‘Admiral’ is predominately recognised as a cricket brand, but its roots very much lay in football.
The brand was born in 1914 after Bert Patrick, the owner of Cook & Hurst watched England win the world cup 1966. Patrick believed due to colour TV there would be a gap in the industry to create coloured personalised football kits, which he would design and register under the copy write act.
Fast forward though the next four decades and Admiral had designed kits for the likes of Leeds, Westham, Spurs and Man U making them powerhouses in the industry, even sponsoring the England cricket team. It wasn’t until the late ‘90s that other big sporting companies began to bully them off the pitch.
So here we are in 2011 with a pretty impressive brand history, but no direction on the brand, queue former Umbro, JD Fashion and West Bromwich Albion executive Tim Gardiner, as Sales & Marketing Director.
Admiral has been pushed down the rankings in the industry so it’s important as a brand they stay focused in their direction, espically with the recent resurgence of heritage brands, you can run the risk of jumping on the band wagon.
Going forward the plans for Admiral include the introduction of three product collections; 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.
“Introducing both Performance sports and Lifestyle collections for Admiral, means we stay true to the brand’s heritage and positioning but evolve its reach into new channels of distribution” Gardiner.
The word “admiral” in Middle English comes from Anglo-French amiral, “commander” and that’s what they need to do- command. Command their half of the market share back and not be afraid to tackle some of these other sporting heavy weights.
I think this is still a fantastic time for Admiral to re-launch, everyones still into british quality and the sports 70’s casual look, is very hot in Manchester at the moment.
I look forward to seeing how the inconic brand score over the next season.