Nike England kit price controversy hits brand

The controversy over the cost of Nike’s replica England shirts appears to have damaged perception of the sportswear brand with customers less likely to buy its products following news of the price hike. 

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The controversy over the cost of Nike’s replica England shirts appears to have damaged perception of the sportswear brand.

Nike unveiled the home and away kits on Monday (31 March). Some of the tops that mirror those that will be worn on the pitch by England players such as Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard during the World Cup this summer are priced at £90, with the rest priced at £60.

The maximum price provoked a slew of negative headlines including a The Sun front cover with the top pictured under the headline “Rip off Britain”.  The coverage also prompted sports minister Helen Grant to demand Nike think again about the cost of the shirt and a spokesman for the Prime Minister to comment £90 “was a great deal of money” for a shirt. 

In its defence, Nike says the £90 shirts makeup less than 1 per cent of the stock available with the majority on sale at £60 in line with the average price of new replica kits.

The negative coverage has had an impact on consumers’ view of the Nike brand, however.

According to YouGov’s BrandIndex ratings, its index score – a measure of how consumers view a brand in terms of impression, quality, value, satisfaction and whether they would recommend it to others – has dropped by what the research company classes as a “significant” amount in the week to 2 April.

Its Index score fell to 24.7 from 29.7 a week earlier meaning Nike lost first place in the category to Adidas. 

The purchase intent of those describing themselves as a current customer of the brand has also dipped by a significant amount in the period. 

Its purchase intent score among current customers fell to 4.4 from 7. 

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