The German sportswear manufacturer uhlsport is set to become the official kit supplier of 1. FC Köln beginning in the 2018/19 season. The four-year deal will see the German company not only produce the kits of the club, but also all training gear and other specialized items. FC can still produce its own merchandise as well. As a main partner of the club, uhlsport will receive numerous exclusive opportunities to present their brand.
“1. FC Köln is not an off-the-rack club, so we also do not want off-the-rack club kits. In uhlsport we found a partner for the next four years that meets all of our requirements of quality, trust, and individuality,” said FC Managing Director Alexander Wehrle. “The representatives of uhlsport proved during the negotiations that they are fully committed to working with FC starting in 2018. We are excited about the prospect of working with a traditional German company.”
Melanie Steinhilber, Managing Director of uhlsport states: “In 1. FC Köln we were able to win a successful and well-known first division club as a partner. We particularly want to focus on the West-German market to increase our presence and brand awareness through this wonderful partnership with this first-division club. Specifically, we want to work closely together with 1. FC Köln on finding solutions and to support the club in projects such as the development of club kits. We are excited to work with the FC team.”
Dominik Solleder, Managing Director of uhlsport adds: “The complete uhlsport team is very happy about this partnership with 1. FC Köln. For us it is an important strategic step that fits well into our sales strategy. The development in football business has the highest priority at uhlsport. Top quality, trust, and modern products are how we were able to win over FC. This is something we want to show more and more of in both the national and international football world in the years to come.”
End of the ERIMA partnership
The introduction of uhlsport means an end to 1. FC Köln’s partnership with ERIMA, who was the official kit supplier of the club since the 2012/13 season. Following the European kit, which will be introduced in September, the 70th anniversary kit will be the last co-produced product of the six-year partnership.
“In the end we decided on the best total package, as is our responsibility as the management of the club,” said Alexander Wehrle. “I want to take this opportunity to thank ERIMA for an outstanding partnership since 2012. Together we produced the highest-selling club kit in FC’s history and worked together on creative projects like the Karneval kits, from which both sides were able to profit.”
ERIMA owner Wolfram Mannherz states: “The partnership with 1. FC Köln was an absolute success from the very beginning. We want to take this 2017/18 season as an opportunity to experience our motto GEMEINSAM GEWINNEN (Win Together) one more time, for which we are very excited about.”
Uhlsport was founded in the year 1948, just like 1. FC Köln. The company has its headquarters in Balingen of Baden-Württemberg. Along with its sister-companies around the world, there are about 230 employees working for the company. Through its distribution partners, uhlsport can be found in about 80 countries around the globe. The brand is known for its fusion of functionality and design, and has particularly made its mark in goalkeeper gloves, which are still worn by many goalkeepers worldwide.
Uhlsport GmbH has three additional companies in its portfolio: Kempa, Spalding, and BLK.