Signia (sportswear)

Signia is an Argentine sportswear brand which manufactures footwear and clothing. The brand has experienced some restructuring plans in the past due to financial problems, even disappearing from the market for some periods of time. Signia has also sponsored some Primera División football teams in Argentina, mostly at the beginning of the 2000s.

IndustrySports equipment
Founded1999; 23 years ago (1999)
FounderEduardo Bakchellian
Area served
Key people
Guillermo Gotelli (Chairman)
ProductsSportswear, footwear
ParentGGM S.A.

Since its relaunching in 2010, Signia has been the official uniform provider of the Argentine Olympic Committee.


First years: TyCEdit

The brand made its debut in 1999 as "TyC Signia". TyC was the acronym of Torneos y Competencias, an Argentine company created by Carlos Avila which had signed an agreement with the Argentine Football Association to be the exclusive broadcaster of all the Primera División football matches.

The company expanded its business, creating a sportswear division due to its partnership with Gatic S.A., the Argentine textile manufacturing company which had the exclusive license of international brands such as Adidas (since 1970), Le Coq Sportif, New Balance, Arena, and Umbro amongst others to produce and sell their products in the region.[1] However, the incomes of the company had strongly decreased during the last years, due to the Argentine economic crisis.

TyC and Gatic signed an agreement with the objective of creating, developing and commercialising the "TyC Signia" brand, which was officially released in April 2009. Signia was conceived as an exclusive brand focused on high-performance products, in order to compete with other premium sports brands.[2]

Despite being supported with massive advertisement campaigns, the sales of the TyC Signia products were poor, as well its repercussion as a new brand. This caused the first restructuring of the company just one year later, when it was renamed simply as "Signia". Soon after, Signia signed its first agreements with some Primera División football teams, such as San Lorenzo de Almagro and Los Andes, which played its third run on Primera División wearing Signia equipment.

Signia designed some uniforms for San Lorenzo that were controversial, such as the black model (inspired by both, the nicknamed of the club, cuervo –raven– and the colour of father Lorenzo Massa's cassock), with a yellow sleeve to supposedly represented a raven peak.[3] The model debuted in a match vs. River Plate, which would be the only time it was worn so the club recalled the jersey despite sales were good. Another model made by Signia for San Lorenzo was a silver kit, a rare jersey at the time, worn in the 2000 Copa Mercosur.[4]

Although Gatic had the exclusive license to manufacture the Adidas products in Argentina, the German company had settled in the country during the 1990s, becoming Gatic's main rival. In 2002, Adidas decided to end its partnership with Gatic, after the Argentine company called to a creditor's meeting.[5]

The 2001 Argentine economic collapse and the high price of the dollar stopped the entry of imported products (which had relegated the sporting goods manufactured in Argentina during the decade of the 1990s due to their lower costs) to the country. That situation encouraged Eduardo Bakchellian (the old owner of Gatic) to take Gatic over again in 2002. The company would be not a licensor but a manufacturer and provider of products for other brands such as Adidas (its former licensor) or Nike, which had arrived to Argentina a few years before.


Once the agreement with TyC concluded, Bakchellian searched for a new partner to relaunch Signia. The company finally signed an agreement with TV businessman Marcelo Tinelli, who had created a volleyball team in Bolivar, Buenos Aires Province (his home town). Therefore, the team was renamed "Bolívar Signia" [6] with the company as its main sponsor and uniform manufacturer.

During its second era, Signia continued sponsoring San Lorenzo but also incorporated Arsenal de Sarandí, Huracán and Comisión de Actividades Infantiles to its list of endorsements. The most successful rugby union team of Argentina, Club Atlético San Isidro (mostly known as CASI) also signed with Signia.

