Having bought Umbro a mere four years ago, it now looks like Nike are set to sell the English brand alongside designer shoe label Cole Hann.
Announced on May 31st 2012, Nike revealed it was ready to listen to new offers for the Manchester-based football brand with a means to focusing it’s energies on the Converse, Jordan and Hurley brands.
Founded as Humphreys Brothers Clothing in 1924, Umbro was purchased 4 years ago by the American sports giant as a means to strengthen it’s position in the football market, and revitalise the historic Umbro brand.
Since the takeover in 2008, Nike’s influence has seen Umbro design a handful of the most lauded football shirts ever for England and Manchester City, and streamlined their range of football boots to focus on the Double-Diamond’s heritage and history.
Off the football pitch, Umbro have also successfully transitioned to fashion, releasing several collections of sports-inspired clothing and shoes, including the New Blue line, Milton shoe and a number of ranges for the New York Cosmos.
With Nike recently announcing that they are to take over the technical supplier role at Manchester City, speculation is rife over the future of Umbro’s role with the England National Team.
Set to run until 2018, Umbro’s heavily-entrenched position with Wembley and the new St. George’s Park development stand them in good stead with the FA, and Nike are unlikely to strip Umbro of their flagship deal whilst looking for potential buyers, with a quote from Nike president Mark Parker implying that Umbro are set to keep the England deal;
Speaking yesterday, Parker said: “Umbro is a brand with a powerful heritage and deep experience in the world’s most popular sport and the world’s biggest football market. With its close links to The Football Association and the England team, Umbro’s future is even stronger than its past.”
What do you think this means for Umbro? Will another brand buy them, or could they float on their own?