Explanation from the Devils on Replica jerseys
In the off-season, we decided to move from cut & sew jerseys to sublimated jerseys provided by a different supplier. These are the same style of jerseys that most teams in our league have and sell as replicas. We also wear this style of jerseys in the CHL (provided by Warrior) and the playoffs (provided by Rhino).
The reasons for this change were:
1) it allowed us more freedom with the design of the jerseys.
2) we can offer a wider range of child sizes (you can make smaller jerseys when they are sublimated without a stitched on front logo).
3) we have lighter jerseys for our players to wear (less patches with sponsor logos on them).
Rather than a fully sublimated jersey, we decided to go with a HYBRID jersey, so basically sublimated design and sponsor logos with a stitched on Devils Logo and stitched on names and numbers. The result is the jerseys the players have been wearing for the games so far.
PRE-ORDER ISSUES – we have had a lot more pre-orders than we anticipated and although we were originally told 2 to 3 weeks, there have been some hiccups along the way, which basically have been the result of so many orders. Not an excuse, but just the reality of getting twice as many pre-orders as we anticipated.
COLLAR – The collar on the child jersey was always going to be different because they were made smaller and the Matzka logo was not going to fit in the collar area. Rather than get rid of the Matzka logo completely, we decided to put it on the upper chest of the child jerseys.
MATZKA LOGO ON ADULT JERSEYS – The Matzka logo on the adult replicas that came in last week was incorrectly put in the same spot as it is on the child jerseys. We believe 5 or fewer people have picked up their adult replica orders with this error on them. We have spoken to the factory today (Wednesday Sept 11th) and corrected the error. We are not distributing any more of the pre-ordered replica jerseys with the Matzka logo in the wrong place. Those people (less than 5) that already have an Adult replica with the logo in the wrong spot can return their jersey and we can re-order a new jersey.
QUALITY OF MATERIAL – The child replicas are on 160 gram material and the incorrect adult replicas have come in on the same material. Again this is corrected now with the factory and the jerseys coming in now will be on 220 gram material. There has been a picture posted on social media of a child jersey held up in front of a window showing light coming through and it makes the jersey look thin and cheap. This is not a fair reflection of any jersey, so I have taken a photo of Masi Marjamaki’s little girl in her jersey along with Katrina Williams, our office manager, in one of the replica jerseys to show how the jerseys actually look on.
This was a choice for the child jerseys so we could produce a less expensive jersey for kids so they could have their favourite player on their jersey for 50% of the price that a named and numbered jersey was last season. So a sublimated jersey with name and number on it is £45 this season. Last year, a cut and sew jersey with stitched name and number was £90 for kids.
CORRECTED ADULT REPLICA JERSEYS – So to be clear, going forward the collar is going to be corrected with the Matzka logo in the collar instead of on the front of the jersey for the Adult replicas so they look the same as the Player jerseys. The weight of the jersey will be 220 gram material, not 160 gram material. If you know nothing about jersey weight like me, to give you an idea, Belfast Giants jerseys are on 185 gram material and look fantastic with no issues about the weight of their replica jerseys.
DELIVERY DATE – The factory told us today they have a large delivery that will be here this Friday but the jerseys are incorrect (Matzka logo, collar and weight of material), so we told them to hold off a week and re-do all the jerseys so they are correct. So we are expecting them to be delivered to us on Friday September 20th ready for collection on the 21st.
FINAL NOTE - I know I run the team so you are going to get a good report from me on the new jerseys, but I have seen a lot of hockey jerseys in my time and these are by far my favourite designs we have ever had in my time in Cardiff (I personally like the black ones with the Cardiff Skyline in the back the best).
The hybrid design takes all the benefits of a sublimated jersey and adds in the authenticity of the stitched logo, stitched names and numbers. The players love them and the kids we have surveyed (Team Marjamaki, Team Bentivoglio, Team Kelman) all love the feel of the fully sublimated jerseys and they look great.
CONCLUSION – I guess the bottom line is we are human, we messed up, and we have corrected the problem. We can only apologise profusely for the ongoing delays. I ask you to wait to see the new jerseys yourself before judging on what someone tells you or what you hear on social media. If you still do not want a new jersey or feel the organisation has let you down by the ongoing delays, then come to the shop or call the Devils Shop on 02920 384108 and get a full refund on your pre-ordered jersey, no questions asked.
Todd Kelman, Managing Director