When the founding fathers of Kick Off Merchants congregated around the round table for them to discuss trying to bring fans the football merchandise they deserve, one item kept getting mentioned. Beer mats.
And so we set out on what has been a long and treacherous journey of manufacture, production and design.
It was 30th November 2020 when the beer mats were first mentioned. And it has been a long and arduous process.
From sourcing the right machinery, the right card and, most importantly, getting the designs right.
Backwards and forwards went the designs amongst the group. Suggestions. Changes. Designs in the bin. Then we settled on the first 12. But how would they print? Well, but not well enough.
Another couple of weeks of redesigning. A tweak here, a tweak there. Make something bigger, something else smaller, a colour darker, the writing lighter.
And then at Noon on the 29th April 2021, almost 6 months to the day after the process had begun we got word.
The designs were perfect. The manufacturing and production sorted. It was time to go live.
And yesterday we launched our first set of football beer mats with our Arsenal Classic Beer Mats collection.
From Ray Parlour to Liam Brady, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp. It is a mixture of legends and players that just suited a beer mat! We hope we have done you proud.
And this is just the start.
One of the reasons why Kick Off Merchants was formed was to refresh football merchandise for all clubs.
We are now working with fans and designers from Chelsea, Manchester City, Crystal Palace, Leeds United, Newcastle, West Ham, Rangers and Celtic.
With production and manufacturing already in place, all we have left to do is get the designs right. And that is the most important thing.
We are bulls on a hill with a field of cows below us. We will take our time walking down the hill, getting things right. We will not be rushed.