This past week has seen three AFL clubs stride out in new kit with the added X-factor from the original creator of the bladed sole football boot, XBlades. Announcing new multi year partnerships with Greater Western Sydney (GIANTS), St Kilda Football Club (SAINTS) and the Gold Coast Suns (SUNS), the native Australian brand XBlades will supply the clubs with branded apparel.
The clubs join XBlades as the brand undergoes a serious brand reinvigoration under new direction; with ex Callaway Golf Regional Managing Director Leighton Richards and former AFL superstar Jimmy Bartel at the helm. Leveraging the brand’s longstanding history of producing revolutionary products for native Australian sports, XBlades will continue to develop apparel designed with performance, comfort and playing longevity at the forefront.
XBlades is committed to a longstanding, successful relationship with the GIANTS, SAINTS and SUNS, and the provision of comfortable, long-lasting and high-quality products to support elite athlete performance.
Chief Executive of XBlades Australia, Leighton Richards said, “We’re proud to provide the GIANTS, SAINTS and SUNS with an immediate solution for their apparel and we’re looking forward to working closely with all three clubs and their leadership teams to develop the high quality products they need to excel. XBlades is all about combining athlete experience with scientific expertise to create durable, high performing apparel for long term success.”
“XBlades products and technology will evolve with the game and we will strategically leverage our new networks to challenge the frontiers of innovation. We’ll work together with the clubs over the next few months to bring major product developments across fabrics and design to life in 2018.”
Former AFL star Jimmy Bartel heads up a vital part of the team as Product Development Director and Investor in XBlades Australia. Jimmy plays a hands on role leading the product development and design to improve existing products and develop the new range, alongside leveraging his extensive network to recruit players into Team XBlades.
“Having had plenty of experience of apparel partnerships as a player, I’m now passionate about the actual product and producing sportswear that is made with the players’ needs in mind, not just the brand benefits.
“We’ve been working closely with athletes to create revolutionary products that are tailored to the players needs and style, and these club partnership reflect the combined approached we take mixing players feedback with scientific proof and premium materials,” Bartel said.
Chief Executive Officer of the GIANTS, Dave Matthews said, “The GIANTS are delighted to partner with XBlades as both organisations enter the next exciting phase. XBlades is an innovative Australian company that is eager to help us continue to grow as we continue to break new ground in New South Wales and the ACT. To be able to have our players hands-on in the design process allows them to help tailor the high performance apparel they need. I’ve got no doubt that this three year partnership will be a popular one with not only our players but also our our members and supporters too.”
SAINTS Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer Christine Finnegan said she was looking forward to a long and productive partnership with XBlades; “We’re really thrilled to have XBlades on board as part of the St Kilda family. We’ve already engaged with several players to assist in the development of our 2018 line,” Finnegan said.
SAINTS player, Josh Bruce is looking forward to pulling on the new guernsey and working with XBlades: “It’s Australian gear made for Australian sport with comfort and performance in mind. I’m really looking forward to running out in my XBlades gear this year and being part of the development for 2018.”
Chief Executive Officer of the SUNS, Andrew Travis said, “We are thrilled to be entering into a partnership with XBlades. We look forward to working closely with their team and our players to produce on-field kit that assists performance, but also produces gear for our fans to wear when supporting the club.”
After partnering with NRL Clubs Parramatta Eels and the Cronulla Sharks for several years, XBlades is keen to expand its apparel division and provide AFL clubs with high quality performance wear. XBlades will supply the club’s official playing guernseys, shorts and socks, as well as training and off-field leisure apparel.
Team XBlades currently consists three AFL teams, two NRL teams and more than 40 NRL and AFL stars including Paul Gallen and Alex Rance to ensure the product meets the needs of current professional players. Several new players including female AFL stars joining Team XBlades will be announced in coming weeks.