You may remember a few weeks ago that I brought you as story about how Sheffield Wednesday F.C. had decided to eschew going with a well-known kit manufacturer and instead opted for the Portuguese company Lacatoni. You may also remember that Sheffield Wednesday manager Carlos Carvalhal just happened to be one of the founders of Lacatoni and, as such, had a financial stake in the deal. Fast-forward to yesterday’s Sheffield Wednesday “kit reveal” where it was revealed that Lacatoni were not providing the club’s kits. So, that’s sorted.
Well, actually, no, it’s not sorted at all, it’s just confusing in a different way.
The club’s kits are being supplied by a company named “Elev8,” who are also the sponsor of the away kit. Again, that seems straight-forward…except that it’s not. There are scads of companies on the internet named “Elev8” (or some form of that branding) engaged in all manner of activities, but none of their logos match the one on the kits and Elev8 appear to have no web presence as a kit supplier (or as a sports clothing company in general) or as a sports drink company (it says “sports drink” under the word mark on the away kit). That might not be damning in the internet age, but it is certainly…curious.
Further complicating/confusing things is that all along club owner (and home kit sponsor) Dejphon Chansiri has been saying that the club was going to produce its own kits and that it was searching for manufacturers. Fair enough. They may even have been planning to use Lacatoni as the manufacturer but opted against it when Carvalhal’s personal connection was revealed and chosen Elev8 instead. Except that it’s unclear that Elev8 actually exists beyond being a name on the kits- they have no registered trademarks in the U.K., U.S., Europe, or Chansiri’s native Thailand. Elev8 appears to be nothing more than a name, but why?
As you might imagine, the Wednesday fan forums are rife with both confusion and conspiracy theories. Perhaps the most telling comment I read in dozens of pages of comments was this:
“Makes Lacatoni look like Umbro.”