18 May, 00:08
Munster have announced that Ronan O'Gara has retired from playing professional rugby. It's understood that the 36 year old will take up a coaching role abroad at the start of the 2013/14 season.
Life Style Sports will take over the running of the current Munster Rugby stores and will also roll out shop-in-shop areas to a number of its Munster stores and a number of its flagship stores in Dublin starting with Blanchardstown.
The new venture will also see a number of new initiatives rolled out for the Munster Rugby season ticket holders and the Munster Rugby Supporters Club members which will not only see members getting increased rewards and benefits, by purchasing through Life Style Sports, but will also help raise additional funds for Munster Rugby for re-investment in the club and player base through an innovative profit share arrangement.
Speaking of the new partnership, Munster Rugby Chief Executive Garrett Fitzgerald said – “This partnership is a very exciting move for Munster Rugby as we look to partner with other great Irish brands while bringing additional benefits to our fans. It gives us a far greater reach for our brand through Life Style Sports unrivalled store network and will give our fans an enhanced retail presence both within Munster and throughout the country.”
Speaking at the launch, Life Style Sports Chief Executive Mark Stafford said –“We have been looking to partner with Munster Rugby for some time. They represent all the positive values you associate with Ireland and in particular Irish sport. We believe that by working with Munster Rugby we can deliver more opportunities for fans of Munster Rugby to engage with their club in a way that brings direct financial benefits to the club. We expect that by working together we can bring our retail skills to the operation of the Munster stores thereby enabling Munster Rugby to focus on what they do best in terms of setting the standard in Irish and European Rugby.”
Life Style Sports is 100% Irish owned and operated, employing over 800 people in 62 stores across the island of Ireland.