Umbro

Last updated

Umbro
Subsidiary
Industry Sports equipment
Founded23 May 1924;94 years ago (1924-05-23) in Wilmslow, England
FounderHarold & Wallace Humphreys
Headquarters,
Area served
Worldwide
Products Football uniforms, goalkeeper gloves, balls, boots, sportswear
Number of employees
1,678
Parent Iconix Brand Group
Website umbro.com

Umbro is an English sportswear and football equipment supplier based in Cheadle, next to Manchester, England. Umbro designs, sources, and markets football-related apparel, footwear, and equipment. Its products are sold in over 90 countries worldwide. Since 2012, the company has been a subsidiary of American company Iconix Brand Group. [1]

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Sportswear (activewear) Clothing worn for sport or physical exercise

Sportswear or activewear is clothing, including footwear, worn for sport or physical exercise. Sport-specific clothing is worn for most sports and physical exercise, for practical, comfort or safety reasons.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Contents

History

Beginning and expansion

The company was founded by Harold Humphreys, along with his brother Wallace in a small workshop in Wilmslow, Cheshire, inspired by the growing interest in football witnessed nationwide. The name "Umbro" is a quasi-portmanteau inspired by Humphreys Brothers Clothing. Umbro's kit debut was in the 1934 FA Cup final, when both teams Manchester City and Portsmouth wore kits designed and manufactured by the company. Other teams supplied by Umbro during the 1930s and 1940s were Sheffield United, Preston North End, Manchester United and Blackpool.

Wilmslow town in Cheshire, England

Wilmslow is a town and civil parish in Cheshire, England, that is 11 mi (18 km) south of Manchester. It is one of the most sought-after places to live in the UK after central London, and falls within the Cheshire Golden Triangle.

Cheshire County of England

Cheshire is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire and Shropshire to the south and Flintshire, Wales and Wrexham county borough to the west. Cheshire's county town is the City of Chester (118,200); the largest town is Warrington (209,700). Other major towns include Crewe (71,722), Ellesmere Port (55,715), Macclesfield (52,044), Northwich (75,000), Runcorn (61,789), Widnes (61,464) and Winsford (32,610)

A portmanteau or portmanteau word is a linguistic blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their phones (sounds) are combined into a new word, as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog, or motel, from motor and hotel. In linguistics, a portmanteau is defined as a single morph that represents two or more morphemes.

Umbro was the official sports manufacturer of the English FA Cup and official sponsor of The FA, being the exclusive supplier of balls to the body's leagues.

FA Cup knockout competition in English association football

The FA Cup, also known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest national football competition in the world. It is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2019 it is also known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent women's tournament is also held, the FA Women's Cup.

The Football Association governing body of association football in England

The Football Association (FA) is the governing body of association football in England, the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory.

A football is a ball inflated with air that is used to play one of the various sports known as football. In these games, with some exceptions, goals or points are scored only when the ball enters one of two designated goal-scoring areas; football games involve the two teams each trying to move the ball in opposite directions along the field of play.

In 1952, the British team at the Summer Olympics wore Umbro kits, tailored for the needs of their individual sports. Umbro would supply kits for the British Olympics team for the next 20 years.

In 1957, Umbro entered the tennis market, producing sports clothing in collaboration with player Ted Tinling. This collaboration extended for three decades. Another sportsman who collaborated with Umbro was Manchester United manager Matt Busby, in 1959. That same year the company started to sell its junior boys' kits, a set of shirt, shorts and socks that would allow young players to wear the same look as their footballing idols.

Tennis ball sport with racket and net

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to maneuver the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.

Ted Tinling British tennis official and fashion designer

Cuthbert Collingwood "Ted" Tinling, sometimes known as Teddy Tinling, was an English tennis player, fashion designer, spy and author. He was a firm fixture on the professional tennis tour for over sixty years and is considered the foremost designer of tennis dresses of the 20th Century.

Matt Busby Scottish footballer and manager

Sir Alexander Matthew Busby, CBE, KCSG was a Scottish football player and manager, who managed Manchester United between 1945 and 1969 and again for the second half of the 1970–71 season. He was the first manager of an English team to win the European Cup and is widely regarded as one of the greatest managers of all time.

Brazil won its first World Cup in 1958 wearing Umbro kits Brasil - 1958.jpg
Brazil won its first World Cup in 1958 wearing Umbro kits

Brazil became the first FIFA World Cup champion to wear kits by Umbro in 1958. Two years later, Manchester United Scottish player Denis Law signed an exclusive agreement with the brand, becoming the first footballer to be sponsored by Umbro. The England national team won its only title in 1966 wearing kits by Umbro (the deal had been signed in 1954). Of the 16 teams that competed, 15 wore kit manufactured by Umbro, [2] the only exception being the USSR. At the same time, 85% of British football teams wore kits by the company, including Celtic, the first British team to win a European Cup in 1967. Liverpool FC won the first four of their five European Cups while wearing Umbro kits, in 1977, 1978, 1981 and 1984.

Brazil national football team mens national association football team representing Brazil

The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's association football. Brazil is administered by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), the governing body for football in Brazil. They have been a member of FIFA since 1923 and member of CONMEBOL since 1916.

