The East Terrace - For the rugby football enthusiast

Calvisano players ‘risking serious injury’ under strain of sponsor heavy jersey

The 25kg rugby jersey of Calvisano

Originally published December, 2005

A leading sports doctor has warned that the players of Italian club Calvisano are risking serious injury if they continue to wear their current playing jersey. The shirt, pictured right, weighs approximately 25kg due to the sheer number of sponsor logos that adorn it.

Dr. William Fields, a specialist in sporting injuries, has pleaded with Calvisano officials to consider redesigning the shirt. ‘It is simply too heavy,’ said Fields, ‘and the players are suffering as a result. Imagine running around with 25kg on your back, it isn’t going to be good for your performance, let alone help in the matter of health and fitness.’

Fields has claimed to have treated nearly a dozen members of the Italian club in relation to the physical strain brought on by the club jersey. It is unclear at press time exactly how many logos appear on the jersey, but experts from NASA, consulted by the East Terrace, have estimated around 23,698 sponsors are included on the front of the jersey alone. NASA officials have also stated that it is the only rugby jersey that can be seen from space.

‘Take winger Apenisa Vodo,’ said Fields ‘he was 1.88m tall at the beginning of last season. Now, after a year of wearing the heavy jersey, his height is just 1.76m. We also have problems for the lifters in the lineout who are hampered by the weight of their own jerseys and the effort needed to lift an already heavy jumper who is now carrying an extra 25kg. And, of course, the jumpers aren’t as tall as they use to be as they have lost height to due to he jersey weight and need to be lifted even higher. It is a vicious circle.’

As well as the problems caused by the jersey on field, the vast amount of sponsors has caused problems for the Clavisano captain off the field as well. Maurizio Zaffiri spends on average three and half hours at club functions each week thanking the club’s sponsors. His end of season speech at the club dinner last May lasted over eight hours as he thanked each and every sponsor and presented them with a club tie.

A leading sports marketing expert has even suggested that it may be more beneficial for Calvisano to display on its jersey the few companies that don’t sponsor the club. ‘It would save a lot of time, effort and money,’ said Rachel Willis of Sports Marketing PR UK. ‘It would also shame the two or three companies in the world that have not sponsored the club.’