TORONTO — Ross Cook looked out over the runway inside Toronto’s Berkeley Church, the site of Thursday night’s long-awaited kit launch.
“We’ve done a few kit launches over the years,” the Macron sports marketing manager told CanPL.ca, “but this is something very special — a bit spectacular.”
The uniqueness and sheer scale of the event matched the main attraction on offer: Fourteen custom kits that were cemented in history Thursday night ahead of the Canadian Premier League’s inaugural season.
And, as Cook explained, it’s the attention to detail, respect for the creative process, and like-mindedness of all parties involved that ultimately led to a mutual attraction between the league and its official kit sponsor.
“When people come to us, we try to give a different point of view,” Cook explained. “Nobody knows the clubs more than the clubs themselves. Our job is to try to make the actual garment speak about the individuality of each club.
“There’s no point in having one template for everyone. That’s not what our brand is about. We want each jersey that comes out to be completely unique.”
To get there, Macron COO Paolo Guizzardi explained that the designers behind each look cycled through a dozen or more options when a travelling group of CPL staff and club representatives “workshopped” the inaugural kits last year in Bologna, Italy.
“This is what we want to do — create a special dream, a jersey with the clubs,” Guizzardi told CanPL.ca during Thursday night’s kit launch.
“This is why we wanted to sit down as a workshop with all the clubs. We saved months of work. We did it. We delivered in just a few months time.”
The culmination of this process delivered on a promise that’s been repeated by the league’s top brass.
“This is part of the partnership — to keep bringing uniqueness,” said Roy Nasrallah, the CPL’s VP of Marketing. “More important, it’s to keep celebrating each city and to tell the story of our fans, our communities, our supporters and what the club means to all of them.
“And, being partners with Macron gives us an edgy, Italian touch that brings something spectacular from a design perspective.”
The CPL’s inaugural season also marks multiple firsts for the Italian sportswear brand.
Macron’s new “Hero” logo will appear on kits for the first time when Forge FC hosts York9 FC on April 27 at Tim Hortons Field.
“It’s the first time we’re sponsoring a full league. It’s an impressive job,” Guizzardi added. “On the creative stage we designed 14 different templates with different colours and unique patterns. We are proud. I think this is only the first step for our partnership.”
The question, though, is whether the bar can be raised.
“We’re striving with our partners to always be stylish and modern,” Nasrallah concluded. “We want to respect the essence of each community and club.
“With that in mind … you can expect something that’s never-been-done-before in 2020.”