Aston Villa announce a record new partnership with Macron, Italy's premier technical sportswear label and official kit manufacturer for the start of the 2012-13 season.
Aston Villa will be Macron's flagship club in the Premier League.
In addition to Macron supplying the club with official match kit and training apparel for players and management staff to May 2016, Macron will offer a full range of fashion wear - featuring over 100 product lines - including home and away replica kits (also providing a choice of two goalkeeper kits), training and travel apparel, exciting accessories and extensive labels for females, children and infants.
In creating the new kit, the club have worked closely with Macron whose focussed development in design and materials is evident in its partnerships with clubs from La Liga, Serie A, Holland's Eredivisie and Portugal's Liga Sagres.
The new home kit will be launched in mid-June at Villa Park and will go on sale immediately. A full range of apparel and accessories will be available from early July, distribution of which will be managed by the Club's merchandising department. The away kit will also be available in July.
Villa CEO Paul Faulkner, in announcing the new partnership, said: "We are pleased and excited to be partnering with Macron and we look forward to the launch of our new kit for the 2012-13 season and also to benefiting immensely from a close working relationship.
"Commercially, this is the best deal the club has ever secured with an official kit partner.
"Macron has established its credibility in the development of high-quality performance football apparel and the sales and distribution of licensed products and this new partnership will significantly benefit Aston Villa in the years ahead."
Macron CEO Gianluca Pavanello said: "We are both proud and delighted to announce the partnership with Aston Villa.
"Macron is a European company with a successful growth in the UK.
"We are particularly pleased to partner with Aston Villa, a club with great tradition and heritage, with which we share common values which are: a passion for sport, commitment and, most importantly, a focus on product quality.
"We look forward to this alliance and we are sure it will bring great success to what is already an historic club."
Merchandising head Greenfield: Villa finalising new kit designs
Merchandising supremo John Greenfield says Villa are finalising the designs of the new home, away and goalkeeping kits ahead of the 2012-13 season.
The 60-year-old insists tradition and heritage are very much the key aspects of the home kit while a desire to follow the latest fashion and trends has been the basis of the away shirt design.
Both kits, he also revealed, would be launched on June 16 in a special marketing event.
The home kit would be placed on sale that day with the away kit open to pre-orders ahead of its availability the following month.
He said: "We are now finalising designs for the new kit - home, away and goalkeeper.
"We certainly won't be going away from the traditions of the home shirt. Villa and Macron are well aware of our history and traditions.
"I think our fans will be thrilled with the home kit. We have obviously held meetings with fans about what they wanted - and they have most-certainly got what they asked for, in my opinion.
"With the away kit, it will be exciting for the club and supporters. There's an ever-changing market and we have to be mindful of our fans but also of trends and fashions.
"The home and away kit will be launched on the weekend of June 16. It will be a special day and we will be working with our marketing team on a special event."
Greenfield revealed Macron's desire for Villa to be their "jewel in the crown" was a major factor in the new kit deal.
A larger product range as well as an impressive commitment to quality and promptness were also vital features of the new contract.
Greenfield added: "Our Nike deal was coming up for renewal and in keeping with that kind of thing we took a look around to see if we could find anything more beneficial out in the marketplace.
"We went through 10 or 12 kit suppliers and did a lot of background work on each individual company and what pluses they could bring to Aston Villa.
"At the same time we were still negotiating with Nike as we felt that, although we'd had problems with kit, they were still a strong brand that would sit nicely with Aston Villa.
"During those negotiations we met brands from over the world - places as far afield as China and USA for example as well as European organisations in Spain and Italy.
"There's no question we worked very hard to find the right partner.
"As time went on, we made contact with an Italian brand that we had seen on our TV screens via the likes of Napoli and, in fact, some British clubs.
"They presented a very good business case.
"We went over to Italy and we were so impressed with the set-up and the fact they repeatedly said to us that they were looking for a flagship Premier League team to be their jewel in the crown.
"Alan Williams, my right-hand man, has done a great deal of work with Macron behind-the-scenes, ensuring that what they said they could do they could actually do.
"It's fair to say they'll be doing a great deal for us. They are extending the range from 25 products to well in excess of 100. That's everything dual branded - Villa and Macron - real bespoke claret and blue products, from footballs to shinguards, wristbands to captain armbands, everything really.
"These will be exclusive to Villa. These are finer details we've never had before. It's an exciting new venture because this is going to be exclusive to Aston Villa."
While speaking about his delight at the new deal with Macron, Greenfield was quick to praise Nike for their understanding during this "transitional phase."
He added: "I would like to thank Nike for all their efforts on our behalf over the past five years and their understanding in allowing us to bring forward the launch date of the Macron deal.
"They have been exceptionally cooperative and helpful. It's fair to say they have assisted us through this transitional phase."
Thanks to Alby