Speaking at the launch of the new kit today, Southern Kings Chief Operating Officer, Charl Crous, said he was extremely happy with the design that had been put together.
“The jersey encapsulates the Kings colours and our apparel sponsor, BLK, have really given a lot of attention to ensure that the players kit represents a design symbolic of the Eastern Cape,” he said.
Explaining their thinking behind the design, BLK Brand Manager James Hughes said: “The message we want to send about the jersey is ‘why conform when you have the freedom to go Beyond Limits Unknown (BLK).
“This jersey shows that the Kings and BLK are prepared to go out of our comfort zones and to push the boundaries in terms of design and colours used. The pattern in the jersey is an abstract version of a beaded design symbolic to the Eastern Cape.”
Hughes said their biggest challenge was to design a jersey which was symbolic of the Eastern Cape, while making the sure the modern element was not lost in its design.
“We had many designs that we came up with, but we feel the design chosen really encapsulates Eastern Province and the Kings perfectly,” Hughes said.
Besides designing the franchise’s jersey, BLK also had to come up with an alternate strip in case of a clash of colours with the Southern Kings’ opponents.
Hughes is happy that they have created a strong and bold alternative strip.
“The alternate strip really pops and we think it will be a big hit.”
Speaking at the launch of the shop, Chief Operating Officer, Charl Crous, said he was excited to have the shop open ahead of the 2016 Super Rugby Season.
“We have learnt a lot since 2013, and one of the main challenges we faced during our inaugural round in the competition was making our supporters’ apparel accessible to the public,” said Crous.
Crous said the Ticketpro kiosk, previously based at the Boardwalk, has also moved into The Kings Connection, enabling the public to purchase tickets for all home games at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Crous thanked BLK for coming on board and assisting in setting up The Kings Connection and thanked the Boardwalk for making the retail space available.
“This is the start of a new chapter for the Kings and we are happy to have a preferred clothing apparel sponsorship with a company that has the international capacity to meet our requirements,” said Crous.
“We also really appreciate the assistance from our lifestyle partner, the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World, and our ticketing partner, Ticketpro,” he said.
BLK South Africa director William Hughes said they were excited to be opening a BLK retail store in Port Elizabeth.
“BLK has a long and proud rugby heritage, with the brand enjoying strong partnerships with a host of Super Rugby and International teams,” Hughes said.
“As a brand we are committed to assisting the Kings to achieve their on and off field goals through the provision of cutting edge, high performance apparel.”
Hughes said fanwear has become a major business for franchises and teams all over the world and Southern Kings supporters will not miss out on this opportunity, with the Kings Connection shop stocking a range of apparel to suit every fan.
“We have an exact replica of the men’s home and away strips, as well as ladies’ and kids’ version of the home strip,” Hughes said.
“The store will also stock most Kings products seen on the players’ backs, ranging from cotton T-shirts, hoodies, polos, caps, gym vests and gym T-shirts.”
“We will also be stocking BLK mono-branded products in the store, as well as some Puma footwear.”
Hughes added that all of the BLK items stocked would be locally manufactured in BLK South Africa’s three carbon-neutral factories in Cape Town.
Ticketpro executive, John Hartslief, said they were excited to be part of the new retail store and were looking forward to next year’s Super Rugby competition.
“Having the Ticketpro outlet as part of The Kings Connection at the Boardwalk is a really exciting opportunity for us and our partnership with the Southern Kings,” said Hartslief.
Hartslief said the previous ticket kiosk outlet at the Boardwalk had been well supported by the public.
“The boardwalk is an ideal location for us as a ticketing outlet and we are excited to be a part of this new chapter in the Southern Kings franchise,” said Hartslief.
“We are looking forward to our return to Super Rugby and we are extremely excited by the wide range of product offerings for supporters from BLK and the fact that you can buy your tickets in store,” said Crous.
“We believe this will bring our fans closer to the Kings brand as we work together to make our mark in Super Rugby.”
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