The Ties that Bind

8 AUG 2016 | BY LAUREN PRITCHARD

TFA and BLK celebrate their enduring and great 10-year partnership together; the performance team-wear specialists well and truly part of the Touch Football fabric.

By Julian Buckmaster – @JulianTFA

From humble beginnings, a long and enduring partnership has ensued. From the initial designs and on-and-off field apparel adorning the elite Australian players, there is now seemingly a junior, senior and anywhere in between player doing their thing across a range of sports in their neat new BLK kit.

Traditionally aligned to the Rugby codes and then Touch Football in that sequence, the BLK brand flies high across Rugby League, AFL and Rugby codes, netball and even cricket.

As an initial two-man operation in the back blocks of the Gold Coast to a multi-million global business today, BLK has emerged as one of the best and largest elite and performance team-wear companies in Australia and with a significant footprint globally.

‘Beyond Limits Known’ is the company tagline. And it reflects well the relationship with Touch Football which embodies the mentality of the elite Touch Football player but has also at times tested the limits in terms of production…and customer expectations.

The lunch was to commemorate the TFA-BLK 10-year timeline together; partners in arms and legs and socks and any possible garment that enables improved performance for competitors across a wide range of styles.

A proud Tyron Brant is especially fond of his close relationship with the TFA CEO, Maguire and the team that in his words embody the true meaning of partnership. A partnership borne through mutual respect and connection, now into its second decade and stronger than oak.

“It is very rare in today’s changing landscape that you can call a sponsorship a partnership,” Brant said bluntly.

“A sponsorship is sponsorship; it is a transactional deal that lasts until there is a better offer on the table.

“The real bonus comes if you enjoy working with each other…and this should not be confused with a partnership.

In between the several examples of where some ‘partnerships’ have simply and predictably fallen over from his own and others’ perspectives, Brant expands on what he believes makes the two teams’ tick.

“There is always an exception to the rule and Touch Football Australia and the full team lead by

Colm Maguire is that exception.

“It has been a great pleasure to work in partnership with this organisation; through the highs and lows and I would encourage any multinational to get on board with this exceptional organisation.

“It is very rare that you have a 10-year partnership with a club or association, and we at BLK could not be prouder.

“Here’s to the next 10 years with TFA!” Brant beamed.

For Colm Maguire it was fitting to have the final word, which is not always the case with his great mate, “T”. “From the early days we have got along so well together personally but we’re also kindred spirits in terms of business management and customer care and doing the right by each other in business…as true partners should,” he said.

“The early days were indeed some funny days but we could not be any prouder of how Tyron has worked with us on what works for our community. And steering his company through some major upheavals…think more recently the Fiji cyclone disaster which devastated the island and the BLK production factory, as one more recent example.

“They (BLK) showed remarkable resilience in the face of great tragedy and we were with them every step of the way…and fair to say so were the wider Touch Football community as well across the country.

“What has emerged since those early designs is the most contemporary and cutting edge styles in the market today and it is a testament to Tyron, his hard working team and their partnership with us.

“We have now branched out with our fantastic Ambassador team composed of our leading athletes demonstrating the high quality gear provided to them and the great cost effective range available to the park player and wider grassroots.

“We sure have come a long way – look no further than our gift to Tyron (commemorative frame) showing just how far we have come!”