When you think of hip streetwear, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t Birmingham, England. But that’s exactly the connection the unlikely partnership of Birmingham City and UNDEFEATED has made.

In late July, the Championship club announced UNDEFEATED as their new principal partner and sponsor. In addition, it was announced that the streetwear brand would act as Creative Director for all future merchandise and marketing projects.

The company was founded in 2002 in Los Angeles, and operates 23 stores around the world. They’ve collaborated previously with major brands such as Nike, Disney, Apple, and the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and MLS. They even recently developed a line with the USWNT.

As part of the partnership, the brand’s five tally mark logo will appear on the club’s kits this upcoming season (see photo above). It’s the first time the same sponsor will appear on both the men’s and women’s City shirts.

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Birmingham City x UNDEFEATED Partnership an odd pairing

These days many shirt sponsors are financial companies, airlines, or betting firms. But UNDEFEATED is primarily known for custom sneakers. The pairing with a historic, but in recent times mostly lower division club is certainly an eyebrow-raiser.

UNDEFEATED co-founder/co-owner James Bond (really, that’s his name), had this to say: “The exciting part about this unique partnership is the way we are able to join our brand, authentically through a deep association, with a leading professional sports organisation. It allows us to evolve beyond the streetwear category and grow authentically through sport. Since day one, UNDEFEATED has been a brand athletes wear in action, to and from the facility, so being on the jerseys and the pitch is authentic to our brand DNA”

So far, the collaboration has produced relatively unremarkable kits and training wear. Basic stuff with the sponsor logos adorning some standard Nike equipment. Promotional images featuring some of the lifestyle apparel aren’t exactly that eye-catching either:

As the partnership progresses, it will be interesting to see if more, well, interesting designs begin to appear. As UNDEFEATED are an existing collaborator with Nike, it might move BCFC into the more creative end of the sporting giant’s kit design spectrum. And that would certainly be a welcome development.

But will Blues gear begin to permeate the streets around the world, wherever the cool kids are found? Only time will tell.

Photos: Birmingham City FC