Leigh Leopards have had an extraordinary season on their return to Super League and with many touting them for relegation they’ve far surpassed that, sitting second in the league with standout victories over the likes of St Helens and Leeds Rhinos and they’re now headed to Wembley as well.
They’ll aim to lift the Challenge Cup for the first time since 1971 after their incredible semi-final victory over St Helens last Saturday.
That game had all the drama you could want from a semi-final, and more, but ultimately the Leopards prevailed in what was a high quality and high intensity match.
It’s been a fairy-tale season for the Leopards after their controversial rebrand with many rival fans ridiculing the decision to adopt the ‘Leopards’ name, as opposed to the club’s former name ‘Centurions’.
One man who was determined that it would work though was owner Derek Beaumont and it certainly looks to be something that has paid off now.
Beaumont has embraced the Leopard print himself with full leopard-print suit jackets and even recently he’s had his Lamborghini car wrapped in total leopard print.
“IMG coming in, I was a bit nervous because they were only going to select 12 teams and I thought we looked too much like Wigan with the red and white and a centurion as a mascot,” he said to BBC ahead of the semi-final.
“It is about being a show and standing out there and getting people to buy in and the fans have done that.”
Well it will certainly be a show at Wembley as the club have now announced a new kit for the occasion and you guessed it, it’s full leopard print.
The clubs current home shirt features the face of a leopard but for the final they’ve gone all out and adopted a full leopard-print design across the whole kit.
🔥WEAR THE ROAR🔥…
The final piece to cement the rebrand of the Leigh Leopards is here, following the fantastic cup run by the boys! This is your Challenge Cup Final Shirt…
— Leigh Leopards (@LeighLeopardsRL) July 28, 2023
Fan reaction was an immediate response of the likes of “where can I buy that”, proving once again that Beaumont’s bold marketing strategy looks set to be working.
The Leopards head to Wembley on August 12th where they’ll face Hull KR, the Robins looking to win their first Challenge Cup since 1980.