Nike ramps up World Cup drive with England kit reveal

Nike is launching a social media push to drive pre-orders for the England World Cup kit as part of a wider plan to use kit sales from the event to help nearly quadruple its ecommerce sales by 2017.

Nike has launched a social media campaign to drive pre-orders for its England Word Cup kit.

The sportswear maker has unveiled the retro-looking home and away kits today (31 March) citing those worn by England’s 1966 World Cup winning squad and the 1970 team as inspirations. Both shirts opt for a more simplistic style compared to recent kits, while the three lions crest uses a special material to enhance the whiteness when it catches the light.

Nike is encouraging fans to pre-order the kit ahead of its launch later this week (3 April). An advert featuring England’s current crop of young stars including Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Everton midfielder Ross Barkley introduce the away kit with the strapline “Inspired by the past. Made for the future”. England and Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart appear in an ad for the home kit.

Nike is hoping the buzz around the launch convinces fans to purchase their kits online ahead of the tournament this summer. It is banking on ecommerce sales from the 10 World Cup teams it supplies to pull it ahead of rival Adidas in the football category in 2014 after clawing away at the company’s dominance in recent years.

Nike plans to hit web sales of at least $2bn (£1.2bn) by 2017, a 270 per cent jump from the $540m (324.6bn) it reported in ecommerce revenue for the fiscal 2013 year to 31 March. The business said at the time it wanted to create more “urgency” around its online sales offering and promised “robust” growth in the area over the next four years.

Adidas is also looking to bolster online sales as part of a wider plot to regain more control over its brand experience from third party retailers. The business is understood to be looking to introduce a major revamp to its ecommerce platform ahead of the World Cup alongside plans to exert more control over how its retail customers sell its products online.