Bolton Wanderers have just signed a new kit (and stadium sponsorship) deal with Italian company Macron, leaving adidas and a (nearly) 25-year-old partnership with Reebok behind. As such, the club will receive new kits for the 2014/15 season and all parties involved are pretty excited.
As part of the buildup to the new kits, the club and Macron released a pair of pretty cool little things for public consumption on Monday, detailing the new relationship and one of Macron's plans for next season. Fans of football history will remember that the Bolton Wanderers crest didn't always carry the ball-shaped "BWFC" logo and ribbons.
The badge's shape has only changed relatively recently with the club wearing a blue and yellow shield into the 1950s and a red rose of Lancashire after that. Those crests, which saw the Trotters participate in a number of FA Cup finals, carried a common element on them: an elephant.
The elephant, which appeared in Bolton's badge from the 1920s on, is a symbol also found on the Coat of arms of Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council and can be found on buildings all over the area. It was replaced with the now-ubiquitous BWFC logo in 1975 and was seemingly lost in the club's history.
Macron, who say that they want to do something special for Bolton, are bringing it back and because they are essentially starting fresh with a new kit, they could have some fun with it. Speaking about the emblem, Richard Gough, head of commercial for Bolton Wanderers, said:
"When we looked at the elephant design from down the years, the hand-made nature of the badges from that era meant there were no two alike.
"Without a single reference point, we had the opportunity to update the design for the 21st century in such a format to be trademarked as our own and for it to be more easily reproduced both in print and on fabrics."
Macron research and development style manager Amedeo Iossa added:
"The new elephant motif is one of a number of unique and exclusive elements that we have been working with the club to incorporate into the gamesets for next season.
"We are very proud at Macron that the reintroduction of such an iconic symbol for the club has coincided with the beginning of our new partnership."
Alongside the elephant will be a Latin motto that was found on Bolton kits in the 1920s, a period that saw the club win three FA Cup trophies in six years. The motto, reading "Supera Moras," translates to "Overcome Difficulties" and seems fitting for a team that has had nothing but struggle, both on and off the field, over the last few years.
However, despite the shouts for more of Bolton's rich history to be used in modern branding, it seems that not everyone is happy about it. In a story from the Bolton News on Tuesday morning, Conservative councillor and supporter Andy Morgan said:
"I think it contradicts a lot of what the manager has been saying about moving forward with young players and clearing out some of the old guard.
"I am all for marking the history of the club, but I just feel this is the wrong message and an elephant is not the most dynamic of animals."
Because getting new, young players into the team and a symbol that goes back nearly a century into the club's history are ideas that go completely against each other.
Whether or not these protests will pick up any momentum remains to be seen but until then, fans can sit back and enjoy the show as Macron gear up to deliver new kits for the Trotters.