The Ladies League are putting themselves back into the transfer market with new kits and a brand new tracksuit to match. The franchise recently signed a new technical partnership with every ethnic’s favourite brand, Kappa.
Rose Valente, manager of The Ladies League, gives us the scoop on the new range of merchandise and how the deal with Kappa was sealed.
Long-time fans of The Ladies League will remember their start as a simple blog who would tweet humorous box jokes. In the short time since, the site has grown to create documentaries, broadcasting on Football Nation Radio and being able to interview people at all levels of the game. Rose has also been able to expand the TLL franchise to create a partner site, The Reserve Team.
And if you’ve been following The Ladies League for any length of time, you’ll know their colours: the pink and black attack. Picking colours wasn’t a big thing for Rose, those were just colours she liked.
“Initially when I was setting up The Ladies League, I didn’t have any real reason for picking pink and black,” says Rose. “The Ladies League began as a hobby for me and to develop my skills. Pink and black were just colours I liked. But as the brand has grown, the colours have grown to mean so much more to me.”
With ideas for an updated kit, Rose began trying to find a brand who offered custom designs which would still be affordable for the TLL fanbase. “At the end of the day, we need to be conscious of price as our merchandise is how we continue as an independent organisation.”
It was here that Kappa stepped up and shot their shot.
“When I spoke to Kappa about what I wanted, it really felt as though their brand really aligned with how I saw The Ladies League,” says the boss. “Right from the start, they really understood where I wanted to take TLL in the next few years and what we wanted to bring to our fans, especially in the lead-up to the Women’s World Cup being held right here in our very own backyard.”
Rose’s vision and Kappa’s input is clear. These are both brands that want to appeal the female market as much as they want to appeal the men’s market, if not more.
What has been created has been dubbed the TLL Spew kit.
“Kappa were really hands-on with the design,” said Rose, the pride visible on her face. “When they showed me the home kit, it was love at first sight. To be able to pay homage to the Matildas, and also New Zealand, shortly after the Women’s World Cup announcement, meant something very special to me.”
The home kit features different pinks, while splashes of black complete the spew look on the torso and back of the jersey. The sleeves are pink, with just the right amount of TLL and Kappa branding and a V-neck collar.
The new TLL home kit is really Rose’s way of furthering the female footprint in Australian football.
“We’ve always been about both men’s and women’s football,” explains Rose. “My primary reason for creating TLL because of a lack of female representation in the men’s game. Two years on and we are now strongly linked to women’s football. Whether that’s our name evolving or the misconception that women report or women’s football only, it felt right that linking to women’s football, especially just over two years out from the Women’s World Cup, could only strengthen our brand even more.”
So if the boss of the TLL franchise made an extremely good-looking home kit, you’d think there’d be an away kit? Not so, initially at least.
“I didn’t really have any intentions for an away kit,” admits Rose. “But a lot of the TLL crew wanted one and I really wanted to make everyone happy. I love my team and what they have done for the franchise, so I wanted to make sure everyone had options.”
Keeping everyone happy and ensuring everyone has a voice is one of the key pillars for what TLL represents for Rose. “Even though I was making the decisions, the team’s input was very important to me during the entire process. From day one I would send screenshots to the chat and share every moment with the team.”
The away kit is similar yet futuristic take on the TLL Spew. It is predominantly black and features pink and black lines, instead of splashes, on the body of the jersey. The sleeves are black with a white, pink and black trim. The sleeves also feature the Kappa logo from the V-neck collar all the way to the sleeve’s trim.
But there’s always someone who wants more and thanks to TLL’s own video-making machine Michelle Morris, fans will get it.
“Michelle wanted a long sleeve kit,” says Rose with a smile. “I wanted to make sure I kept her happy but also, how good is a classic long sleeve kit?”
But wait, that’s not all you get. There’s more!
“We’ve added a matching tracksuit to our merchandise stocks,” added Rose. “The tracksuit we came up with was risky. We thought the design could be ‘too busy’. But in keeping with one of the themes we’ve created at TLL, I felt it was important to go full kit wanker on away days.”
The track jacket design takes cues from both the home and away kits. The body features black predominantly, with pink and white splashes and pink sleeves and black cuffs. The trackpants are black with a splash of pink and white on the trim at the pockets.
Both the home and away kits will be made in Kappa’s signature fitted style in men’s and women’s cuts. The home kit will also be available in long sleeve.