AZ, The Dutch club from Alkmaar will start the 08-09 season with Canterbury of New Zealand as their new kit supplier - . The three-year partnership with AZ will see Canterbury of New Zealand supply all team kit – on-field home and away strips, training and leisure wear. AZ is the first Dutch Eredivisie club that will wear team apparel by Canterbury, the world’s largest rugby brand.
On top of the customary team kit, Canterbury will also supply an extensive range of leisure wear to the fans, in co-operation with AZ. By moving into the world of football, Canterbury wants to increase their brand recognition. The company is the world’s largest and most technically advanced rugby dedicated brand and provides official playing strips to the most important rugby nations, including South Africa, the current world champions.
Canterbury’s initial involvement in football came through the supplying of their innovative BaseLayer products to, among other clubs, AC Milan, Wigan Athletic and AS Monaco. The BaseLayer range launched in 2004 has quickly become the leading technical product of its kind. Entering the Dutch football market is further evidence of Canterbury’s growing ambitions.
AZ Chairman Dirk Scheringa: “At a time when the ambitions and developments of AZ are growing on the pitch, it is essential that we look to commercial partners who mirror our aspirations..Canterbury’s global presence as well as their innovative and fresh thinking approach to kit manufacturing will help the club to develop both on and off the field.”
Andrew Knox, Canterbury’s managing director continental Europe: “The deal with AZ brings together two brands that are looking to use technology and innovation to grow their respective businesses. The move into football marks an exciting time for the Canterbury brand as well as an excellent opportunity to showcase the expertise of the company to a new audience. Both Canterbury and AZ are companies with similar ambitions to grow and achieve success in the sporting area, so this deal is seen by both parties as an ideal partnership.”
The new AZ strip will be unveiled to the general public during the first training session of the 2008/09 season, scheduled for Monday 30 June 2008, and to the media at a special press conference held after the first training session.
Canterbury provides official playing strips to, among other clubs, Deportivo la Coruña, FA Cup winners Portsmouth and OSC Lille.