Sunderland AFC has delivered a world footballing first by screening a game between two local teams on Facebook Live to launch the new 2017-18 adidas home kit.
Dawdon Welfare Park FC of the Peterlee and District Sunday League sported the new look and ran-out 7-1 winners over Hall Farm Glasshus FC of the Durham Alliance Combination League at Ashbrooke Cricket Club – of one Sunderland AFC’s former homes.
The match broadcast, fronted by Simon Crabtree, Nick Barnes and former Sunderland defender Nyron Nosworthy, reached more than 350,000 supporters live on Facebook, and coverage of the launch game was seen by almost one million fans across all the club’s social channels.
The club wanted to hand over the spotlight to local players and the families who support them week in, week out – the lifeblood of the British game – in order to celebrate the Black Cats’ new look.
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Paul Welch of Dawdon Welfare Park said: "It was a huge honour for us to be chosen to unveil the new Sunderland home kit. For the club to recognise and celebrate grassroots clubs and players in this way is fantastic and it’s something we will remember for the rest of our lives. The kit is great and we all love it."
Sunderland AFC is synonymous with its famous red and white striped shirts. Since the club was formed in 1879, the stripes have taken on many guises - wide, narrow and even pin-stripes.
The new look has its roots steeped in shirts from the 1880s. Featuring narrower stripes as worn during the historic era, the shirt has a black round-neck and black cuffs on the sleeves. The front features the logo of principal partner Dafabet.
The shirt is complemented by black shorts with red stripes. The kit also features black socks with a red and white turnover cuff. Both the shirt and shorts feature ventilated Adidas climacool® technology to keep wearers dry and cool.
Fans can be the first to get their hands on the new home kit by pre-ordering at safcstore.com or in club stores located at the Stadium of Light, Debenhams in Sunderland and The Galleries, Washington now.
Pre-ordered kits will be available for home delivery or collection from 9am on the morning of the release date of Thursday 29th June, several hours in advance of the time they go on general sale (6pm).
You can view the game live on Facebook below