Following the announcement of Kappa as our new principle partner, there has been a, well, “mixed” response from Villa fans. Many complaining about the fit of their kits, the quality of their material, or the “chav” reputation of the brand. I do however have some reasons for optimism. Back in April, when I was told about these kits, I felt the same, but my mind has well and truly changed. Here’s why:
First of all, the kits are NOT made by Kappa. They are produced by Fanatics, who manufactured this years Luke kits. Therefore, the fit and quality of the kits will be the same as this season.
Secondly, the size of Kappa as a brand enables Villa to raise some much needed revenue to help meet FFP, whether we go up or not. Our CEO and CCO both have fantastic track records with big money deals, and this extra source of revenue will massively outstrip that possible via the Luke deal. While incredibly popular, the Luke deal smacks to me of a typical Dr Tony idea, doing a deal to please the fans rather than something that will be commercially viable. Don’t get me wrong, I love the kits, but the size of Luke’s business has caused some issues, especially early on.
Another thing that has come out of the announcement today is that Kappa are going to help regenerate the local area. This fits neatly into the philosophy building at the football club, which we have been crying out for for years. The focus on community and local links, increased by local heroes such as Jack Grealish, Dean Smith and Jodie Hutton, fits perfectly with this new deal. Finally, the club has a clear mission.
And now onto the whole “chav” thing. It seems to me like a lot of us have very short memories. The reaction today echoes that of last year, when many fans cried “chav” and “we want a big brand” when Luke was announced. Twitter was full of comments such as “I don’t know why we’d use that chavvy brand for our kits”. But now, many fans say it’s one of the best kits ever produced by the club.
So, in short, don’t judge a kit before it comes out, and I can assure you, it’ll be a good one! Hopefully it’s being worn with premier league badges next season!