Aston Villa have confirmed their new front of shirt sponsors – and given fans a glimpse of the new kit for the first time.
32Red will return as the club’s kit sponsor for the 2018/19 season, 10 years after their logo was last emblazoned on the claret and blues’ shirts.
An exact date has yet to be revealed for the launch of the new kit, designed by Villa fan Luke Roper, of Luke 1977, but the club have explained it will be in ‘early July’.
Villa’s iconic colours have often caused confusion amongst manufacturers and senior Villa Park officials have moved to ensure next season’s kit includes a ‘darker shade of claret’.
It will also feature a ‘visible nod to William McGregor’. A statue of McGregor – the man who played a leading role in founding the Football League in 1888 – stands proudly outside the main reception at Villa Park.
Aston Villa’s chief commercial officer, Luke Organ, said: “We are thrilled to be partnered with Kindred Group once again this season in a wider and more targeted partnership.
“This season we will welcome back 32Red (a subsidiary of Kindred Group), a previous partner of the club, whilst we see a continuation of the great work with Unibet.”
And fans were offered a first glimpse of the new strip in the promotional video for the partnership with 32Red.
The shot of the kit was brief but the LUKE1977 logo is visible on one side of the chest with Villa’s badge on the other – and the 32Red sponsor below.
Organ continued: “Throughout the first year of our relationship, Unibet successfully delivered multiple ‘bettor experiences’ for Aston Villa’s loyal supporters, ensuring at every opportunity they provided a unique and exciting engagement for our fans. The last 12 months has seen a fruitful relationship develop and we very much look forward to building on that for the seasons ahead.”
Neil Banbury, General Manager UK at the Kindred Group, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Aston Villa. 32Red has a successful history in football sponsorship and will look to build on the fantastic work done by the Unibet brand last season.
“The 32Red logo won’t look out of place adorning the famous claret and blue with both brands priding themselves on excitement and entertainment. The likes of which has made 32Red an industry-leader in online casinos.“
“Unibet will continue to reward the legions of loyal Villans with “bettor” experiences as Official Betting & Gaming Partner and we look forward to seeing the logo on the club’s official training wear.”
What is LUKE 1977?
Luke 1977 is a contemporary menswear clothing brand set up in the West Midlands in 2001.
The founder is Luke Roper. He is from Walsall Wood, a couple of miles from Villa Park.
Inspired by his mother, a dressmaker, Roper was using sewing machines by the age of 12 to make shirts for his friends.
According to his Website the former Shire Oak School pupil “soon became a Local legend, with lads from all over the area ordering his unique designs and creations then hitting the clubs of the Wild West Midlands decked out in Luke’s original specially crafted pieces.”
Roper studied fashion at Walsall College and went to Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design in London at the age of 20 and completed a degree in menswear design.
He teamed up with family friend Simon Poole and Deborah Poole to set up the fashion line.
What is Fanatics?
Fanatics already manage the Villa Park store.
According to the U.S. company’s Website ” Fanatics is a technology-driven, consumer company that powers the Fanatics, FansEdge, Kitbag and Majectic brands, as well as the largest selection of sports collectibles and memorabilia through Fanatics Authentic.
” Fanatics also operates more than 300 online and offline partner stores, including the e-commerce Business for all major professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, MLS, PGA), major media brands (NBC Sports, CBS Sports, FOX Sports) and more than 200 collegiate and professional team properties, which include several of the biggest global soccer clubs (Manchester United, Real Madrid, Manchester City).”
More Villa News
Alan Hutton has said that he has not left Aston Villa, declaring that claims of his departure are “not true”.
Hutton, 33, is out of contract and was included on the club’s released list submitted to the EFL – alongside the likes of John Terry and Gabby Agbonlahor who have left Villa Park.
Nottingham Forest have been linked with a swoop for Hutton on a free transfer but the Scot says claims he has departed B6 are wide of the mark.
Replying to a fan on Instagram who had relayed a post about Hutton leaving and thanked him for his services at Villa, the player replied with his verified account, @hutton02, saying: “Not true”.
He filled in at left-back for a large part of last season as Villa lost out on promotion against Fulham in the Championship play-off final.
Boss Steve Bruce had confirmed in the run up to the play-off final that the club would make a decision on Hutton’s future after the game at Wembley.
He has made over 150 appearances for Villa since arriving in the summer of 2011 under Alex McLeish – despite being loaned out to three different clubs in that time.
One of those sides was in fact Forest, who – the Nottingham Post are now reporting – want to bring him back to the City Ground on a permanent basis.
Aitor Karanka is even willing to off Hutton a two-year contract to switch allegiances ahead of the new campaign.
Forest are in the market for a new full-back as they prepare for the departure of former Villan Eric Lichaj, who is heading north to Hull City.
The defender is understood to be desperate to stay in the second city with his family settled in the area.
But that decision could be taken out of the Hutton’s hands as Tony Xia and Co look to slash the wage bill in order to meet Financial Fair Play regulations.
Source : BirminghamMail