Kappa takes principal partner role at Aston Villa

English Championship football club Aston Villa has agreed a three-season deal that names Italian sportswear brand Kappa as its principal partner and kit supplier.

The agreement, which runs from 2019-20 to 2021-22, will see Kappa provide kit and training wear for the Birmingham club’s first team, development and junior sides, as well as the ladies’ teams.

Aston Villa chief commercial officer Nicola Ibbetson said: “At the forefront of our decision was the key requirement to find a partner that would put design at the heart of the process and do justice to our famous claret and blue colours.

“In addition to collaborating with some of the leading experts in the field of technical sports kit and fashion, we are currently working with Kappa and Fanatics to ensure that all Aston Villa supporters are catered for with a wide range of replica kit and merchandise.”

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In April 2018, Villa claimed a first for the English football market by agreeing a kit partnership with online sports apparel and merchandise retailer Fanatics, and menswear brand Luke 1977. The club became the first English team to adopt a three-party agreement with a manufacturer of sporting apparel and a fashion brand.

The arrangement allowed Fanatics to extend its relationship with the club, by becoming the official kit manufacturer while continuing to deliver its multi-channel retail capability, including management of the store at Villa Park stadium.

Luke 1977 worked collaboratively with Villa and Fanatics on the design element of the club’s 2018-19 kit. As both retail partner and kit manufacturer, Fanatics has operated a full vertical-manufacturing model, meaning this season’s kit, bearing the Luke 1977 brand logo, was managed by a single company from production to point-of-sale.

Commenting on the new agreement, Fanatics International president, Steve Davis, said: “We have had an incredibly successful first season working with Aston Villa and we are delighted that an innovative and world-renowned brand like Kappa has joined the partnership.”

Villa will seek a return to the Premier League on Monday when it takes on Derby County in the Championship play-off final at Wembley Stadium. Villa lost to Fulham in last season’s match.