It’s that time of year when football clubs large and small are looking at their team wear requirements for season 2010-11 and beyond. But, this season promises to be different in more ways than one. In the last year or so a number of well-known brands like Canterbury and Diadora have gone to the wall so far as UK team wear is concerned, and other brands have been struggling.
The exchange rate hasn’t helped suppliers depending on off-shore manufacture, and extended delivery times for far eastern supply make life tough for clubs yet to nail down a shirt sponsor for next season. Clubs are finding it harder and harder to get shirt sponsorships anywhere near the level previously expected, once you get away from the blanket TV exposure of the Premier League.
There is a definite move towards near east supply to offset the delivery schedules, and of course several of the big brands have ‘ready made’ ranges that can be virtually ordered overnight. These ranges can then be personalised in the UK.
There are companies, fewer in number than before, like Sports Attire in Wigan and MG Sportswear in Kidderminster who can still manufacture in the UK, and it’s no surprise that some of the big boys use their services when off shore delivery goes pear shaped.
Despite the recession though, brands continue to emerge as players in the kit market and both MK Dons (ISC Sports) and Birmingham (Xtep) have inaugural deals with such players. At grass roots level Salford based Gazelle Sports Ltd, renowned for producing high street retail clothing have branched into the kit market with the Gazelle Sports brand.
From our perspective, we will continue to bring you news on latest developments as best we can, and of course via the directory itself offer clubs direct access to some of the major players in the UK.
You can view a whole range of kit suppliers here.