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Apparel partners sign up for Essendon’s ‘comeback’ mission

AFL Aussie rules football club Essendon has agreed apparel partnerships with ISC, Skins and New Era for the 2017 season, as it continues its recovery from a major doping scandal.

ISC has signed on as the club’s official on-field apparel partner for the next seven seasons, a deal that Essendon states represents one of the largest apparel partnerships in the AFL.

The Australian-owned company will supply the club’s official on-field playing guernseys, shorts and socks, as well as a range of training and off-field apparel. Terms of the Skins and New Era deals were not disclosed.

Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell said: “We are extremely pleased ISC, Skins and New Era will be part of our comeback story. These are three innovative and progressive sports brands, and their decision to partner with Essendon is an important step in the future direction of our club.

“This is the first time we have segmented our apparel partnerships, and we are excited about the benefits the new range will deliver from a performance and retail perspective.”

In January Essendon was hit by the loss of 12 of its playing squad after a total of 34 of its past and present players were handed two-year bans for doping as part of one of the biggest scandals to hit Australian sport.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld an appeal brought by the World Anti-Doping Agency against a decision in March 2015 that cleared the players of taking a banned supplement during the AFL’s 2012 championship season.

The bans were backdated to March 31, 2015, with credit given for any individual period of ineligibility already served. This means most of the suspensions come to an end this month.