You may or may not have heard that earlier this year we were announced as the Official Suppliers to The British & Irish Lions rugby team for their 2017 tour of New Zealand. Go us! We had a catch up with Co-Founders and Top Dogs of Spirit of Harrogate Marcus Black and Mike Carthy to find out what The Lions mean to them.

What makes The Lions so special?

I was born in New Zealand where rugby is considered to be almost a religion and spent my childhood dreaming of playing for the All Blacks….it has nothing to do with my coincidental family name! I attended my first Lions match in 1977 at the Carisbrook Stadium, Dunedin and my passion for the game and that of the iconic red jersey has stayed with me ever since…I’ve even kept hold of the official programme from that very game! The Lions partnership is a perfect fit for Slingsby. Like the Lions, we seek to do things differently and look to follow a similar ethos. We are extremely proud of who we are but we also celebrate and respect others that we play against in the gin world. The Lions have always been close to my heart. We are truly honored to be able to support the team on their 2017 tour to New Zealand. Having been 40 years since I was last in New Zealand, being able to support the Lions in my birthplace carries extra special meaning for me.
- Marcus Black

I was born in Leeds with strong ties to the Headingley stadium and I’ve always been a keen supporter of both codes both locally and internationally. Having played and coached for a number of regional rugby clubs before I moved upstairs to manage Yorkshire based team; Burley Lions, it is with no coincidence that the team bares a similar name – the admiration and respect for the Lions was the inspiration. Having such a deep routed passion for the game, it is an amazing honour to be partnering with The British & Irish Lions. Our core company values mirror those of the Lions – Respect, Passion, Friendship and Integrity. These values are carried through all areas of our business and have been critical to Slingsby’s success and achievements so far.
- Mike Carthy