AVFC LUKE 1977

Brummie fashion brand to design new Aston Villa kit

Aston Villa FC has announced a first of its kind technical kit partnership with Fanatics, a global leader in performance sport garments and premium menswear brand LUKE 1977.

The partnership makes Aston Villa the first English team to adopt a three-party agreement with a preeminent manufacturer of sporting apparel and a leading UK fashion brand.

The arrangement sees Fanatics extend its successful relationship with the club, by becoming the official kit manufacturer while continuing to deliver its multi-channel retail capability to the club, including management of the Villa Park store.

Known for its market leading technical tailoring and unique sport’s utility designs, LUKE 1977 worked collaboratively with Villa and Fanatics on the design element of the club’s 2018/19 kit. The design benefits from the input of lifelong Villa fan Luke Roper, who understands the history of the shirt, and the technical prowess of Fanatics.

As both retail partner and kit manufacturer, Fanatics will operate a full vertical-manufacturing model, meaning the new kit, bearing the LUKE 1977 brand logo, will be managed by a single company from production to point-of-sale. This means fan merchandise enjoys faster speed-to-market in an increasingly on-demand world. 

Aston Villa’s chief commercial officer, Luke Organ, said: “Aston Villa Football Club is proud to pioneer an exciting new tripartite technical kit partnership. Traditional routes often leave the club lacking an element of creative input, we wanted to take back control of the look and feel of the strip for our fans. We believe this partnership will further allow us to engage with the fans to a much greater extent than previously experienced with manufacturing partners.

“The deal with LUKE 1977 and Fanatics represents a true partnership. All parties work collaboratively to deliver the very best product for our fans. Extending our prosperous relationship with Fanatics can only benefit the Villa faithful and working with LUKE 1977, headed by lifelong Villa fan Luke Roper, is indicative of our commitment to the Aston Villa fanbase.

“As a club we are determined to lead the industry in every way that benefits our fans. We continually innovate off the field, providing the very best fan experience we can.”

LUKE 1977’s creative director, Luke Roper, added: “As part of the pride and a lifelong Villa supporter, it is a huge honour to be asked to bring my 20 years of design experience to the creation of the new kits.

“I have worked closely in collaboration with both Aston Villa and Fanatics, which demonstrates a fresh approach to design and a commitment to give more back to the supporters.

“Every time a Villa fan sees the kits, they will know that one of their own has been a part of the design process.” 

Published: 23 April 2018

Article by Bryce Wilcock
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