TIME FOR A NEW LOOK: NEW BALANCE X UOB
This year saw the University of Birmingham kit project being taken on by New Balance, a multi-year partnership for the supply of all our playing kit, training wear, leisurewear and sport staff uniform. This was an incredibly exciting step for the University – not only were we able to bring this global brand to our students, but it meant a new look, especially for the teamwear.
Traditionally, our gold lion directly from the University crest has been synonymous with Sport, and this very much still plays a part in our identity – our teams, athletes and participants are Birmingham Lions, and we are extremely proud of being part of that Pride. But, when this opportunity presented itself, we knew it was time to design a kit that felt representative of everyone on campus – however sporty or not you are. Because we are one community, and we wanted to create a kit that connected the whole campus, and everyone who is a part of it.
It was important to us to honour the history of the red from the University crest for the teamwear, ensuring our players can stand out proudly on game days. But how to ensure that people would want to be a part of the community and don the kit, even if they weren’t competing?
After a number of ideas and designs, working with elements like the lion, the University skyline, and Old Joe, it was clear that one iconic building stood out and was a fondly-regarded symbol of the campus – our clock tower. As any UoB alumni will proudly attest, Old Joe – named after Joseph Chamberlain, the first Chancellor – is the tallest free-standing clocktower in the world, and will probably be the first thing people say when offering facts about the University’s story.
This is how the patterned design on our teamwear came to be. A geometric representation of the clock face is repeated across the bottom half of our kit – in a subtle nod to our campus.
For those not playing for a club, a leisurewear range – comfortable loungewear to wear anywhere – is also in the pipeline. Stay tuned – we will be announcing when this is available to buy soon!
We are excited to be working with their product design team on other projects, focusing on specific designs for key underrepresented groups. All in all, it’s a very exciting time to be part of the Pride and we are delighted to be partnering with this global brand.