Nike nets new England kit deal

Nike has confirmed it is to supply the kits for the England national football team after agreeing a six-year deal with the Football Association, putting an end to subsidiary Umbro’s 60-year history with the national side.

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The sports brand, which earlier this year announced it was to sell Umbro, will launch a range of football kits for England’s men and women teams in the spring of 2013. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

Nike will also provide match balls to all of 24 England teams as well as sponsor St George’s Park, the home of the new National Football Centre. The deal runs until 2018 and the sports business claims will include a “substantial investment” in English football “across all levels”.

Charlie Denson, Nike brand president, says: “We look forward to supporting England teams at every level with innovative product technology and playing our part to help develop the future of English football through our support of St George’s Park.”

The tie-up marks the first time that the FA have opted for an overseas company to supply the national teams kit and all but ends Umbro’s involvement in English football. Umbro has been England’s official kit supplier since the 1950’s – apart from an eight-year stretch from 1974-82 when Admiral took over.

Nike has been in a process of shifting Umbro’s major supply deals since it announced its intention to sell the struggling Manchester-based business in May. The American company will replace Umbro as the kit supplier to Premier League champions Manchester City from the start of the 2013/14 season.

Nike has similar kit deals with Barcelona, Manchester United, Everton and Inter Milan, while Brazil, France and Holland can be counted among their international partners.

The business purchased Umbro in 2008 for £285m in a bid to boost its football revenues, however the company has failed to generate significant sales over the last four years. Last year, Umbro’s revenues fell to $224m (£146m) with UK retailers such as JD Sports and Sports Direct continuing to discount the company’s products.

Click through to see Marketing Week’s pick of eight of the most memorable Umbro England kits here

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