Back in May, Kappa proudly announced becoming the Official Supplier Partner to the United Rugby Championship. Since then, the Kappa in-house design team has been working in collaboration with the URC to create a set of vibrant, stand-out kits for their match officials as well as complimentary training and travel wear. The collection is built around three main on-field kits; the primary kit sees a vivid yellow used to highlight the official against the players, whilst a striking pink and a clean white kit offer equally as energetic second alternatives. Each kit adorns a wave graphic that adds movement to the jersey complimented by effortless simplicity in the shorts and socks.
Ahead of the start of the URC 2023/2024 season this weekend, we met with the URC Officials team to deliver the kit and get their thoughts on the new kit designs, as well as what it means to them to wear iconic Kappa kit.
Mike Adamson, URC Official, commented: “Although the officials are from five different countries, we are one team. So, wearing the same kit is really important for our teamwork and unity, especially when we are traveling. It represents our professionalism.
When you are involved in such a big competition that is streamed all around the world, wearing something you are proud to wear and carries meaning for you, is huge. It’s amazing to collaborate with an international brand, as the team knows Kappa will deliver quality attire that performs on and off the pitch.”
Kappa has long been known for the quality of the team wear it creates, with a long-standing heritage and commitment to supplying kit that enables athletes, officials, and the wider sporting community to feel their best.
Frank Murphy, URC Official, added: “Like the players, as a referee, you want to look and feel good, as you will then perform at your best. On match day, putting that shirt on gets you into game mode. You are ready for the game, focused, and switched on from the very start. I’m a big Kappa fan and very excited to be wearing the kit this year, in particular the white kit.”
Kappa’s Omini logo represents its mission to serve all genders, with female-specific kits being designed and manufactured to support current athletes and referees, as well as to inspire the next generation of women to get involved in sports.
Hollie Davidson, URC Official, was particularly pleased with the fit of the women’s kit sharing: “The female tailored Kappa kit makes me feel really confident when I go out on that pitch. When I put on the kit it makes me feel part of a team and that I am an athlete and a professional. Hopefully, I can be a role model, inspiring others to follow in my footsteps when they see a female referee leading the way and making crucial decisions on-field.”
The Kappa design team was focused on not only delivering the officials with team wear that has that unmistakable Italian style, but also representing them as athletes and professionals when on the pitch, training, or even when traveling.
Adam Jones, URC Official, shared: “Seeing the Kappa kits today felt like quite a historic moment for us as the URC Officials team. Everyone had big smiles as the kit fit so well and made us feel like a team heading into the new season. Putting that shirt on you know you have done all the work to prepare, and this is what you have waited for, those 80 minutes ahead of you. It prepares you mentally.”
Eoghan Cross, URC Official, agreed: “Putting the kit on is the final cue that it is time to go and work hard. Kappa is a trusted brand for me so I knew the kits would make us look the part and feel comfortable so we can concentrate and be focussed on our job.”
Gareth Edwards, Senior Apparel Designer at Kappa UK and Ireland, commented: “It has been really rewarding to work with the URC on their match official’s collection as they place real importance on this team and their role in enabling such exciting rugby internationally.
Our focus was ensuring the kit performed technically, and then we got creative to build clean, impactful designs that would represent these officials as athletes, professionals, and guardians of the laws, through fair and safe play.”
Kappa eagerly awaits the start of the season when these kits will be brought to life on the field by this committed and proud team of officials. Attend a URC game to see the kit in action.
If you are interested in a bespoke officials’ kit then get in touch.