Nike To Launch Ad Campaign Around New England Kit, Which Was Leaked Via Twitter
England football's new shirt supplier, Nike, will "launch a marketing campaign aimed at persuading fans to put their support for the national team ahead of club allegiance," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. The slogan "Country First Club Second" will be used to help sell the idea when the shirts are unveiled for England’s friendly against Ireland at Wembley on Wednesday. The away strip will be revealed against Brazil in the Maracanã stadium Sunday. Nike faces "an uphill task" as the majority of football fans, unlike their rugby and cricket counterparts, "favour their club team well ahead of" the national team. Nike said that "they are keeping their shirt designs and strategy secret ahead of the launch." However, Nike "gave the FA council an advance viewing" Wednesday, with models showing off the home outfit -- "white with a round neck" -- and the red away version, "which has a collar." Both feature "a gold FA 150 motif below the England crest" (DAILY MAIL, 5/16).
GERMAN APPEAL: In London, Oliver Moody wrote "It’s a bit more Beckenbauer than Beckham." England’s new monochrome shirt "was revealed" by England midfielder Jack Wilshere Monday morning "to widespread comparisons with Germany kits of times past." With a simple dark navy collar on a white top, the shirt "bears more than a passing resemblance" to the kit worn by the West Germany team that won the 1974 World Cup. Nike, which took over the contract to supply England’s strip from Umbro this year, "opted for a plain design featuring only the Three Lions logo and its signature tick" (LONDON TIMES, 5/20). The BBC reported Wilshire "put out the picture of the kit being worn by a student at his old school." Wilshire said on his official Twitter account, "Like this kid, my England dream began here, so he was first in #theshirt." Former England int'l and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said on his Twitter account, "Smart move by the FA and Nike to go slighlty German with the strip. If you can't beat 'em..." (BBC, 5/20).