The Ospreys have unveiled their brand new 2016-17 jerseys at a special Liberty Stadium launch event ahead of the opening pre-season game against Leicester Tigers on Friday.
Hundreds of supporters turned up to get their first sighting of the new-look shirt, with supporters eager to get their hands on the iconic Ospreys kit queuing at the Club Shop ahead of the 5.30pm reveal.
Firmly established as the second highest selling regional or club jersey in the UK and Ireland, the Ospreys shirt is renowned for it’s bold and ambitious styling, with this year’s version no exception.
Designed by global kit suppliers BLK, the home shirt is once again predominantly black, with a subtle Ospreys mask feature sublimated across the chest. There is a splash of colour with a vibrant palette of blue and green on the trim, while the predominantly white away version of the shirt features an eye-catching interpretation of the mask, incorporating the secondary colours.
Having initially committed to wear BLK playing and training kit from the start of the 2014/15 season until the end of 2016/17 season in a deal described at the time as ‘the single most significant commercial partnership in the region's history’, the Ospreys and BLK agreed a five year extension earlier this year.
Andrew Millward, Managing Director at the Ospreys, said:
“The enduring popularity and appeal of the Ospreys jersey is one of the region’s greatest success stories. I remember being a player back in 2003 when we were launched, seeing the kit for the first time and nobody really had any idea whether the Ospreys would sink or swim.
“Here we are, 13 years down the line, with the shirt now established as one of the biggest sellers and leading the way in terms of innovation and style. Since coming on board with us two years ago, BLK have helped take it to another level again and we expect this year’s design to be incredibly popular. Their progressive and innovative outlook matches ours and makes for a winning combination.
“The release of a new Ospreys jersey is a landmark occasion in the summer calendar and it was fantastic to be able to combine it with our first game of the new season, alongside supporters, commercial partners and players, and kick off the new season in style.”
BLK United Kingdom CEO, Ben Houchen, said:
‘’BLK is excited to have renewed our partnership with Ospreys this summer and even more excited to be launching the new 2016-17 range. This season’s jersey is one we know the fans will love. The expectation from Ospreys supporters is that the jersey combines tradition and innovation and we believe that our designers, working closely with the team at the Ospreys, have certainly delivered on all fronts this year.
“Both the home and away jersey feature BLK’s exclusively developed Exotek fabric, which features wicking and four-way stretch for increased movement and comfort. We are looking forward to the season ahead and cannot wait to see the boys in action wearing the new jersey, with the stand packed with supporters kitted out in the 2016-17 range.’’
For the third successive season, the home kit features the logo of premium partners, BT Sport, across the chest, while OSTC FX continue on the front of the away jersey.
Alwen Williams, Director BT Wales, commented:
"BT is very proud to support rugby in Wales built on a strong partnerships with the four professional teams that connect us to local communities across Wales and allow BT to make a personal contribution to society.
"We are pleased to be working closely with the Ospreys through our Swansea office and supporting rugby locally as it continues to play such a focal role in the lives of our communities, our customers and many thousands of BT colleagues across the business. BT is at the heart of great sport and we are proud to support the passion and enjoyment of rugby in Wales at all levels and it's ability to bring communities together with strong values of commitment, family, inclusion and team.
"BT Cymru Wales is a major stakeholder in the Welsh economy employing 4,000 people in Wales with new jobs announced this year at our operations Swansea and Cardiff. With new partners EE now working closely with us to improve communications infrastructure we are combining skills and expertise that will help make Wales one of the best countries for connectivity. We have a vibrant apprenticeship programme that we are equally proud of and which mirrors the success of the four pro teams in developing and investing in new rugby talent."
The new Ospreys home and away jerseys, along with the full range of BLK leisure and training wear, is now available to buy instore at the Ospreys Club Shop and online at shop.ospreysrugby.com.
The adult replica jersey comes in sizes ranging from S-7XL, with a ladies cut available (home only) in sizes 8-20, both versions priced at £54.99.
Junior replica shirts, sized from 4 years to 16 years, cost £44.99, with a toddler version available at £34.99.