5 minutes with...Lee Ferraby
In January, Doncaster Rovers unveiled 5 potential home and away designs for our 2014/15 kit and passed the final decision over to fans as part of a voting process that took place amongst the Viking Supporters Co-operative, Supporters Club, Club Shop and Social Media.
Over 2000 votes were cast and the final kit choice will soon be revealed. As we build up to the unveiling of the kit, the club caught up with Director of Finance, Lee Ferraby, to discuss some of the background behind our kit manufacturing process.
Doncaster Rovers change their kit on a regular basis, why is it the club change their kit every year?
During recent years the club has tried to negotiate with kit manufacturers about releasing a new shirt every two years. Every manufacturer we spoke to said that they could only consider this if the Club guaranteed a minimum volume of shirt sales significantly greater than what we are currently selling for it to be commercially viable for them.
During the past 4 years we’ve averaged in the region of 3,000 home shirt sales per year. Ultimately if the club didn’t make the minimum number of sales then we would have to make up the financial shortfall to the manufacturer which could cost the club up to £50,000 per year.
The design process this year started early in January, why was this the case?
A key element of the kit design and of our In Rovers We Trust campaign is supporter engagement.
From feedback we have received from fans we know two things; firstly that supporters want an involvement in the design and selection process. Secondly, fans want the shirt earlier than when we usually go on sale.
By asking fans for feedback in January, it allows us to start the manufacturing process in February and will allow us to have the kit on sale in June, which will be a first for the Club.
Clubs that don’t consult with fans on the kit design, won’t unveil the designs for the new shirt until April or May at the earliest. However their supporters won’t get any involvement in how the final shirt looks. The shirt will have already been chosen and manufactured before supporters see a glimpse of it, we don’t want to operate that way and feedback has told us, neither do our fans.
So when will the kit be unveiled?
Our commercial team has confirmed One Call Insurance will be the main club sponsor for a 5th year. Stoneacre, (the back of the shirt sponsor) are also confirmed for 2014/15 and so all our sponsors are in place.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be revealing the kits that didn’t win the vote one by one and then unveiling the final design. We’ll then start our pre-order process and the shirt will be on sale by June.