New kit deal for Town

IPSWICH today signed a lucrative four-year kit deal with sports giant Mitre.It will see the Town players wear a brand new Mitre home kit next season, with fans invited to choose from three different designs.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH today signed a lucrative four-year kit deal with sports giant Mitre.

It will see the Town players wear a brand new Mitre home kit next season, with fans invited to choose from three different designs.

Voting will begin on Saturday, when Sheffield Wednesday are the visitors to Portman Road, but the new deal will not signal the end of the club's own Punch brand.

The current Punch-branded white away kit, only launched in the summer, will continue next season before being replaced by a new Mitre rig-out for the 2008-2009 campaign.

The deal marks the British firm's return to football kit design and development after a seven-year absence.

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Mitre previously provided kit for international and domestic teams, including Cameroon, Burnley and Hibernian, and they will also supply training and bench wear for manager Jim Magilton, his players and coaching staff.

Ipswich will retain their popular Punch brand and it will be used for selected leisurewear products to be sold in the club's retail outlets.

Mitre, established in 1917, has a strong football heritage, producing match balls for The Football League, as well as a range of high quality footwear and accessories.

The company is owned by the Pentland Group that also owns the Speedo, Berghaus and Kickers brands.

Andrew Goulborn, Ipswich Town's sales and marketing director, has high expectations of the new partnership.

He said: “I would like to record the club's appreciation of the commitment and efforts of ASD, the Ipswich-based company who have worked with Ipswich Town over the last five years to design and manage the manufacturing of our Punch-branded kit.

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

“Mitre is renowned for the quality of its products and their experience in the design and manufacture of sports products is second to none.

“I think Ipswich Town fans will be impressed when they see the design and quality of the products that we plan to produce with Mitre.”

Mitre brand director Gary Hibbert said: “We are delighted to be re-entering the pro kit market, particularly with a club of the stature and heritage of Ipswich Town.”

Mitre recently employed a new and experienced team to work specifically on the design of pro club kit and they will work to develop a stylish range of performance kit and training and bench wear for delivery for the 2007-2008 season.

The brand's marketing team is also working with the club on a range of initiatives that will add value to Ipswich Town's Community Trust and Academy schemes.

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