackle the next stage of his burgeoning career in British F4.

“With Richard [Dutton – Team Owner] and the entire staff at Fortec around him, Ollie will have a great environment in which to learn and progress. Fortec are hugely experienced at bringing promising young drivers on – you only need to look at some of the guys that have raced for them before, like Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Stoffel Vandoorne, and what they have since gone on to accomplish to appreciate the team’s enviable track record of success.

“Ollie has already conducted a number of tests in the car, the results of which have been very encouraging, and I have no doubt that he has a very exciting year ahead of him!”

Bearman joins VAR for 2021 FIA F4

Up-and-coming racer Ollie Bearman has taken a big step in his motorsport career by signing for leading FIA F4 team, Van Amersfoort Racing (VAR).

Chelmsford-based Bearman caught Van Amersfoort Racing’s eye during the course of a successful rookie season last year, with wins in both the German and Italian FIA F4 Championships. With VAR, Bearman should be granted many more opportunities to add to his victory tally in 2021 – not to mention challenge for title glory.

His results last year were achieved despite having the shortest preparation time for the campaign – only racing due to a pandemic-enforced delay in the motorsport calendar that allowed him to turn 15 just in time to compete in FIA F4.

His move to single-seaters was made with a mere handful of tests under his belt, yet he still out-raced and out-qualified many more experienced drivers, scoring several podiums in addition to his two wins.

VAR is a multiple title-winning outfit and following such an impressive first season in cars, the team’s CEO Rob Niessink said he was extremely happy to have Bearman on-board.

“While we were on our way to winning the championship with our Red Bull Junior drivers last year, Ollie was one of the guys always giving us a hard time, and when we subsequently tested with him in December, we immediately ‘clicked’, giving both sides confidence that our co-operation would be successful,” Niessink said. “With Ollie, alongside the other drivers that we will announce soon, we know we again have a strong line-up to fight for the title. Let’s go for it!”

Bearman’s success last year came off the back of clinching both the Junior European and Junior World karting crowns in the X30 class in 2019. The King Edward VI Grammar School student also had a triumph in the X30 Winter Cup in Valencia to his name, before taking the step up to single-seaters.

On this latest move, Bearman said: “I’m really pleased to be joining VAR for the 2021 season in F4. We had a very positive test at the end of last year and I am confident that we have the ability to be really strong together. There are a lot of good teams and drivers in F4, but our goal is to finish 2021 with a championship title. I am looking forward to getting on-track and preparing with the team for a big season ahead.”

Sophia Floersch joins WH Sports athlete roster

Rising German racer Sophia Floersch is the latest addition to WH Sports’ stable of talented athletes, further endorsing the credentials of an organisation that has already carved out an enviable reputation in the industry for spotting and nurturing motorsport stars, while brokering major sponsorship deals at the very highest levels of global sport.

Following a formative career in karting, Floersch initially made a name for herself in the BTCC-supporting Ginetta Junior Championship in 2015, re-writing the record books at Thruxton by becoming not only the youngest driver ever to triumph in the single-spec series, but also the first rookie to win both races over the course of a single weekend.

The following year, she continued to make waves as the first female competitor to score points in Germany’s ADAC Formel 4 single-seater championship – this time on her debut. Two races later, she very nearly reached the rostrum.

A second season in the series in 2017 yielded a brace of podium finishes and fastest laps, before Floersch was catapulted firmly into the global spotlight – quite literally – on 18 November, 2018. While contesting the famous Macau Grand Prix, contact with another car on the main straight resulted in a front-left suspension failure that pitched her sideways into the notorious Lisboa Bend at more than 170mph. Flying over the catch fencing, the spectacular impact left the 20-year-old with a spinal fracture that required surgery.

Demonstrating her steely resolve to succeed, barely 100 days later, Floersch was back behind the wheel and back on-track, in recognition of which, she was presented with the ‘World Comeback of the Year’ accolade at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards.

Last year, she again made history – twice – as the first woman to race in the current FIA Formula 3 Championship and as a member of the first all-female crew to enter the LMP2 category in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours, widely regarded as one of the toughest races on the planet. Sharing the Richard Mille Racing Team prototype with Tatiana Calderón and Beitske Visser, the Bavaria-born ace impressively placed ninth in-class out of the 17 LMP2 finishers, underscoring her raw pace, rapid learning abilities and versatility.

