WELL 2017, IT’S BEEN FUN!
This year, we’ve witnessed a host of sporting highs and lows.
We saw a scintillating 1-1 draw in the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour in New Zealand, the greatest Superbowl comeback of all time when the New England Patriots edged the Atlanta Falcons, Lewis Hamilton powering to a fourth F1 World Drivers’ Championship for Mercedes AMG Petronas and we saw the Exeter Chiefs storm to their first Aviva Premiership rugby title.
2017 hasn’t been bad for the team here at Scimitar, either. Here’s a review of the year, highlighting some key achievements and exciting projects along the way.
To kick the year off, the Scimitar team developed 28,000 flags for Derby County’s home FA Cup tie against Leicester City, helping to create an incredible and intense atmosphere!
Other than that, the TORQ performance teams began picking up their first victories of the year, and we launched the online shop for the J’s Hospice Pedal for the J’s event.
We exhibited at the The London Bike & Triathlon Show in February at the ExCeL in London, showcasing a range of retail products from the Scimitar Shop as well as a great range of custom deals for clubs to take advantage of.
February also saw us partner with the Forces Exiles, who would be renamed the Scimitar Exiles as part of our partnership. A British invitational sevens team, the team creates a professional environment to help nurture and develop players to a high standard. We kitted the team out in a stunning blue home and pink away kit to help them stand out on the circuit!
We exhibited at the Bike Expo in Manchester in March, and were delighted to showcase our range of custom cycling kit and retail products to the North-West biking community.
Talking of the North West, we helped turn the city of Manchester blue in March as we developed a number of medals for the Manchester City Blue Run.
Taking place at the Etihad Campus, the funds raised from people taking part in this 5K event would help support the initiative of City in the Community, helping invest in improving life in and around Manchester.
Towards the end of March, the annual Battle on the Beach took place. It’s a true cyclocross experience, with one lap consisting of three equal parts of beach, single track and double track. We were delighted to create a special short sleeved jersey as part of the official merchandise for the event.
A big date on our annual calendar, exhibiting at the 2017 London Marathon Expo in April allows us to showcase our range of retro, funky running retail products to a huge audience! Besides this, we were able to showcase our fantastic options of custom kit for running & athletics clubs.
The race itself? As is the same every year, there were hundreds of Scimitar running vests and t-shirts taking part in the marathon. It’s always a proud moment for the team at Scimitar!
We sponsored a running event in April too; the Scimitar Lightning Run. The event took place in Catton Park (Derbyshire) in April, and we produced official merchandise and medals for those taking part.
This month also saw us take on kit development for the Cycle Engage cycling team, after another supplier let them down. An extension of our cycling awareness initiatives, Cycle Engage used the year to take part in national and local events, while working to increase awareness of both cycling as a sport and safety while on the bike.
We launched a few videos of the Cycle Engage team, which you can see on our YouTube channel here.
Action for Charity’s Women V Cancer Ride The Night took place in May, where over 3,000 women helped raise £1,570,442 for Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action & Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. Better still, it was announced that 2018’s event will take place over two separate challenge dates, allowing even more people to get involved and raise money for these worthy challenges!
We also introduced a fantastic competition for charities in May, with our £2,018 Charity Giveaway. It gave registered UK charities the opportunity to win credit towards their next sportswear order. We had a huge amount of entries to the competition, which effectively helps a charity fundraise more by taking the cost of a segment of merchandise out of the equation. Be sure to check back in 2018 for version two of the competition!
May also saw us continue our relationship with the Castle Triathlon Series, as it continues to grow from strength to strength. The first of six events took place in Lough Cutra in County Galway, Ireland. Since our relationship with the triathlon series began, we have helped increase retail sales by over 43%. 2018 will see the launch of an all new online shop for Castle Triathlon Series, so there’s plenty to look forward to!
A historical trip around the outskirts of London was also a feature of May with the Dulux Trade London Revolution Event. We worked closely with Threshold Sports to create jerseys and branding to help make the event a roaring success.
More Castle Triathlon Series events took place in June, while we also saw the Mountain Mayhem 24hr event take place in the final format as we know it – who knows what the future holds as we await an announcement! We were on hand with a full range of merchandise and offers on custom kit.
