The wraps today (Thursday 10th August) came off one of the most valuable shirt in UK rugby when the Ospreys unveiled their new-look jersey ahead of the 2006/07 season at Liberty Stadium.
The Kooga manufactured shirt boasts a sponsorship value of £500,000 and will once again be emblazoned with the logo of headline sponsor npower renewables, as well as secondary sponsors ASDA, eteach, Pinetree, Worthington's, John West Foods Ltd, Trade Centre Wales, Cardiff Doors and Technical Sponsor Kooga.
Now, Ospreys chiefs are hoping to go to the top of the sales league over the next 12 months after it was revealed that a whopping 38,000 Ospreys shirts have been sold over the last year, making it the second biggest club rugby jersey in the UK and Ireland, with only Magners League rivals Munster selling more.
Bill Newton, Managing Director of Kooga, the country's leading rugby shirt manufacturer believes that the two statistics are intrinsically linked:
"Sales of the Ospreys jerseys last season were nothing short of phenomenal with more than 38,000 shirts sold across the UK. It is far and away the biggest selling Kooga shirt on the market, exceeding all expectations last season, selling more than the other three Welsh regions combined.
"Given the outstanding sales of the shirt, it naturally follows that the shirt is an attractive package to sponsors, hence its high value. With extensive media coverage afforded to the Ospreys and almost 40,000 people proudly wearing the shirt it becomes a value for money way of promoting a brand. The Ospreys shirt anticipated to become the biggest selling in the UK this season, it looks like money well spent for all the sponsors."
From today, the new shirt will be sold exclusively at the Ospreys Store at Liberty Stadium for three weeks, before going on general sale throughout the country, costing £49.95 for adults and £35 for children.
Mike Cuddy, Ospreys Managing Director commented:
"The ongoing support that the Ospreys are receiving from the fans and sponsors alike has helped us to establish the Ospreys as the leading region in Welsh rugby. To sell 38,000 shirts in a season is just fantastic, and we are hopeful of improving on that again over the next twelve months.
"A rugby team can only be as good as the fan base which supports it and I think its fair to say from these figures that we have an outstanding following that is still growing."
Dr Mark Legerton, npower renewables's Development Manager for Wales, said:
"The Ospreys sponsorship was a first for npower renewables and so we're obviously delighted that the team, and indeed the shirts, have proved so popular. This partnership has enabled us not only to team up with a top flight rugby team, it has also given us a platform to support grass roots rugby throughout the region, and year one saw us develop a solid partnership with the team and create the foundations for some very exciting new initiatives."
Mike Cuddy added:
"We are delighted to welcome back ASDA, eteach and Pinetree, and are particularly delighted to welcome on board leading brands such as Worthington's who are building on their existing association with the Liberty Stadium and John West Foods Limited, as well as local businesses Trade Centre Wales and Cardiff Doors. This broad diversity of sponsors reflects the appeal of the Ospreys shirt."
Now available via the On-Line Store