As she prepares to take the next step in her career in 2021, Floersch will do so with the full support of WH Sports – and she is excited to begin working with the agency.

Sophia Floersch, Official Athlete, WH Sports, said:

“I am very happy to be working with WH Sports moving forward. It’s important in such a relationship that we enjoy working together and share the same mindset. I want to drive for the best teams to have the best chance of winning. I want to get to the top and I am going to do everything I can to achieve that. I will participate in every training and preparation session, simply because I love it.

“I think in WH Sports, I have found the right agency and most importantly, the right people to help me to reach my maximum – from the management side to coaching both at and away from the track, nutrition and mental help. They will help me in every small aspect to make me a better all-round athlete.

“For me, it’s important to be able to prove what I am capable of – winning and driving great races. Motorsport is about opportunities and making the best of them, and WH Sports will help me to secure those opportunities to show what I can do. The upcoming years are very significant for my career, and it’s good to have people with a lot of knowledge about the sport around me. This isn’t about being the best woman – it’s about beating the men.”

Chris Harfield, Director, WH Sports, added:

“We are all delighted and excited to welcome Sophia on-board at WH Sports. Since the start of her career, Sophia has achieved great things in motorsport. Her focus and determination to reach the very top of the sport is something I really admire, and she is a great role model and example to future generations of motor racing drivers. She works extremely hard on the track and equally hard off the track, being a brand ambassador for many multi-national companies. At the age of just 20, Sophia is breaking records in every series she enters, and we have no doubt that trend will continue.

“The accident in Macau would have ended the career of many a less determined driver, but above all else, Sophia is a fighter and she simply refused to let it hold her back or define her. Her attitude and approach are exemplary, and in what has traditionally been a male-dominated sport, she is increasingly breaking down barriers and outperforming her male counterparts in equal machinery.

“Sophia has no interest in being the best female driver on the grid – she wants to be recognised, irrespective of gender – and for that, she is to be thoroughly commended. We have assembled a team around Sophia that will equip her with everything she requires to continue forging her way to the pinnacle of the sport, and we are looking forward to our journey together!”

WH Sports appoints ex-F1 Sporting Manager to fulfil key management role

Multi-faceted sports agency WH Sports has appointed Enzo Mucci as its Sporting Director, with the former single-seater and sportscar racer set to head up the organisation’s driver development programme going into 2021.

Mucci began his motorsport career behind the steering wheel, winning multiple national championships prior to specialising in sport-specific performance coaching in 2004.

Between 2004 and 2006, Enzo served as a BMW Scholarship Programme Coach, stepping up to the role of BMW European Chief Coach for the following two years. From 2008 to 2010, Mucci was a Performance Coach for Gravity Sport Management, before joining Lotus Renault F1’s Junior Team as Sporting Manager between 2010 and 2012.

Over the past two decades, the 44-year-old Briton has worked with drivers that have competed in Formula 1, North America’s IndyCar Series, the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC), the pan-European DTM touring car series and FIA Formula E, including 2020 F1 stars Esteban Ocon and Romain Grosjean, two-time DTM Champion Marco Wittmann, fellow DTM front-runner Christian Vietoris and Formula E race-winner Alexander Sims.

Mucci leverages his experience and expertise to help drivers improve their mental strength, technical understanding and performance both inside and out of the cockpit, teaching them the specific personal skills required to win in motor racing and forge a successful long-term career in the sport.

His appointment by WH Sports adds to the kudos of an organisation that has already carved out an enviable reputation in the industry for spotting and nurturing the next generation of motorsport stars, while simultaneously brokering high-profile sports sponsorship agreements.

 

Enzo Mucci, Sporting Director, WH Sports, said:

“I have always admired the way in which WH Sports has helped drivers over the years. The WHS team offers a truly professional service, which is evident in the outstanding results its drivers have achieved across a variety of championships and disciplines.

“For a driver to succeed, it is imperative that they have the right people around them. They need a team of people who are commercially astute, have a large network and can help to improve their overall performance. In joining WH Sports, I can confidently say that we can give drivers everything they need to develop and maintain a successful racing career.”

 

Chris Harfield, Director, WH Sports, added:

“We are immensely proud to confirm Enzo as WH Sports’ new Sporting Director. He has been a leading professional in relation to developing top-class drivers for more than two decades, and he brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, to assist both our current and future drivers.

