Admiral Sportswear

Admiral Sportswear is an internationally recognised football and cricket brand. Admiral was the supplier of sports apparel to the England cricket team until 23 April 2008 and, until the end of the 200708 season, Leeds United A.F.C.. Beginning The trademark "Admiral" was created in 1914 by ABC Hosiery ltd (later known as Cook & Hurst Ltd) manufacturing good quality English made underwear and, subsequently, items of sportswear. When England won the World Cup in 1966, Bert Patrick, the owner of Cook & Hurst, commenced manufacturing and marketing football kits.The kits sales were aimed at the juvenile market and through selling connections in the sports retail trade. Bert Patrick believed that the advent of coloured television would enable him to persuade football clubs to accept personalized kits which his designers would produce and then register them under the Design Copyright Act. There was stiff opposition to his ideas from all sections of the public. [edit]1970s: Leeds United and England Through its connection with Leeds United, Admiral pioneered the introduction and development of the replica kit market in the UK. In the 19731974 season, Leeds United wore the first visibly branded kit in the English top flight. Realising the potential of the replica kit market, Admiral brokered a deal with the FA in 1974 to produce the first commercially available England shirt that featured a sportswear manufacturers logo. They agreed a five-year contract for a starting payment of ?15,000 a year or a 10 per cent royalty. [edit]Other clubs Admiral signed up other big clubs alongside Leeds United, such as Manchester United F.C., Portsmouth F.C., Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Southampton F.C., and West Ham United F.C.. It also developed outside of England, signing up Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt and the A.S.Bari and the Saudi Arabia national team. [edit]1980s: Decline and rebirth Admiral began the decade with the launch of a new England kit in 1980, the first new kit in nearly 6 years. This kit was first worn in the 31 win over Argentina at Wembley Stadium on 13 May. However, the 1980s marked a period of decline for the Admiral b and, as it began to lose the contracts with the major clubs to domestic rival, Umbro, and new international entrant, Adidas. Even though Admiral still held the England kit contract, one of the most valuable in the world, the company was declared bankrupt in 1982. The brand reappeared on the market for the 198384 season producing the same double pinstripe design for both Leicester City and Notts County. Towards the end of the 1980s Hull City, Crystal Palace, and Bradford City were added to the Admiral roster. They were also the first ever kit maker of Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Admiral also produced kits for many of the NASL teams during the late 1970s and early 1980s, and had a replica licensing deal with all clubs, including the New York Cosmos and for two seasons produced the uniforms for every team in the MISL. [edit]1990s Admiral entered the 1990s well placed to build upon its widespread recognition and continued to supply clubs including: Leeds (Football League Champions in 19911992), Dynamo Kiev (USSR Champions), Southampton, Middlesbrough, Bradford City, Charlton Athletic, Wimbledon, Hearts, Motherwell,Rangers, FK Partizan, and many more. After a period of relative inactivity during the mid-1990s, the Admiral trademark was acquired in 1997 by Hay & Robertson plc, and ownership was transferred to International Brand Licensing in a demerger in 2002. [edit]2000 and beyond In 2000, Admiral entered the world of cricket and became the official kit supplier to the England Cricket Teams. By 2001 Admiral had also become the kit supplier to the West Indies and South Africa cricket teams as well as supplying the Canadian team for the 2003 Cricket World Cup held in South Africa. Admiral was the official kit supplier to the England cricket teams until 2008 (now sponsored by Adidas), the West Indies cricket team and continues the brand's tradition of supplying kit to major high profile football clubs with Leeds United. In 2011, Admiral Sportswear Limited acquired the brand rights for the Admiral brand for most of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, with the intention of re-energising the heritage sports brand.