Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
INSPIRED by the desire to utilise local resources and contribute in the growth of the economy, trendsetters Bulawayo Chiefs FC have become the first local club to create their own sportswear they call Amakhosi.
Chiefs will unveil their Amakhosi branded home and away kit, as well as their traveling and training uniforms today.
The club said its growing fan base had inspired it to establish its own brand, which it hopes will take the local scene by storm.
Local designers and tailors were used to producing the “high” quality kits that Chiefs will unveil today.
“We’re using available resources for this exciting venture. It all starts with us realising that among ourselves as Zimbabweans, we’ve got people who can design nice things. We live in a nation where we can put things together and do it ourselves.
“Amakhosi Sportswear has come up with great, out-of-the-box designs that we believe will capture the market. The kits that have been churned out for Bulawayo Chiefs are the first in a line of outdoor sportswear, which features match kits, casual wear t-shirts, tracksuits, windbreakers, sweaters, sports socks, back packs, boot bags and a number of sports accessories. We are set to release a line of formal wear that will include office shirts, trousers, suits, chinos and ties bearing the unique cut of Amakhosi Wear. The tagline is built for everyone,” said Javas Sibanda, the Chiefs’ spokesperson.
Chiefs’ decision is in line with the Government’s stance that encourages local production.
The club said Amakhosi Wear will venture into various lines of clothing, which will be a collection of apparel designed for a target audience and sold in retail shops and online stores.
“We envision a future that will see us sitting among the top global brands. We want to champion creativity in design and perfection in our products,” Sibanda said.
In March, Chiefs set a new trend by announcing a partnership with Catapult Sports, which creates technology to help athletes and teams perform to their true potential.
The wearable technologies developed by Catapult are designed to address fundamental questions in sports performance.
Through the Catapult Sports deal, Chiefs became the first club in Zimbabwe to use their own GPS tracking system, inserted in vests that players wear.
The technology will make it easy for the Chiefs technical team to monitor and analyse players’ data.
Chiefs also used their social media popularity to become the first football club in the country to open an online shop, selling the club’s merchandise.
The Chiefs’ shop opened at the end of June last year and orders can be made online and physically.
Chiefs also entered into a partnership with Boom City Advertising in August last year to market their online shop. – @ZililoR