In 2003, Signia signed a deal with the Argentine Football Association becoming the exclusive ball provider for all the Primera División matches. This agreement ended in 2004.[7]

In September 2004, Gatic was finally declared bankruptcy and went into liquidation.[8][9] The factory located in San Martín Partido was taken over by its former employees, being assisted by an international NGO.[10] The other Gatic factories (the textile in Las Flores and the shoes manufacturer of Coronel Suárez) were rented by a recently created company, Indular Manufacturas S.A.[11]

Third periodEdit

Indular Manufacturas kept the Signia brand, while the rest of former Gatic brands were dismissed or acquired by other companies. Signia had ceased sponsoring teams during the period of bankruptcy. Nevertheless, the company signed deals with more teams in 2006: Argentinos Juniors and Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy. One year later Signia added Belgrano de Córdoba and Lanús to its list of teams sponsored.

In July 2007 Indular Manufacturas was acquired by Brazilian company Vulcabras, owner of Olympikus and part of the Grendene Group.[12]

Soon after arriving to Argentina, Vulcabras (through its brand Olympikus) began its business in the region, taking over the teams sponsored by Signia at the time: Lanús (in 2009)[13] and Argentinos Juniors (in 2010).[14] As a result, Signia disappeared from the sports business for a while.

Fourth run: 2010–presentEdit

Taekwondo athlete Sebastián Crismanich wearing Signia official equipment, August 2012

In August 2010, Signia made a new appearance in the Argentine sports market, signing a deal with All Boys,[15] which had promoted to Primera División that same year. The brand was relaunched by a new company called GGM S.A., which also obtained the license to manufacture and commercialize the Pony products in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Signia also signed an agreement with the Argentine Olympic Committee to provide equipment to its athletes during the Summer Olympics and Pan American Games, ending in 2016. The brand made its debut during the 2011 Pan American Games held in Guadalajara.[16][17]





Rugby unionEdit



  • The story of Signia: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 by Eugenio Palopoli on Arte y Sport website, April 16, to May 7, 2012 (links archived)
  • El Error de ser Argentino by Eduardo Bakchellian, Galerna Editor, Argentina (2000) – ISBN 9505564090

Further readingEdit


  1. ^ Lo que hicieron con Gatic no tiene nombre by Tomás Labrit (interview to Eduardo Bakchellian), 2 Aug 2018 on Periódico El Barrio
  2. ^ TyC lanza una línea de indumentaria, La Nación, 23 April 1999
  3. ^ La otra camiseta negra on Mundo Azulgrana, 4 Dec 2018
  4. ^ San Lorenzo es el arte de la elegancia, Clarín, 3 August 2000
  5. ^ "Gatic se quedó sin Adidas". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Bolívar Signia in Somos Voley website". Archived from the original on 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  7. ^ a b "Cuestión de pelotas" by Gustavo Veiga, Página/12, 2003-01-20
  8. ^ "La Justicia decretó la quiebra de Gatic". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  9. ^ "La Nueva – La Nueva Provincia – Diario de Bahía Blanca". Archived from the original on 27 January 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Filosofía global y zapatos de lona – Rolling Stone Argentina". Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Gotelli ya tiene las plantas de Gatic". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  12. ^ ""En seis años la producción de calzado aumentó más del triple", Ministerio de Industria de Argentina". Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  13. ^ Silber, Diego. "Olympikus ya está en Argentina: nuevas camisetas de Lanús – Marca de Gol". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  14. ^ "Racing de estreno: nuevo sponsor y camiseta", Racing Club website, 2009-12-29 Archived 2010-12-04 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Silber, Diego. "All Boys regresa a Primera, y Signia al fútbol – Marca de Gol". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  16. ^ Palopoli, Eugenio (4 October 2011). "Signia auspicia a los deportistas argentinos en los Juegos Panamericanos de Guadalajara". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Signia viste a los atletas que nos representarán en los Juegos Panamericanos". 6 October 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Signia, nuevo sponsorship del Club All Boys" on All Boys website, 11 Dec 2014
  19. ^ "All Boys presentó sus nuevas camisetas para 2015" on MinutoUno, 13 Feb 2015

External linksEdit