Scotland’s pro basketball franchise Caledonia Gladiators has partnered with family business and leading highlandwear manufacturers Slanj to embrace its Scottish routes with a bespoke tartan for the club.
Registered as ‘Caledonia Gladiators’ on The Scottish Register of Tartans, the grey, blue and white pattern features on both the home and away strips and on several products available in the club’s merchandise shop including scarfs, key rings and ties. This week several players modelled the new kilt ahead of their next league games.
The creation of a bespoke club tartan aims to give a unique identity in the British Basketball League and European competitions, where both the men’s and women’s team compete, in recognition of their proud Scottish heritage and commitment to developing basketball across Scotland.
Both teams will soon be seen wearing the bespoke tartan kilts at special events but already Head Coaches Gareth Murray and Miguel Ortega, alongside assistant coaches, will wear tartan ties for all game days.
Tony McDaid, CEO of Caledonia Gladiators, said: “With the final design combining the key elements of our club from our strips to the Saltire, this tartan symbolises the unity of our heritage and the sport of basketball.
“Working with Slanj was a no brainer, their credentials and the quality of their product is excellent, and they understood our brief from the start. Their innovate and participative design process allowed us to reach the final design very quickly.
“The visibility of the tartan across international and home sporting arenas has huge potential for a strong identity of our Caledonia Gladiators. We can’t wait to see our fans wear the scarfs and other tartan merchandise with pride and in numbers for our gamedays and other occasions.”
Founded in 1995, Slanj has been at the forefront of the Highlandwear industry for almost three decades with brothers Brian and Craig at the helm. The business boasts an impressive portfolio of clients including various professional Scottish sports teams, charities, politicians and celebrities including Steven Seagal, Barack and Michelle Obama.
Brian Halley, Owner and Director of Slanj, said: “We’ve had the privilege of creating custom kilts and unique tartans for a number of individuals, businesses and sports teams over the years. It’s a fantastic way to illustrate proud Scottish heritage and it’s great to see the tartan incorporated into the team kit and on a number of products.”
Player Prince Onwas, added: “I’m really proud to play for Scotland’s pro team and having our own tartan goes that step further in making me feel like a true Scot.”
Caledonia Gladiators are enjoying one of the most successful and exciting periods in its 25-year history, after the men’s team won their first silverware in two decades in March 2023, and earlier this year the club moved into a new multi-million-pound stadium. Caledonia Gladiators women’s team are the first Scottish women’s basketball team to compete in Europe in 50 years and last month, became the first ever female Scottish team to qualify as top seeds from a European competition.