“As Sporting Director, Enzo will be overseeing the ‘on-track’ aspects of our drivers’ careers and ensuring that the environments in which we place them, provide them with the opportunity to succeed. Whilst as an agency, we believe we are an industry leader in the commercial and sponsorship space, Enzo’s appointment will enable us to provide our drivers with an edge on the sporting side, which is something we are all really excited about.”

Castore Sign Multi-year Deal with Melbourne Storm

Australian National Rugby League (NRL) side Melbourne Storm has become the latest sports team to sign up emerging sportswear brand Castore as its kit supplier.

The two sides have agreed a five-year deal, beginning with the 2021 season and running until the 2025 campaign.

Sports marketing agency WH Sports brokered the agreement, as was the case with Castore’s first entry into the Australian market when it signed a kit supply deal with fellow NRL side, the Sydney Roosters in October.

The brand has identified the country as a key growth market in its international development plans.

Castore will take over the role from Australian teamwear specialists ISC.

The UK-based sportswear brand is increasingly moving into the teams kit supply sector, having signed deals with Scottish football club Rangers, Cricket West Indies and the Lawn Tennis Association.

There is also a yet-to-be announced deal with English Premier League side Newcastle United.

In August, the company appointed Pascal Lafitte as head of team partnerships, commercial and marketing.

The Liverpool-based Castore was founded in 2016 after Tom and Phil Beahon decided to ditch professional sport for the apparel business. Previously, the brothers played at Liverpool, Manchester United and Tranmere Rovers in the academy teams.

ClearScore partner Fulham as sleeve sponsor for 2020/21 season

Top-flight English soccer club Fulham have named credit scoring and product marketplace ClearScore as their principal partner and sleeve sponsor.

The company’s logo was visible on the left sleeve of the Fulham players during their Premier League games against Everton and Leicester City, and will continue to appear on the team’s shirts until the end of the 2020/21 season.

In addition, ClearScore will benefit from brand exposure via pitchside LED perimeter advertising and on the scoreboard at the club’s Craven Cottage home.

The deal, which was brokered by the WH Sports agency, is the second major partnership to be signed by Fulham since their return to England’s top flight, after they named gambling firm BetVictor as their shirt sponsor for two years.

“We are excited to work with a progressive organisation which offers a broad range of financial information and services for free,” said Fulham chief executive Alistair Mackintosh. “The ClearScore logo complements our stylish playing shirts and provides fantastic exposure for the ClearScore brand to a global football audience.”

ICM.com Become The Official Sleeve Partner of Newcastle United

WH Sports are delighted to announce a new shirt sleeve partnership with between global investment house ICM.com and Newcastle United Football Club.

The Magpies’ first team will bear the award-winning firm’s ICM.com branding on their shirt sleeves over the 2020/21 Premier League season, while ICM.com will also benefit from a number of additional commercial benefits including high profile advertising and hospitality.

ICM.com is the official website of ICM Capital – an international online Forex and CFD trading firm established in 2009.

It is regulated in seven jurisdictions around the world and offers a diverse range of trading products including foreign exchange, commodities, futures and indices.

ICM.com’s Civil Liability Insurance Programme, which protects ICM clients against losses caused by any error, omission, negligence, fraud, or the failure to perform its activities or services, covers up to £5,000,000 (terms and conditions apply).

Dale Aitchison, head of commercial at Newcastle United, said: “I am delighted to welcome ICM.com to our growing roster of leading, forward-thinking partner brands. ICM.com is already an established name in the trading industry, with 20 global awards to its name. We look forward to building on that success together with campaigns, competitions and content that deliver value to our supporters.

Shoaib Abedi, founder and director of ICM.com, said: “We are really excited to partner with Newcastle United, a world-renowned English Premier League football club. “We are looking forward to see ICM.com on the players’ sleeves in the Premier League and we will be watching on and celebrating the team’s successes with our clients and fans.”

Plus500 Become Main Sponsor of Atalanta B.C

Plus500, a leading technology platform for trading contracts for difference internationally, has signed an agreement with Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio (‘Atalanta B.C.’), to become its sole and exclusive main sponsor for a three year period beginning 1 September 2020. The deal was brokered by WH Sports, who have represented Plus500 on multiple sports sponsorship acquisitions, including main sponsorship deals with Atletico Madrid, Young Boys and Australian rugby team The Brumbies.

