Proud Burton businessman Tony Footitt has today spoken of his delight at having the longest commercial partnership in British football.
The owner of Burton-based TAG says he is delighted to have provided the kit for Burton Albion since 1992.
Despite the success of the Brewers after five promotions they have been loyal to TAG whose factory is just 300 metres from the Pirelli Stadium.
Tony, who set up TAG in 1992 said: “It is brilliant that they’ve (Burton Albion) stayed loyal to a local company.”
Tony Footitt speaks about the partnership between Championship side Burton Albion and TAG Sportswear.
The company which employs 10 people also makes kits for Burton Rugby Club, Branston FC and Winshill FC.
Tony, from Burton-on-Trent is “very proud” that his company “have played a small part” in the Brewers’ meteoric rise, from the non-leagues to the Championship.
Burton Albion are the only team in the Football League with TAG as their kit manufacturer.
Despite all the money that comes with being a Championship club, Tony is pleased Burton have stuck with TAG and not “chased the dollars with one of the big boys”, like Adidas, Nike or Puma.
Read more here about the monopoly Adidas, Nike and Puma hold over the football kit market.
Enjoying five promotions since 1998, the Brewers have changed stadium, training ground and eight managers.
You can read more about Burton Albion’s incredible rise here
Fellow Burton sponsor Pirelli, helped fund the build of the £7.2 million Pirelli Stadium (above) in 2005.
The Brewers have also upgraded to share the £105 million St. George’s Park, National Football Centre with the 28 England teams.
Mike Smith, Operations Manager at St. George’s Park says: “It is great for them, they can come and train here during the week and then go off to Burton to play the matches.”
But, one thing has never changed, the club have stuck with TAG.
Despite TAG being a small family run business, Tony’s kit manufacturing company supplies the “majority of local teams within a 20-mile radius” of Burton-on-Trent.
— Burton Albion FC (@burtonalbionfc) July 27, 2017
TAG feature on Burton Albion’s social media channels regularly, like on the tweet above to mark the release of this season’s home shirt.
Tony, aged 52, is proud to have been working with Burton, since his company was founded in 1992.
The TAG owner is also a Burton Albion fan and has designed and made the kits for his favourite team for 25 years now. Tony admits: “As a fan it is good to be involved.”
Burton Albion’s Commercial Manager Raj Athwal also discussed what TAG calls the ‘longest running partnership in football.’
Raj, aged 47, has also worked for Glasgow Rangers, Port Vale and Coventry City and says the partnership shows “loyalty and commitment” and “sends a message out to other local businesses that we (Burton Albion) will work with them as a professional football club.”
Burton Albion’s Commercial Manager Raj Athwal speaks about the working relationship the club has with TAG Sportswear
Though Burton Albion have reached the second tier of English football, the club’s fan base is still small.
As currently, TAG make just 1,000 replica kits for Burton.
While according to Tony: “Umbro make around 20,000 replica kits for local rivals Derby County.”
Read about one of Derby County’s most infamous shirts here
Tony also spoke of the technical aspects of the kits. The Burton strips are made of “100% Polyester Pro weight IS Fabric which is a very soft and smooth breathable material.”
Read more about football kits here, with digitally printed shirts now taking over the market.
Martin Pennycook, aged 56, a Burton Albion season ticket holder and owner of many TAG Burton shirts says: “TAG have always provided good quality shirts, which I have worn, my son has worn and now my granddaughter has worn.”
Visit TAG Sportswear’s website and check out the local teams they also make kits for, including Chasetown FC, Marlborough Rovers and Mickleover Sports.