Head of Retail Richard Wild is currently out in Italy with competition winner Jonathan Westhead, who is providing input on the club's new third kit design at Errea HQ.
Below is Richard's latest update from the trip:
After dining in the wonderful company of Errea Chairman Mr Gandolfi last night in a restaurant that was out of this world, I was joined by Jonathan this morning at the breakfast table to discuss his initial thoughts with regards to his choices of third kit. I explained that the upcoming tour of Errea HQ would certainly open his eyes in terms of his thought process. I wasn't wrong.
After being collected we made the 10-minute journey to Colorno in Parma and the global headquarters of Errea. Mr Gandolfi, despite being 61 (I hope he doesn't mind me saying this) was on hand to greet us again and Jonathan got the hour-long tour of everything Errea. I think it is safe to say it rather blew his mind. It really would open the eyes of almost every supporter if they were fortunate to visit the place, and I think Jonathan realised just how much potential and scope he had when it came to actually putting down on paper his chosen designs.
We spent the next two hours running through possible options in terms of kits, and I stressed the importance of making sure every design had a Blackpool feel to it. To be honest Jonathan is a lifelong supporter and therefore he knew exactly what I meant by this. In the end he plumped for seven or eight designs and we left designer Tabatha with some rather quirky instructions to follow as we headed off to a training complex that Mr Gandolfi had built in his home town for use by fellow residents.
Now I can hold my hands up and say I have been here before but as much as I warned Jonathan how impressive it was going to be, I probably never quite did it justice. The site, complete with in-house restaurant, training pitches as far as the eye can see and 4g pitches both indoors and out is actually just his gift to the local community and is used solely by juniors and adults from his town. The senior team play in the equivalent of The Northern League but yet they have a training complex that wouldn't have looked out of place in The Premier League. All built by Mr Gandolfi so that his fellow Colornian People (not sure if this is the correct phrase) can enjoy it. Wow!
We spent an hour or so enjoying the facilities before heading back to Errea HQ to finalise the choices of kit that fans would be voting on. Tabatha had the designs all on screen and Jonathan made tweaks to them as he wished. By this stage we had added another shirt to the collection that we saw displayed on the wall in the training complex, but after discarding two or three of them the final six were settled upon. Originally we had intended to showcase four shirts but this figure has now been increased by 50 per cent. I won't give much away in terms of the final picks, but needless to say I would be happy to sell them all from a retail point of view as I think each and every one of them had their merits.
We then moved on to discussing the training range for next season and Fabrizio (Export Manager) showed us some new designs that for 2014. We opted for one of these and arranged to confirm the final colours once we had run them past Paul Ince. With everything concluded we were driven back to our hotel in the 25 degree heat.
Tonight we are heading into central Parma with Graham and Michael (Errea Rugby), who despite being born in South Wales supports Manchester United. I think I will probably bring this subject up later after a few beers have been consumed.
Tomorrow we fly home very early so this will be my final daily report. One of the first jobs when back in England will be to get the final kit designs printed out and displayed and instructions on how to vote will follow shortly.
Head of Retail