LEEDS UNITED executive director Adam Pearson has hailed the club’s new kit deal with Italian sportswear giants Kappa – which he says is the biggest in the Championship.
The five-year deal will see Kappa supply kits and training wear for the first team, development squad and all Academy age groups alongside providing a variety of leisure wear.
The new home kit, a traditional blank all-white design with no major shirt sponsor, will be unveiled at an exclusive event for season-ticket holders on July 9 and worn in the friendly at Harrogate Town the following evening.
It will be officially launched at the Elland Road superstore on July 11.
Pearson said: “It is a renowned brand who have a great history at home and abroad and they understand the UK market and are keen to expand back in this market and have chosen a partner who can give them the volume of sales with the potential to go back into the Premier League and much further.
“The financials (details) will stay between both parties. But it is an extremely competitive deal for the club – obviously by far the biggest in the Championship and we sit comparably with a lot of Premier League clubs.”
Mark Ward, manager director of Kappa UK and Ireland added: “We are very pleased and honoured to be associated with the club and really looking forward to the relaunch of the Kappa brand back into the UK.
“We came to the table quite late, but are very excited about the opportunity. With a club like Leeds United with the background and history and probably looking forward, the potential for next season, we were so excited and privileged to us Leeds as our key club as we launch back in the UK.”
The layered deal will see Leeds rewarded financially for the amount of sales of merchandise they record and Pearson is confident that the club will deliver in that respect.
He added: “It’s a big kit deal and it needs the club to work hard at it to
maximum it. We have to work hard for the money in this instance and it will kick everybody on their toes which is good and it is certainly a good brand for us to be associated.
“It certainly puts us on a good commercial footing.
“With the supporters here, they buy more shirts than any other club by a country mile in this league.
“Every time, I get the statistics on media or shirts or whatever, it is quite staggering.
“Design-wise and aesthetically, I think the supporters will be pleased with the shirt.”
Pearson said that the club’s legal team were dealing with former kit supplier Macron and sponsor Enterprise Insurance and hopeful of a positive outcome.
Back in April, the club’s latest accounts revealed that the club were facing a legal claim of around £5m from Macron after United’s results for the 2013-14 financial year said they were in “contractual dispute” with the Italian sportswear firm, who had supplied their kit since 2008.
Macron’s deal with Leeds - a six-year agreement signed in 2010 - was due to end next summer.
Pearson added: “It does need sorting out and obviously, when relationships come to an end, there’s always a lot of loose ends to tie up and there is in these instances.
“But hopefully we can do it behind closed doors and out of the press and focus on the new relationship and tie things up in a professional manner.”