What else happened in June? Well, fundraisers for Katharine House Hospice in Stafford took part in the Neon Night Fun Run in Scimitar t-shirts, while StreetVelodrome made a strong comeback in 2017, with the inclusion of a date in Ireland (subsequently the launch event). The beginning of the month also contained the Airfield Anarchy Mudfest event, an interesting combination between an outdoor music festival and an OCR for which we developed official merchandise!
The UEFA Champions League Final took place in Cardiff this year between Real Madrid & Juventus, with the Los Blancos triumphing 4-1. We were thrilled to develop and manufacture supporters hand flags for the event.
For the first time in the company’s history, July saw us sign a deal to provide rugby kit for a professional outfit in England’s second tier, the Rotherham Titans. More on that news story here.
Switching our attention to a different sport, how many UK sportswear companies can boast about a leading NBA power forward wearing their kit? Well, we can certainly add that feather to our hat.
At the 2017 Cowbell Ibaka Games, the event was to connect with the youth in Ibaka’s native Congo, raising money for the Serge Ibaka Foundation to assist with the development of education, health and nutrition in the country.
Interestingly, we developed kit for a Drone Racing team in August, adding to the list of new and emerging team sports that are regularly enquiring for team kit. An interview with the team can be found here, providing insight into one of the top emerging sports. You’ll be surprised how accessible it actually is!
Over the bank holiday weekend, TORQ In Your Sleep took place. This weekend event offered music, catering, showers and free camping for those taking part. Scimitar-powered TORQ athletes took 1st Male Solo, 1st Mixed Team & 1st Male Pair to cap off a brilliant weekend. This year, we went down and produced a little video of the TORQ team and the event, which you can see here.
After announcing our deal with the Rotherham Titans, September also saw the launch of the 2017/18 Greene King IPA Championship, with Bristol looking to bounce straight back to the Premiership after relegation last time out. Rotherham’s first league outing was a disappointing 10-46 defeat at home to Nottingham Rugby on the 3rd.
In other news, we were delighted to be involved with the Cardiff Half Marathon, when 19,641 participants took part. We were thrilled to develop the official merchandise as well as the online shop for the event, in which a number of records were broken!
The inaugural Birmingham Velo took place in September, actually passing through our home county of Worcestershire. How were we involved? Well, we were delighted to provide branded bags to the event.
In a first for our brand, October saw the announcement of three awards for Scimitar in the Mens Running & Womens Running Magazine Awards! We were delighted to pick up Brand of the Year & Apparel Brand of the Year in the Men’s Running category, while winning Commended Apparel Brand of the Year in the Women’s Running category. We were absolutely delighted to pick up these awards, as it signalled major recognition for our products.
In other October news, we supported Heart FM’s breakfast host Gemma Hill as she embarked on an epic 150 mile kayaking trip from London to Birmingham. Raising money for Global’s make Some Noise campaign, we provided all of the kit for Gemma and the Heart Breakfast team to ensure they were properly equipped for the challenge.
We announced our involvement with the National Running Show in November as the official clothing partner. The inaugural event takes place in January 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham.
Another huge partnership was announced in November between Scimitar and Human Race, one of the UK’s leading events company. We would develop official merchandise for the events, and create a bespoke online shop for them. Not heard of them? Some of their events include the Cancer Research UK Winter Run and the Tour de Yorkshire. You can view the bespoke web shop here.
Entering the final month of the year now, and we were delighted to work with Newcastle United Football Club in creating supporters hand flags for their 125th year centenary event. The result against Everton may not have gone in favour of the Magpies, but the flags certainly helped raised the atmosphere at St. James Park!
It’s also worth mentioning the launch of our brand new online shop, with a host of new products, licenses and a fresh new look. You can browse the new-look online shop by clicking here.
In another big move, we replaced our innovative Stores 4 Sports ecommerce platform with two brand new offshoots in the form of Scimitar Clubs & Scimitar Events, two premium ecommerce solutions for Scimitar customers. These shops would also provide the base for our bespoke solution, used by Rotherham Titans & The Human Race events company.
We’d like to extend a big thank you to all clients we’ve had the pleasure of working with in 2017. It’s been an incredible year, and we hope to build on our relationships into 2018 and beyond!
As we wave goodbye to 2017, the Scimitar team would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.