By Mike Rowbottom

Team New Balance athlete Fionnuala Britton 040213February 3 - Ireland's double European cross-country champion Fionnuala Britton was among the athletes modelling kit produced by New Balance at the Dublin launch event to mark the company's new position as the sponsor for Athletics Ireland in a multi-year deal.

In what is its first major federation sponsorship, New Balance - based in Boston, Massachusetts - will supply the Irish track and field team with a full selection of team wear, including performance apparel for use in competition in all Irish events, World Championships and European Championships.

New Balance will also supply training and warm-up items and leisurewear for medal ceremonies, travelling and public appearances.

The inaugural collection is patriotic green and white with a gold trim.

Britton, the latest athlete to join Team New Balance, was joined in the modelling by fellow athletes Ava Hutchinson, the marathon runner, and Ciara Mageean, the 2010 World Junior 1500 metres silver medallist.

Ireland has always played an important role in the history of New Balance with sponsorships of several high profile athletes over the years such as 1984 Olympic marathon silver medallist John Treacy and two times world indoor champion Marcus O'Sullivan.

Ireland was also New Balance's first foray into the European market in 1978 when the brand manufactured in Tralee.

New Balance Ireland announcement 2
Some of Ireland's best athletes help celebrate their new sponsorship deal with New Balance

Tom Carleo, New Balance Vice President of Footwear Running/Outdoor commented: "When the opportunity to create a partnership between New Balance and Athletics Ireland arose, we jumped at the chance to work with them.

"It will be a pleasure to design product that is both modern and heritage inspired that will make the athletes and their fans proud.

"The collaboration with Athletics Ireland and the significant growth we have experienced here reinforce our ambition to become the number one running and athletics brand in the world."

John Foley, Athletics Ireland chief executive, added: "New Balance is genuinely passionate about growing athletics in Ireland and supporting the current and future crop of athletes who are part of the Irish team.

"Working together I'm sure we will be able to elevate Ireland's athletic profile even further."

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