Nike Reportedly Close To Deal To Replace Umbro As England Kit Supplier
Nike is "on the verge of signing the deal to be the official kit provider" for the England men's national soccer team, according to Lawton & Bellwood of the London DAILY MAIL. Nike is "believed to be launching a new England away strip as early as next spring, despite the fact the existing deal with Umbro was supposed to run until 2018." The move will "be seen as a fightback after German rivals adidas dominated the Olympics by supplying Team GB." Umbro's connection with England "dates back to the 1950s." The current deal is US$31.6M a year, and it "stipulated that only Umbro could supply the England team." But Nike announced in May its plan to sell Umbro, and "made a proposal to the FA that the governing body seem ready to accept." Nike "offered the FA the chance to sign a lucrative new deal or stay with a company facing an uncertain future, given how important the England contract has been to the brand for so many years." Nike also has "taken over the contract" Umbro had with EPL club Manchester City. The club in '09 signed a 10-year deal with Umbro worth US$9.5M a year (London DAILY MAIL, 8/28).