Like many football kit followers of a certain age Admiral hold a special place in my kit memories. The brand has made several revivals since its late 70s heyday but with the exception of one or two smaller deals has been pretty quiet of late in the UK football world.
However, this looks like this may all change as exciting news emerges that Admiral is now in the hands of new British owners, a move that will hopefully see the re-energising of a great sporting icon, across Europe.
The new owners are Admiral Sportswear Limited, a special purpose vehicle established to acquire the rights to the Admiral brand for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
The move sees Managing Director Jonathan Hamburger, heading up the new Admiral Sportswear Limited business and the appointment of former Umbro, JD Fashion and West Bromwich Albion executive Tim Gardiner, as Sales & Marketing Director.
Originally established in Leicester as Cook & Hurst Limited, the Admiral business was incorporated in 1914, when the company designed and manufactured underwear for the Armed Forces.
With the recent resurgence of heritage sportswear brands in the sports and fashion markets, there are dynamic plans to develop the Admiral brand with football performance for the sports retail sector and also lifestyle fashion developments for the menswear sector.
The plans include the introduction of three product collections for Admiral; Football Performace for the pro and amateur markets, Admiral “Gold” a brand new fashion concept and Lifestyle, including retro inspired “back catalogue” Admiral products, drawing on Admiral designs from the 70’s and 80’s.
Commenting on the acquisition, Jonathan Hamburger said;
“We’re delighted to have acquired such an iconic, British sports brand, with nearly 100 years of heritage and believe the opportunities to re-energise and grow the brand throughout Europe are endless”.
“An important part of the future success of the brand is the building of a strong and experienced team for Admiral and I’m delighted to have Tim Gardiner on board as we now look to develop our plans for the UK and the appointment of licensees throughout the territories we own in Europe and other countries”
With such big plans and experience behind the acquisition of Admiral it will be interesting to see if the brand makes it make to English football’s top flight…