Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Umbro takes a very English shot at Nike

Via The Drum

Classic British sportswear brand Umbro has been supplying the official "kit" to England's football (soccer) teams since the 1950s. That's a big deal to the fans, according to The Daily Mail:

When Blackpool and Bolton Wanderers contested the Matthews Final in 1953, they did so wearing Umbro. When a 17-year-old Pele entered the world stage at the World Cup in 1958, he did so in Umbro tailoring.  
When Bobby Moore lifted the Jules Rimet trophy for England in 1966, he wore a red Umbro shirt, and when Celtic and Manchester United pioneered European club success for Britain in the sixties, they were head to toe in Umbro.  
When Banks made that improbable save in 1970, when Gazza wept, when Butcher bled, when Southgate failed and when Beckham kicked out – it was all in Umbro attire. 
But no more. Nike acquired Umbro in 2008, then sold it off to Iconix last year. But guess who got to keep the uniform contract? Tonight is the last time the team will wear Umbro.

As a parting shot, and to commemorate their history with British Football, Umbro unveiled this ad today with a snide abuse of Nike's brand essence.

The Drum quotes a branded press release:
 It's been an honour to be associated with the national team for such a long period of time, and we wanted to take this occasion to celebrate some of the classic kits we've created for England. 
Umbro’s founder Harold Humphreys once said: ‘There are three things which constitute the ability to succeed - enthusiasm, tenacity and sheer damned cheek - but all in good measure. 
We think that we've stuck by these principles over the past 89 years, and we will continue to do so as we look forward to a bright future.

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