Date: 23rd April 2018 at 12:00pm
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Some questions answered by Aston Villa on the new kit deal announced today. See: A Totally New Way To Bring Fans & Team The Kit?

1. Who are LUKE 1977?

LUKE 1977 is a practical interpretation on contemporary menswear, divided into Luke Sport and Luke The Technical Tailor. Luke the Technical Tailor is a premium contemporary menswear offering, while Luke Sport is a full lifestyle collection with unique sports utility designs. The brand has all the components of the modern lad, a gentleman, and a working-class hero. Equally at home on the terraces or on a night out. Luke’s ethos is to put a fashionable twist on men’s garments without overdesigning, to retain a cool masculine style.

The brand offers an exclusive look for an inclusive country; the United Kingdom of Luke.

The brand was co-founded by Creative Director Luke Roper, an Aston Villa fanatic. With stores located across the UK and worldwide, the brand is a true lifestyle offering.

Luke Roper himself has grown up with fashion in his blood; designing statement pieces for his friends from an early age. The son of a talented dressmaker mother and hardworking father, Luke, soon discovered his talent for football and sewing machines. This passion and design talent led Luke to Central St Martins, where he honed his skills, taking his raw creativity and developing into a forward-thinking menswear designer. The obvious progression was his own brand and ‘Luke’ was born.

With Birmingham at its heart, the business has the same principles it started with over seventeen years ago. Luke’s innovative designs, masculine take on fashion, teamed with great quality and exclusive distribution means Luke continues to be at the forefront of the British fashion industry.

2. Who are Fanatics?

Villa and LUKE 1977 are partnering with the global leader in licensed sports merchandise. Fanatics is changing the way fans across the world purchase their favourite team apparel. The company’s innovative, tech-infused approach to designing, producing and selling fan gear in today’s on-demand culture is a fundamental reason why the partnership was forged. Fanatics powers multi-channel commerce (on-line, on-phone, in-stores, in -stadium) for the world’s biggest sports brands, working with internationally recognised leagues, teams, tournaments and on-site at some of the world’s biggest sporting events.

3. Why are Villa doing this?

Ultimately, AVFC wants to provide the best experience possible for fans. By adopting a three-party agreement with LUKE 1977 and Fanatics, the club is able to take back
creative control of the strip and provide Aston Villa fans with a product that is truly personal to them and reflects the heritage and legacy of the kit. This agreement will also improve the fans retail experience across all channels with LUKE1977 focussed on engaging the local community and driving fan benefits.

4. What value will this partnership add to the club?

This partnership keeps the fans at the forefront of the club’s kit manufacturing process. By delivering a product that is personal to the fans and has the technical quality that is necessary to perform at the highest level, AVFC is delivering the best possible product for its fans. In turn, the brands we work with will focus more on Aston Villa and the fan engagement opportunities. This keeps the club’s commercial operation unique, developing its individual identity which will create further commercial opportunities.

5. Where will the shirt be manufactured?

Fanatics will produce the kit from one of its affiliated factories in the same way that it produces playing kit, shirts and jerseys for other partners internationally. The factories are also responsible for manufacturing mainstream sport brand products. Fanatics operates more than 300 online and offline stores, including the e-commerce business for Manchester City, Manchester United, Everton, Real Madrid, England Rugby, Welsh Rugby Union and F1. As a global company, Fanatics also operates across major US professional sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL MLS, NASCAR, PGA), and has international hubs across Europe and Asia as well as North America.

6. When will the kit be revealed?

An announcement will be made in the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled!

(With thanks to Aston Villa media department for providing this information)

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