Nike Takes Over From Umbro as Manchester City Official Kit Supplier

Hi guys,
From 2013-2014 season onwards, Nike will be Manchester City official kit supplier. Not so much of a surprise as Umbro is part of the Nike Group, and it was -to me – just a matter of time until Manchester City endorse Nike gear.

The Umbro deal, which has been in place since June 2009, will continue to the end of the 2012/13 season, after which all kit, training wear and related products will be designed, manufactured and distributed by Nike. The contract will run until 2019.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to further develop the relationship between City and Nike Inc, which builds on the successful partnership the club has already enjoyed withUmbro, and reflects both the ambitions of the club and the Nike brand’s position within the world of football”, commented Nike Brand President, Charlie Denson.

John MacBeath, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Manchester City Football Club added “We are delighted to have further strengthened our relationship with the Nike family.

“Nike’s deserved reputation as the leading global sports brand, its unparalleled R&D capacity, leading global retail distribution networks and award winning marketing capabilities mean that this is a very important step forward in the evolution of Manchester City.”

Manchester City has entered the small circle of global football clubs since their new owner Scheik Mansour came in. Couple of  facts as to why Nike is taking over:

– Sporting Intelligence revealed that Manchester City is the 3rd highest paying club in the world after Barca and Real Madrid.

– According to the Deloitte Money League, Manchester City 2010-2011 revenue amounts to €169 million.

– Forbes released their study about the most valuable football clubs, and Man City ranked 13 with $443 million worth

– Manchester City have major sponsorship deals especially with Etihad (4 year deal, £7.5 million)

– Replica sales of Man. City is approx 1 million units a year

– Strong sponsorship deals in Asia

– etc…

So the above examples illustrate pretty well Nike’s motivations to take the reigns of Scheik Mansour’s club and at the same time, strengthen their supremacy in football in the Manchester area but in extenso in the UK.

Karl Lusbec


13 thoughts on “Nike Takes Over From Umbro as Manchester City Official Kit Supplier

  1. Karl: This is on par with the takeover at Santos. I believe Lille is next on the agenda.

    Karl, what did you make of the anxiety of English fans, when it was rumoured that Nike could possibly takeover for Umbro as the kit provider for the English national team, or the refusal of the German football association to accept the more lucrative Nike deal in order to remain with Adidas?



  2. Hi FABO,
    When Nike bought Umbro end 2007, there was a lot of anxiety among English fans, but I was not convinced that Nike would takeover the english FA. The main reason to me was that by doing so, Umbro would be left with…..nothing. Nike had already taken over Manchester United, and the english FA was (and still is), the strongest Umbro asset in terms of merchandise and marketing relevance. I didn’t believe that Nike would put $583 million on the table to buy Umbro, to then strip it of its core business. It’s been 5 years, and Umbro is still the official kit supplier of the english national team(s). It could change, I don’t have a crystal ball.

    As for the bid of Nike to acquire DFB, it was a very interesting one as I lived in from the inside, working for adidas at that time. But let’s backtrack a little bit. Back in 2006, Nike offered $528 million for an eight-year deal from 2011 plus a €50-million signing bonus on top.
    Who would imagine the German National team wearing anything else but adidas? No one. In the end, DFB remained “loyal” to adidas for less money. That was not an easy achievement.

    For some, it was a big blow for Nike, for me I kinda knew that Nike had a plan. The bid didn’t work for DFB, what did Nike do then? They put a bid for the French National team…..and won FFF for €46 million a year over 7,5 years.

    My personal belief is that Nike knew that there was NO WAY they would have won the bid for DFB. Every football marketer would say that it would have hurt adidas a lot to lose a 50+ year old partner…….on their own turf.
    I saw it as a “tactic” from Nike to make their opponent spend cash, in order to bid for FFF another strong adidas asset and win. Again, that is my personal opinion.

    To me, it is a fascinating story to see these 2 giants fight and see how they push their pieces around the football chessboard.



  3. Karl: As always, thank you for the wonderful insights. In the DFB case, it was interesting to see money take a back seat to the identity and history of a people and brand, which we cannot say for the French Football Federation; eventough, I was rooting for Le Coq Sportif or Airness.



  4. A pleasure to share what I have been experiencing in the sporting goods industry.
    Before approaching FFF, Nike was already (and still is) the official kit supplier of the French Rugby Federation. Now with football, the swoosh has a very strong presence in sports in general on the french market.


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