Tigra sportswear label, which recently launched from its Teesside birthplace, has now become the official partner of national league basketball club Teesside Lions in a move that will see the Lions relocate design and production of their products from Spain to Teesside and recycle tens of thousands of pounds into the local economy.
The new partnership has also enlisted the endorsement of Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen, who has hailed the move as a great one not only for each brand, but also for the Tees Valley.
“The coming together of these two ‘wild cats’ symbolises how local companies working together can have a significant positive effect on the region’s economy,” said mayor Houchen.
“Work which would have otherwise gone outside of our area can now help support and create local jobs, which is more important than ever as we bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as help promote Teesside via the Lions merchandise which will travel the country.
“I want to congratulate James and Nathan on what I believe will be a hugely successful partnership for both Tigra and The Lions, and I hope it leads to even more success for the Lions on the court as well.
“It is more important than ever before that we support local businesses in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, and this is another great announcement as we begin our comeback as a region.”
The Lions have significant demand for their range of basketball apparel and other merchandise, with the new range of products available to purchase online via TeessideLions.com allowing the club to serve its customers locally, nationally and globally at the click of a button in a shorter process than ever before.
Teesside Lions owner James Thomson is pleased with what he believes could be a pivotal partnership for the club, citing the local angle as a significant factor in the mind-set and desire to seal a long-term partnership.
He added: “We are very protective about our brand, and the design and quality of our products had to match what we currently enjoyed to ensure their marketability.
“We receive orders from around the world which is credit to the products and the club platform itself.
“In what I anticipated would be a complicated and time consuming transition, it was anything but. The Tigra design team, led by Lee and Eddie are very talented and have produced products that will yet again have heads turning.
“A theme of the club is to pay tribute to the local heritage and industry with a Teesside skyline featured on the shorts and I am proud to boast products that will be designed and manufactured on Teesside.”
Tigra is a trading arm of Imprint Applications, based at Riverside Industrial Estate in Middlesbrough.
The company specialise in short run personalised products and cover print, heat transfer and embroider along with their recent six figure investment in sublimation equipment providing customers with a one stop solution at competitive prices.
Tigra director Nathan Sutcliffe believes the signing of Teesside Lions will be an important stepping-stone in the evolution of Tigra.
He said: “We are really pleased to have secured a partnership with Teesside Lions.
“We believe it will be a mutually beneficial relationship that will lead to bigger things for all involved.
“As a brand we want to provide an alternative to the traditional iconic leaders such as Nike and Adidas.
“Our staff are highly-skilled and we have many years industry experience that will position us in the best place to do so.”
To celebrate the partnership a Kit-Launch promotional video was produced by Stockton based Ryze agency and can now be viewed online.