Selling: Netball From
boots to netball
Gilbert Netball has its roots planted firmly in the history of other sports, but is making its own headway in the retail environment. David Pittman reports
he original Gilbert brand is derived from William Gilbert who had a boot and shoemakers shop in the high street next to Rugby School, Warwickshire during the 19th Century.
This started making rugby balls for the school out of hand-stitched, four-panel, leather casings and real pigs' bladders. Since then, Gilbert has gone through somewhat of a transition. Although the shop still exists, the brand has changed ownership a number of times. During the last two decades of the 20th Century there were three different owners, with Grays being the latest steward of the Gilbert name.
These changes in ownership went hand-in-hand with the evolution of products and manufacturing, notably the adoption of synthetic technologies and with the launch of Gilbert’s first netball during the 1990s.
And since then, Grays and Gilbert have worked to adapt the former’s years of ball engineering experience in the hockey and racket sport fields to netball, resulting in products such as the Synergie V2 ball.
The Synergie V2 is intended for indoor use only, and has a multilayer construction with a natural
rubber surface, butyl bladder and the Synergie V2 grip, which all combine to make it an international quality match ball.
In fact, Gilbert Netball is the official ball supplier to a host of national netball associations, such as Argentina, Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Scotland, the USA and Wales, amongst others.
Gilbert Netball says advances in netball continue and extend beyond match balls. Although new lines aren’t being unveiled until the autumn, currently there are clothing, luggage and equipment lines, as well as teamwear and merchandise.
Match apparel extends from dresses through different top designs and skorts, such as the Pulse top, which has a v-neck and is made from polyester eyelet fabric with moisture management properties. The Flash skort is designed to match the Flash tank top, and features high-stretch fabric with a soft loop back, an elasticated waistband and inner shorts
Training apparel includes tops, jackets, fleeces, undergarments and leggings to allow participation in all weathers. For instance, the short sleeve Vibe training top has mesh inserts and a moisture
‘In fashion’ sponsored by
Taking to the field (or court)
This month we look at what well- known football, rugby and netball stars are wearing.
Name: Lewis Moody Sport: Rugby Union Nationality: English
Best known for: Being a member of the World Cup winning England squad in 2003 and for captaining England in recent years
Will be wearing: Gilbert Synergie 12 body armour
Name: Nani Sport: Football
Best known for: Being part of the record-breaking Manchester United team that won their 19th league title in the 2010/11 season
Will be wearing: Adidas TechFit compression apparel
Name: Lionel Messi Sport: Football
Best known for: Currently regarded as the world’s greatest players and helping Barcelona win two Champions League crowns in three years
Will be wearing: Adidas F50 adiZero
management finish, while the Gilbert Netball thermal fleece is intended as a lightweight training top or mid layer beneath a shower resistant outer layer. The performance shell top has 100 per cent polyester shower-proof woven fabric with jacquard design.
Gilbert Netball also offers playing shoes for both adults and juniors with the Blaze. Offering a lightweight breathable mesh upper and a pre- formed breathable footbed with arch support, Blaze shoes provide impact protection with full- length shock absorption and improved heel fit with memory foam to mould around the shape of an individual’s foot.
Gilbert Netball’s range of luggage and carriers are designed to make getting to and from training and matches as easy as possible, with ball carriers able to carry five balls and holdalls, water bottle units and physio bags meeting other essential requirements for participation.
Training aids and accessories, from ball pumps and post protectors to cones and speed ladders, round off the Gilbert Netball range, while merchandise such as key rings and country-themed international memorabilia balls allows the brand to offer an extra revenue stream to interested retailers.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.trionz.co.uk
Name: Hertfordshire Mavericks (team) Sport: Netball
Nationality: Based at the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Best known for: Being crowned 2011 Fiat Netball Super League Champions by beating Surrey Storm in the Grand Final
Will be wearing: Gilbert Netball kit
Name: London Wasps (team) Sport: Rugby Union
Nationality: Play home games at Adams Park, High Wycombe
Best known for: Being one of the most famous clubs in world rugby, becoming the first English champions of the professional era and winning numerous titles and accolades over the last decade
Will be wearing: Canterbury of New Zealand rugby kit
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