ADIDAS, in partnership with Highlanders’ traditional sponsors BancABC, yesterday unveiled a home kit to be used by the Bulawayo giants for the 2014 Premier Soccer League season due to start next weekend.
The kit was presented to the Highlanders executive chairman Peter Dube by Adidas Sports manager (South Africa) Bob Maphosa in the presence of BancABC officials, facilitator Edzai Kasinauyo of E-Sport Management, Highlanders board and executive members and four players — skipper Innocent Mapuranga, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Milton Ncube and Mgcini Sibanda.
Maphosa said this year’s kit had been improved from last year’s design in line with global trends.
“On the new jersey, Adidas have remained true to the club’s traditional colours of black and white. But in contrast to last season, the jersey features a Condivo design around the collar and the sleeves, in line with all the global football jerseys such as Chelsea and Bayern Munich this season.
“It also features a bridge-like band set across the shoulders, which enhances the jersey’s iconic look with additional detail,” he said.
“Adidas prides itself for being a leader in technology so the Highlanders vertical-striped jersey also incorporate Adidas Climalite technology, a soft, lightweight fabric for superior moisture management that conducts heat and sweat away from the body to keep the players cool and dry in warm conditions,” he said.
In a press statement, Adidas Sports marketing team manager Adrian De Souza, who was not present at the unveiling of the kit, said Adidas was “honoured to be associated with this strong Zimbabwean football brand and will continue to improve kitting out the team in the best sport performance apparel available in the market”.
On the replica jerseys that started going on sale last year, Maphosa said the sales were good adding that Adidas would continue to improve the quality of their products.
The Highlanders Adidas replica jerseys cost $50 and Bosso gets 7% from the sales, but it could not be established how many jerseys had been sold to date.
“Since entering into a partnership with Highlanders last year, I am delighted to report to you today that in the first year of operation, the jersey sales have had an unprecedented success. Thanks to our unrivalled presence at many prestigious football tournaments like winning the Mbada Cup and coming second in the Premier League, we have enjoyed growth in the market share and have set a high standard for sports retailers in the country,” Maphosa said.
He said Adidas had increased production of the replica jerseys, which are also on demand in South Africa.
Dube paid tribute to Adidas and BancABC.
“It once again gives me great pleasure and pride on behalf of Highlanders when we highlight the benefits that began two years ago. I must emphasise that in the two years, the results are there for many to see,” he said.
“We are where we are because of this good gesture. I know that it is not easy, but at the end of the day, we want to pursue positive engagements that come our away.”
BancABC regional manager Fordson Musingarabwi said: “We at BancABC can only say that we are excited to be part of this. We should be part of the community where our customers come from and what a better way than to sponsor one of the biggest football clubs. We challenge Highlanders to excite us on the football pitch. I know the fans might not be here, but by buying the replica jerseys it will go a long way in assisting the club.”
Highlanders board chairman Mgcini Nkolomi also paid tribute to what he called a corporate trinity between Highlanders, BancABC and Adidas.