8.07.2016Bayer 04

'We will have more individuality and flexibility'

Bayer 04 CEO Michael Schade discusses the new Werkself shirt and the promising partnership with kit supplier JAKO.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Mr Schade, how much do you like the new Bayer 04 shirt?

Schade: I’m really excited! I think it’s remarkable the way our partner put in so much work in the redesign of the shirt. The designer David Blanch dug deep into the history of Bayer 04 and he also wanted to understand our philosophy. The result is an extremely successful mix of the traditional and the modern. That starts with the many little details on the shirt such as the silhouette of Leverkusen in reference to our city, the embossed logo, the eleven stripes as a symbol of the Werkself and the font exactly reproducing the historic Bayer form. I think all four shirts are very attractive.

What have been the main points about working with JAKO up to now?

Schade: JAKO is a very good, German company that suits Bayer 04 down to the ground. There were divergent opinions that said we had to have a partnership with one of the big global brands. I think our fans will soon feel they can benefit more from a smaller but incredibly efficient and high-quality kit supplier. The bigger the partner the less the chance of meeting individual requests. We opted for JAKO because, firstly, it was the most attractive for us financially and, secondly, the quality is outstanding. Before the contract was agreed we brought together players, coaches and staff to show them the kit we were going to play in. Everybody was immediately impressed by the quality and look. And, thirdly, we are the absolute number one at JAKO.

What does that mean in practice?

Schade: JAKO have not had a club in the Champions League before. Number one for JAKO means they will do everything they can to meet our wishes – as quickly and efficiently as possible. We’ve taken several groups to the company HQ, spoken to the management there and clearly felt that they are fully behind this partnership with Bayer 04. We can see that in the delivery dates and the implementation of details.

In terms of wishes: What’s the position with involving the Bayer 04 fans?

Schade: We will - as announced - involve them in the design of certain items of merchandising. that would be impossible with a big partner. We will organise design competitions for certain items. The fans will be able to put forward their ideas and vote on the implementation - and the designs with the most votes will also be produced. We will definitely have more individuality and flexibility.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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