After wearing brandless, made in-house jerseys this season, Southampton have announced that adidas will once again be their official technical supplier starting with the 2015/16 campaign. The 3-Stripes brand will provide the team authentic kits, replica kits, training wear, leisurewear, and equipment.
“We are very grateful to adidas for the support and understanding they have offered over the past 12 months while we took an enforced hiatus from our affiliation,” Southampton CEO Gareth Rogers commented. “adidas has a global reputation for quality and innovation, making them the perfect partner for the club. We are looking forward to activating our working relationship for the third and final year of our contract.”
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“adidas is pleased to announce the continuation of our deal with Southampton Football Club for the 2015/16 season,” adidas UK Brand Director Barry Moore commented said.
The adidas look will not be new to Saints fans. adidas had a 3-year deal to be the team’s technical supplier starting in 2013/14 and outfitted the team that campaign but the relationship broke down. The controversy was rumored to be over the claim that adidas was overcharging the club for their jersey with adidas producing an identical plain jersey (jersey without Southampton badge, sponsor, etc) and selling it for only £10. The official Saints jersey that year cost £49.99.
It is not hard to see the similarities with their home and away jerseys and the Tiro and Campeon jerseys from the adidas team line. This is not uncommon and certainly Southampton was aware of initial design ideas prior to signing their agreement.
The club and brand tried to work through the issues but by the end of December 2013 it was obvious the 2 parties would not be able to come to an agreement and provide the gear.
The club stated in a press release in the spring of 2014: “In February and March of this year, the Club worked hard to repair the relationship with adidas but, despite these healthy discussions, it has become clear that, due to the short lead times involved, adidas were unable to produce a Southampton kit in time for next season.”
Southampton is accustomed to producing their own jerseys. They produced their own jerseys from 1999 when their deal with Pony came to an end until 2008 when Umbro took over. That deal ran until adidas took over in 2013.
Fortunately for fans, the issues in the past will most likely lead to a special and very unique looking jersey for the 2015/16 campaign and something Saints fans and jerseys fanatics will eagerly await.