New kit deal for Town

IPSWICH Town Football Club has signed a four-year deal with football legend Mitre for the supply of its home and away kits, training and bench wear through to May 2011.

IPSWICH Town Football Club has signed a four-year deal with football legend Mitre for the supply of its home and away kits, training and bench wear through to May 2011.

Mitre, best known as the world's oldest manufacturer of footballs, approached the club as it was seeking a return to the football kit arena following a seven-year absence. It previously worked with international and domestic teams including Cameroon, Hibernian and Burnley.

The Mitre-branded home shirts will be launched for the start of the 2007-8 season, but the away shirt will not be introduced until the 2008-9 season, with the existing Punch-branded away shirts continuing to be used next season.

The Punch brand, owned by Ipswich Town, will be retained and used for selected leisurewear products.

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Established in 1817, Mitre has an enviable football pedigree, producing match balls for the Football League as well as a range of high quality footwear and accessories. Today the company is owned by the Pentland Group, which also owns the Speedo, Berghaus and Kickers brands.

“The deal made a lot of sense for us, in large part because of the technology they could bring to the kit,” said Derek Bowden, ITFC chief executive.

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“They have brands like Berghaus and Kickers in the company and if there are ways of collaborating on opportunities to transfer new technologies across sports then we are keen to do that.”

Andrew Goulborn, Ipswich Town's sales and marketing director, said the club appreciated the efforts of Ipswich-based ASD who helped design and manage the manufacturing of the Punch-branded kit over the past five years, but added it was looking forward to working with Mitre.

“Whilst we're sorry to be ending our excellent partnership with ASD, we're excited about entering a new era with Mitre.

“Mitre is renowned for the quality of its products and its experience in the design and manufacture of sports products is second to none. They've got a great team and we are very much looking forward to working with them over the next few years.”

Mitre brand director Gary Hibbert said the company was delighted to be re-entering the pro kit market with a club of the stature and heritage of Ipswich Town.

“Like us, they were founded more than 100 years ago and have a history that includes an FA Cup win, a UEFA Cup victory and a top five Premiership finish as well as having been the proving ground for two England managers.

“We couldn't ask for a better partner and we are totally committed to providing Ipswich Town and their supporters with the very best designs and the highest quality products.”

He said Mitre's marketing team would also be working with the club on a range of initiatives that would add value to its Community Trust and Academy schemes.

Neil Farrar, managing director of ASD, said he was disappointed to lose Ipswich Town's business but had enjoyed working with the club for five years.

“It's a highly competitive market and it's not unusual for kit deals to end after two to three years. I wish them well with Mitre and I hope, as a fan, that the club gets a real benefit from it and it helps us to get promotion.”

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