Today France will play a friendly game against England in Wembley. “Les bleus” will be wearing an adidas kit for the last time, as Nike will take over from January 2011. Nike agreed a seven-and-a half-season contract, worth €320 million deal to sponsor the French national football team from 2011. A €42.6 million deal per season.
Les bleus were sponsored by adidas since 1972, and enjoyed fantastic successes and also faced big failures. In the successes column, I will with no surprise refer to the World Cup victory in 1998 where Zidane and mates impressed the world with a very inspirational way of playing football. A winning streak confirmed by becoming Euro champions in 2000 in Holland-Belgium. FFF and adidas also celebrated the Platini generation, especially in 1984 where the current UEFA President lift the Euro Championship trophy in Paris.
On of the biggest failure is with any doubt the all-level fiasco in South Africa in 2010. Sporting, image, marketing, public love: failure all the way. The World Cup 2002 in Korea and Japan where France did not score a single goal is also to be pinned on the wall of shame at the FFF headquarters.
38 years of adidas where the football world was used to seeing “les bleus” with 3 striped sleeves. In January, a new era begins and the swoosh will take over. I decided today to give you an overview of the French Football National team kits since 1984. You will note a gap in 1990 and 1994. In fact, France was not qualified for the US and Italian World Cups.
(Couldn’t find a team picture…)
So a new marketing era is about to start within french football. As a football marketer, I am looking forward to seeing Nike’s marketing campaign around FFF and what kit design they will come up with. A big task ahead of the Beaverton firm as they take the torch after a despicable World Cup failure. Another reason to keep a strong scrutiny on Nike’s marketing activations.
PS: July 12 2012, Thanks SDL I updated the Euro 2008 picture. Many thanks for this!