History of Wigan Warriors - Colours, Kits and Sponsorships

Colours, Kits and Sponsorships

Until 1886, Wigan played in blue and white hooped jerseys before changing to the cherry and white hoops which are synonymous with the club. Since then, the home kits have consisted of cherry and white in different variations, usually hoops. Over the years, the home kits have consisted of a lighter shade of red rather than the cherry colour, however the club has still been known as "the Cherry and Whites".

The away or alternate kit colours have usually been blue and white. Some fans assume this is because Wigan originally played in these colours before the switch to the cherry and white. The away kits have been in different shades of blue, royal blue, navy blue and light blue with varied designs which have sometimes been hooped, one irregular hoop or just a block colour of blue. There have been exceptions, with a black and white alternative kit being used in 2001 and a black kit with red piping in 2007.

Wigan have had three main shirt sponsors.

From 1981, the first sponsor to appear on the shirt was JJB Sports. In 1989 the club sponsor was Norweb until 1998. The following season Wigan was sponsored by Energi the electrical branch of Norweb. In 2000 Wigan changed its kit sponsor to JJB Sports owned by Dave Whelan who was also the owner of the club. JJB Sports remained the main sponsor after Dave Whelan sold the club in late 2007 and JJB Sports earlier in the same year. It was announced during the 2008 season that JJB would not renew the sponsorship contract for the 2009 season. It was announced on 24 January 2009 via the club's e-news facility that the new sponsor would be Meccabingo.com.

Kit manufacturers have included Umbro, Puma, Adidas and Nike. When JJB became the shirt sponsor the kit manufacturer was usually an associate of JJB Sports. Wigan's 2000 kit was made by Adidas who sponsored the East Stand at the JJB Stadium but when the association with JJB ended, the kits were made by Patrick, Dave Whelan's clothing company. In 2006 and 2007 the kit manufacturer became JJB Sports. The kit manufacturer changed to KooGa for the 2008 season. KooGa is 48% owned by JJB Sports. In 2008, Wigan signed a three-year deal with KooGa, the largest kit deal in the club's history and believed to be one of the biggest ever in rugby league history.

In November 2008 Wigan announced the production of a limited edition shirt, with £5 from each sale going to Wigan & Leigh Hospice.

In January 2009 the shirts for the 2009 season were unveiled. The home kit was a return to cherry red. The home kit consisted of the traditional club colours of cherry and white hoops. The replica shirts sold to fans had full hoops whilst the players shirts had a white panel on the back so that the name and number could be displayed and viewed easily. The away shirt was blue with one wide irregular white semi-hoop which was across the front of the shirt but did not stretch to the back.

Wigan continued with a variation of the cherry and white hoops for the 2010 home kit with the away kit returning to a mainly black kit with silver slashes. The home kit for the 2011 season was revealed on 18 November 2010. 'The distinctive new design is a break from tradition and features shaded cherry-to-white irregular hoops. It also incorporates white flashes over the chest and hips which are designed to accentuate the shoulders and shrink the waist making the Warriors look even bigger and more fearsome than before. The KooGa shirt, which will display the logo of new sponsor Applicado-FS across the chest, will be worn with cherry red shorts and cherry red socks both with white flashes.'

The club opened a shop in the Grand Arcade, Wigan as an outlet for selling merchandise, on 9 December 2009 with an official opening taking place on 10 December 2009.

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