Although it’s the Alliance of American Football, a Canadian athletic apparel brand will be playing a strong role in the first year of the newly formed professional football league.
The Alliance of American Football takes its historic first snap this weekend in the same coveted time slot and on the same network as the Super Bowl did only days before, with eight teams playing a 10-week season. Toronto-based sportswear company Levelwear will be a key business partner of the league moving forward.
There is a ton of momentum behind The Alliance as football fans that previously looked at the week following the Super Bowl as a time of emptiness are feeling rejuvenated with the ability to follow a new league.
Levelwear will be a big apparel partner of the league. It will provide premium sportswear, on-trend and fashionable t-shirts, polo shirts, pullovers, and outerwear for men, women, and children.
“The Alliance of American Football partnership is an exciting new venture for Levelwear,” said Hilton Ngo, the Chief Executive Officer of the company. “We have built a healthy licensed sports business with many of the other professional leagues already, but we really like the new way of thinking the AAF has embraced.”
Teams are mostly in non-NFL cities, with the exception of Atlanta and Tempe, Arizona (the other cities include: Birmingham, Memphis, Orlando, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and San Diego) and notable past NFL stars make up some of the front office of the league.
The league’s main objective is to complement the NFL – there is an NFL-out clause in every contract for players who get signed by an NFL franchise to be free to leave before or after their Alliance season starts or ends to showcase local, developing talent.
But that’s not all. The league is set to shake up the game as audiences have come to know it.
There are no extra-point kicks, for example, and the play clock is only 30 seconds as compared to 40 in the NFL. There is a refreshed payment structure for its players where everyone gets paid the same, and bonuses are based on social media interaction as well as on-field performances. There will be integrated gaming for fans to watch and play along during Alliance matchups.
Part of the reason Levelwear has decided to partner with The Alliance is to propel both brands forward.
While Levelwear will remain a key partner of the Canadian Football League – Levelwear, in fact, just re-upped with the CFL in 2018 – it has agreements in place with many individual clubs and athletes across the football landscape.
The other apparel licensee for The Alliance is mostly in the on-field wearables space, so Levelwear will be expanding its presence in football, and professional sports in general, with this new agreement.
“As one of only two licensed apparel partners for The Alliance, we will work closely together to bring unique, different, and premium products to the fans, players, and coaches alike,” said Ngo.
Levelwear has licenses with the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the National Hockey League Players Association, 20 European soccer clubs and has a large presence at PGA TOUR events. It also sponsors PGA TOUR winners like Adam Hadwin, Emiliano Grillo, and Ted Potter Jr.
Levelwear has partnerships with teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL amongst others.
The inaugural season of The Alliance begins February 9, and games will be shown on CBS.
The Alliance apparel collection from Levelwear will be available in stadiums, online at www.aaf.com, and at select Dick’s Sporting Goods locations nationwide.