Creative Soccer Culture

Wolves Announce New Partnership With Black Arrow FC

With an eye on increasing the club’s appeal across the pond, Wolverhampton Wanderers have announced a new partnership with Black Arrow FC, a platform that focuses on the intersection of soccer and black culture and is on the forefront of an emerging black soccer movement, and the announcement is kicked off with a creative “lookbook” of the Premier League side’s 20/21 kits.

Since their introduction to the game, Black Arrow FC have been making waves both in Italy and the US, but now they make their first moves in the UK, partnering with Wolves. The link up between the two will see both brands collaborating on the creation of original digital content in an effort to help grow the game in America in the African American community, whilst introducing US audiences to the Wolves club, players, and brand. One of the creative elements that drives this movement in America is soccer jersey style and fashion and this partnership was born out of Black Arrow’s admiration for Wolves’ eye-catching gold and black kit and transformer-like logo. 

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Russell Jones, general manager of marketing & commercial growth at Wolves, said: “The USA presents a huge opportunity for Wolves to build our fanbase and working with Black Arrow will help us connect with African American soccer fans in a creative and authentic way. 

It’s rare that you meet people like Aaron and the team at Black Arrow and feel an immediate connection.  We love how they create content and tell stories, and their edgy and creative style is perfectly in line with Wolves, who have a brave challenger mindset at the heart of our brand DNA.

We hope that the ‘out of darkness’ photography series and the studio show are just the start of a long-term relationship.” 

The partnership kicks off with two projects, and the first of which is a creative “lookbook” of Wolves’ 20/21 kit by Black Arrow’s Atlanta, Georgia-based Creative Director and Photographer Gavin Guidry. The lookbook was inspired by Wolverhampton's city and club motto “Out of Darkness Cometh Light” and juxtaposes the darkness of the wooded environment of its backdrop with the brightness of the colorful kits, thereby setting it apart from most typical streetwear lookbooks. 

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The lookbook, entitled Embracing The Darkness,” was shot in several locations around Atlanta and Guidry said he wanted to create images that both “embraced the darkness, but also let the light of the Wolves kits shine through”. It features model Stephen Harrison, the lead guitarist in punk band with a cult-like following, Fever 333. “I hand selected him for this shoot because his look and vibe perfectly represented this concept I was working in my mind, which was this image I had of a “lone wolf traversing the darkness.” says Guidry. “I also loved what he represents as an artist, which is that black folks are not monolithic. We represent a wide range of styles in music, fashion, and culture, and I wanted to bring that forward in this project. 

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Guidry went on to say, “When you look at the three different players whose jerseys we shot in this lookbook alone, you can see diversity within black people. You have defender Willy Boly from France, who is of Ivorian descent, right back Nélson Semedo, who I believe is Portuguese & Cape Verdean and winger Adama Traore, of course being from Spain but his parents coming from Mali. So, in shooting this in Atlanta what would typically be expected of us was to incorporate the Wolves kit with popular themes of rap culture, or barber shops, strip clubs, etc., things that Atlanta is known for around the world. But what people often overlook is that Atlanta has a lot of black creatives participating in, and often driving various alternative or underground subcultures. So, Stephen being a guitarist, playing in the punk band, the tattoos on his head...was our way of highlighting that same diversity you see amongst the Wolves players.

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Find out more about Black Arrow FC here.

Daniel Jones

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