Positive feedback on Town's new home, away and 'keeper strips from the supporters
After the recent launch of Town’s new home, away and Gk kits for the 2013/14 season, we caught up with the man behind it all, Retail Manager Lee Hyde, to see how the strips have gone down with the Blue Army.
Well Lee the kits released last week, what sort of reaction and feedback have you had off supporters so far?
Hugely positive for both kits, which has been really encouraging. All the strips have gone down well and there has been a lot of love for the white sleeves on the home shirt. We’ve also been receiving a lot of messages anticipating the away launch, which is good to hear too.
The home shirt officially went on sale in Planet Blue last Friday to season ticket and TeamCard holders and is now on general sale, have sales of the shirt been encouraging so far?
It’s been an encouraging first week, that’s for sure. We have launched in more places than usual this year, with obviously the Suffolk Show playing a big part in that for us. I would say that trade has been fairly evenly split so far via the Planet Blue store, Suffolk Show and online sales but the interest is there and hopefully we can continue to push sales.
It seems that you had a lot of interaction with the fans through social media, via Twitter and Facebook. How important is it to have that communication tool in this modern era?
I think we are starting to realise how important social media is, not just for the club but for department too. We’ve found it a fantastic way to get back feedback and it opens up a direct communication channel with our fans, which has been very positive on the whole. I think it is also refreshing for fans to have their voice to the Club. Good and bad feedback allows us to become educated on what the fans want to see, and also gives us the opportunity to explain to the fans why certain aspects have been chosen. We received a lot of feedback last season, which we kept in mind and certain ideas have been carried into this season’s design, which shows the power and popularity of social media.
Do you receive feedback from the players about what they like to see on a shirt and how to make it comfier for them when playing?
Yes definitely. Player opinion plays a big part in the design making of a shirt, they always have a comment on what we could do in terms of the kit and what may give them the edge in matches. That may be an in-depth discussion, or just a passing chat. We will always try and achieve an end product that will assist the players and help improve performances on a matchday.
In terms of the design of the shirt, what major changes have been incorporated to this year’s shirt as opposed to last season’s?
In terms of the look of the shirt the colours have changed a fair bit, with the white being the predominant second colour as opposed to the red of last season. The white sleeves were something we knew the fans were keen to have, going on the feedback we received last season so we were eager to incorporate that too. The fit of the shirts haven’t been drastically changed, although we’ve tightened the material slightly under the arms to minimise excess baggage. More breathable materials have also been introduced to assist with the comfort of the players during the game.
The badge will carry the three stars on every shirt, is that correct?
Yes, it will. It’s important that we recognise the history of the Club’s achievements too, so we have incorporated that into each shirt and we felt each fan should be given the opportunity to wear the three stars, rather than it just being a limited edition badge. Feedback from the players on previous badges that were embroided in were not only heavy but also causing chafing, due to the position it was on the shirt. We looked at a number of application techniques to minimise this and eventually decided on a high-density ‘heat-sealed’ badge application, to help avoid any discomfort.
We know the home shirt is on general sale now, when can fans get their hands on the away and GK strips?