Avid Proper followers will be aware we’re pretty tight with these guys, but as ever, we only get involved with stuff we believe in. Admiral’s mothership should require little introduction to anyone with even half a clue, but if you’re unfamiliar with the pioneering football history of this British institution, first give your head a little wobble, and secondly google it like you do everything else.
In ASGco there’s something of a departure from what the Admiral brand had evolved into. Having led the way with innovation in the football kit market, they found their market share slowly bullied from them by more muscular players, with overseas production and more resources. Despite this, Admiral battled on like the perennial underdog. The fact the brand still resonates today is a testament to its staying power.
Not content with resting on its storied history of the 1970s and 80s (plus a bit of the 90s tbf), they fixed their eyes on the future. Did they want to lead the way once again, delving into highly technical fabrics and going up against the big boys once again? Or did they have a few very interesting chapters of their story they’d previously not really given the regard they deserve? As you can see by Admiral Sporting Goods, the latter was certainly true.
Established in 1914, the brand took over half a century before maneuvering itself to the forefront of football. Prior to this, as its name suggests, the focus was functional fabrics for military establishments. This was an era of largely unbranded goods, make in English factories using heavy, reliable, hard-wearing fabrics.
While Admiral’s bread and butter remains the accessible gear they had become known for, the real meat in the sandwich is ASGco.
With storytelling at its heart, and an almost stubborn desire to create the best possible product, it’s exactly what you didn’t expect from Admiral, which makes it all the more interesting as far as we’re concerned. But while plain speaking, no-fuss quality will always have a place, it’s pretty hard to communicate through a phone screen. Consequently, the creative team behind ASG reached into their history to find a fitting narrative for a collection that pays homage to its own DNA, as well as the characteristics of its locality.
With strong ties still in its hometown of Leicester, ASG took the Green Tiger Journal as the inspirational seed behind this new collection. This publication is synonymous with the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, acting first as a way for those involved to communicate, and latterly as a way for ex-members to retain contact with goings on in their fondly-remembered community. With one eye still fixed on that unerring quality, the other got busy aiming itself at winning graphic applications, fitting with the times which provide fuel to the fabric.
When a brand seeks to use its past, it can go in a number of ways. Modern takes on past classics can be good, but the die-hards will always have a “Yeah but” waiting for those situations. Faithful reproductions are great, but purists either want the actual real thing or don’t want it at all. ASG have purposely tried to re-imagine what the brand would have become if it had nailed its colours to the military and sportswear mast, a la American brands like Champion. Anything too retro product-wise would always be off the agenda, but garments that are reverential to the era while still using the best practices and machinery of the modern day are where ASG finds itself.
We’ve seen this stuff close up, we’ve met the people. It’s good. We wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t.
Get involved here.