Atalanta B.C. are in a hugely exciting phase of their history, finishing in the top four of Serie A three times in the last four seasons. In the UEFA Champions League, the team qualified for the 2019-2020 Final-8 tournament in Lisbon and will participate in the 2020-2021 UEFA Champions League season starting from the group stage.

As part of the agreement, the Plus500 logo will feature on the front of the Atalanta B.C. jersey for both national and international games and, in addition, Plus500 will have access to branding rights.

Plus500 has derived significant returns to date through sponsorship of successful sports’ teams internationally, increasing brand recognition globally, growing brand awareness in important markets and expanding the customer base of the company in new and existing territories.

David Zruia, Chief Executive Officer of Plus500, said:  “We are pleased to be partnering with Atalanta B.C., a club that is full of soul and has a special place in the hearts of the people of Bergamo. Atalanta is a rising power in Italian and international football, and we look forward to supporting them as they continue to grow and progress, particularly as they enter another season in the UEFA Champions League. This partnership, alongside our existing sponsorship agreements, adds to the fantastic strength of our sponsorship programmes globally. It also strengthens our presence in Italy, an important market with good growth potential, and supports the international brand recognition of Plus500 and our ability to increase customer base globally.”

Luca Percassi, Chief Executive Officer of Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio, said:  “We are really happy to announce the partnership and thus welcome Plus500, a leading international company, which will be Atalanta’s main sponsor for the next three seasons. It is a great satisfaction for us to be able to collaborate with such a prestigious brand that will undoubtedly and significantly contribute to the Club’s growth. It is also a source of pride for us that Plus500, to help develop and strengthen its brand in Italy, has decided to forge this partnership with Atalanta.”

WH Sports adds teenage karting sensation to driver roster

At the age of just 14, Oliver Bearman is a multiple junior karting champion, both on a national and international stage. His accomplishments last season, claiming the 2019 X30 Junior European Series title and Junior World Finals title, make him one of the brightest talents in grass roots motorsport and WH Sports are excited to announce that Oliver is joining the agency and will be represent by our athlete management team.

Bearman – who hails from Chelmsford, Essex – is fast making a name for himself as he bids to follow countryman Lewis Hamilton all the way to the heady heights of Formula 1. Indeed, the six-time F1 World Champion is one of many to have noted the teenager’s talent, which has earned him a whole host of accolades.

Over the past four years, Bearman has won the prestigious ‘Kartmasters’ British Grand Prix, twice finished runner-up in the Super 1 National Honda Cadet Championship and – most recently – swept all before him in the IAME Winter Cup, IAME Euro Series and IAME International World Finals.

In Valencia last month, the King Edward VI Grammar School student became the first driver in history to claim the IAME Winter Cup Junior and Senior titles in consecutive years. Oliver dominated the cosmopolitan 83-strong field – comprising a great many competitors with significantly more experience than him – to sensationally clinch the X30 Senior spoils on his debut in the class, with the team he continues to enjoy so much success with – KR Sport.

Oliver will be carrying out a testing programme in 2020, alongside his karting programme with KR Sport, as he prepares to step-up to single-seaters in 2021. Oliver will be supported throughout by WH Sports, who have assembled a team of industry experts, who have successfully guided drivers from karts to Formula One, to support Oliver at this key stage in his career.

“We are delighted to welcome Oliver on-board,” enthused WH Sports Director Chris Harfield. “He is clearly a very hot commodity in the motorsport world right now, and his results speak for themselves – to have already achieved so much at such a young age is testament to what a special talent he is. We have a big responsibility to ensure Oliver’s talent is fulfilled and we have put a great team together to ensure he is fully supported.”

“The last few seasons have been an incredible journey, but I’m constantly pushing for more”, said the young English driver. “This is an important year in my career as I move up to the Senior class in karting, and I’m fully focussed on making sure I achieve the best results possible.”

“In motorsport, every single aspect counts, from skill behind the wheel to physical fitness, nutrition, engineering understanding, mental resilience and media interaction, and you need to be the complete package if you want to progress. I’m excited to have WH Sports behind me, and I know I will be learning from professionals at the very top of the industry. I can’t wait to get started!”

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