Doncaster Rovers announce new kit deal with FBT
Doncaster Rovers and Club Doncaster have announced an innovative three-year kit partnership with Asian manufacturer FBT.
The Thai-based company will supply Rovers' kit and training wear for next season as well as Club Doncaster Foundation and training gear for the Dons.
This will be FBT's first foray into the European market. They are a well-established in Asia and have a partnership with the Oman national team.
Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin insisted the welfare of supporters was at the heart of the deal.
"From my point of view this is the first time we've been able to negotiate a deal we hope is for the fans," Baldwin said.
"We can demonstrate our commitment to the fans. This is it.
"Hopefully every contract we negotiate in the future will have the fans at heart. That was the basis of the decision.
"They're a family-owned company and we're a family-owned club, it just ties in brilliantly.
"Their aspirations for the future for us, are really exciting."
Rovers' new home and away kits for next season have been designed by supporters with the shortlist unveiled this evening.
The designs have been put to a vote with supporters selecting their favourites.
And the winning designers of each kit will be flown to Thailand to press the starting button on the manufacturing process and take home the first shirt off the production line.
Former RFL chairman Sir Rodney Walker is chair of FBT Europe and is confident Rovers supporters will be pleased with the quality of the kit.
"All I can say is that everyone at Doncaster who has seen it say they are the best that they have ever seen," he said.
"Everyone connected with the Football League Trust say it's the best quality they have seen.
"The people we deal with in Oman would not allow us to have the contract if they had not been happy.
"I'm happy for the fans to be the judge of the quality. And they will no doubt tell us very quickly if they are not happy.
"I'm not expecting that."
As part of the new deal, the club shop and the ticket office will be knocked into one to create a megastore which will be operated by FBT.
The club and manufacturer are aiming to have the kits in the shop by June 1, when it is also hoped the new megastore will be opened.