Since 1956, Royal Holloway has been known as the Bears, and students have worn the logo with pride and passion. On modern day campus, it is used widely for sport promotion and identity, but also as a University marketing tool with the Colossus costume often seen around on open days. On our current kit, the Bears logo is placed on the back of the neck with the College crest and Royal Holloway Sport on the front, alongside the Samurai branding. The iconic green, purple and white colours represent the suffragette movement which the College has extremely close relations with, and are proud of the history we now represent today. All of these things have been packaged together into one universal kit after a longstanding contract between Samurai, Royal Holloway Sport and the Students’ Union. However, after running its contract, the playing kit must now go out to tender.
The current contract began in 2015 and runs until the end of this academic year in 2019. Instead of simply renewing the contract, the kit must go out to tender which means other companies will bid to take over the contract depending on how well they can supply our requirements.
These requirements will be mainly made up from a mix of tradition and student feedback. For example, one of the Samurai perks was that we have an online shop where students can purchase leisurewear and playing kit, this was an added benefit that was part of the playing kit contract. We will go out into the market, and search for the best possible deal for students, for both on and off the field of play.
Of course, we realise that Samurai was not able to provide kit to all sports because of some specialist requirements clubs had. However, we will make it a high priority for companies to provide playing kit across the vast range of sports that we compete in, while still allowing us to offer specialist kit to clubs from other companies such as helmets, fencing whites, riding trousers and cycling jerseys.
Essentially, we want you to give us valuable feedback about the kit you wear. We will take care of all the nitty gritty contract governance paperwork, but we will be asking for your opinion on the current Samurai system and kit, and further down the line, what you would look for in a new kit. To help shape the criteria for the contract we want students’ feedback on quality, material designs, price, sport, sustainability, things you would like to have and any other general comments on the sports and leisurewear. Over the coming months we will be collating your feedback through various methods, such as focus groups, coming down to visit clubs, at the club sign in table on BUCS Wednesday fixtures, and most importantly at Student Opportunities Council which gives the opportunity for all clubs to have their say. The tender process will take place in January with clubs having the opportunity to try samples from anonymous brands where your opinions and ideas will be most valuable.
This will be a long but well-engineered process, with students at the core of the decisions, to ensure that the result is best for students, Royal Holloway Sport and the Students’ Union. It will take effect from the beginning of July 2019, in time for the new academic year! If you have any questions or thoughts then do not hesitate to get in contact with me!
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