FIFA World Cup association football competition for mens national teams

The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Scotland Country in Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

In 1974, Umbro's founder, Harold Humphreys, died. His sons John and Stuart took over the running of the company. The England national team wore Umbro shirts by choice until 1974, when The Football Association, encouraged by the England manager Don Revie, sold the jersey manufacturing rights to Admiral Sportswear.

After more than a decade wearing Admiral kits, the England national team signed with Umbro again in 1984. In 1986, Umbro began to manufacture its own football boots. The company added footballers Alan Shearer and Michael Owen (who was only 14 years old) to its list of sponsored athletes. In 1994, Brazil won its fourth FIFA World Cup title in the United States and club teams AFC Ajax (in 1995), and Manchester United (in 1999) obtained the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup, in Tokyo, all of them wearing Umbro kits.

In the United States, Umbro was the majority owner (94%) of United Soccer Leagues, the parent organization for North America's lower division men's soccer (tiers two through four in the American Soccer Pyramid), and the second tier women's league (W-League) and youth league (Super Y-League). [3] During the 2009 USL First Division season, the Carolina RailHawks, Charleston Battery, Vancouver Whitecaps, Rochester Rhinos, Austin Aztex, and Puerto Rico Islanders all wore Umbro kits. During the 2012 USLPro season, the Dayton Dutch Lions wore Umbro.

In October 2007, JJB Sports bought a 10.1% stake in Umbro in a move to protect its stake in the market for England football shirts. [4]

Nike agreement

Umbro Dynamis match ball used in the United Soccer League for the 2009-10 season Umbro ball usl.jpg
Umbro Dynamis match ball used in the United Soccer League for the 2009-10 season

On 23 October 2007, it was announced Umbro had agreed to be bought by Nike in a deal worth GB£285 million, the equivalent of 193p per share. The Umbro board recommended to its shareholders they vote in favour of the approach, as it offered a very competitive price for the business. Umbro's share price at the time of the offer was close to 130p. [6] The deal was approved by regulators in December 2007 and concluded in February 2008. [7] With the objective of revitalising the brand, Umbro launched the "Tailored by England" lines. As of 4 June 2009, Umbro signed a deal with Manchester City to supply kits for the team. Wearing Umbro kits, Manchester City won its first championship in 34 years. [8]

In 2010, Umbro became sponsor of reformed American team New York Cosmos to be its exclusive kit supplier. [9]

In May 2012, Nike reported that they would be selling Umbro (along with Cole Haan) in order to focus on their sports brands, including Nike, Converse, Hurley and Air Jordan. [10] In September 2012, The FA announced that future England kits would be manufactured by Nike. [11] [12] [13]

Iconix Brand Group

On October 2012, Nike announced that it had agreed with Iconix Brand Group to sell Umbro for US$225 million. [14] [15] The acquisition was completed in December 2012. [16]

Colombian team Santa Fe shirt designed by Umbro for the 2014 season Shirt 2014.jpg
Colombian team Santa Fe shirt designed by Umbro for the 2014 season

In February 2014, it was announced that Umbro would supply Everton from the start of the 2014–15 football season. [17] This was the first new club announcement since Iconix Brand Group bought Umbro, and was followed by the announcement of similar deals with Hull City and French clubs Lens and Nantes. On 9 June 2014, Derby County announced that their kits for the 2014–15 season would be made by Umbro.

Later in 2014, Umbro announced deals to supply a number of teams, including the Serbian national football team, the Malawi national football team, Vasco da Gama and Grêmio.

In February 2015, Dutch Eredivisie champions PSV announced a new kit deal with Umbro, replacing PSV's previous deal with Nike, which had been in existence since 1994. The deal coincided with PSV's return to the UEFA Champions League after a six-year absence. [18]

In late April 2015, West Ham United announced a new five-year agreement with Umbro as the club's official technical partner. This agreement included creating a commemorative kit for the Hammers' final year in the historic Boleyn Ground. [19]

In early December 2015, German club 1. FC Nürnberg announced a long-term kit deal with Umbro as the club's official kit supplier, replacing Adidas. [20]

In May 2016, it was announced that Umbro had become the technical sponsor of Blackburn Rovers [21] in a five-year deal. And would also return to making A.F.C. Bournemouth kit after two separate occasions in the 70’s and 80’s for the 2017-18 season.

In June 2017, seven-times German Champion FC Schalke 04 announced a five-year deal with Umbro replacing Adidas after 55 years.

Products

Umbro currently focuses on football equipment, such as kit uniforms (jerseys, shorts and socks), goalkeeper gloves, balls and boots, apart of manufacturing other apparel such as t-shirts and jackets. [22]

Until the mid-1980s, the company manufactured only sports clothing, in particular football jerseys, shorts and socks, but had no footwear range. Eventually, in 1985, Umbro decided to introduce its first football boot into the Brazilian market. This design, cheaper than the products of existing boot brands such as Adidas, proved popular and went into mass production internationally two years later.

Umbro also manufactured a popular style of shorts that reached its peak in the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They were made of nylon, had a drawstring waistband, and often came in bright colours. With the growth of youth soccer leagues in the U.S. in the 1980s, many youths, teens and young adults began wearing them as everyday clothing. At the height of the "Umbro fashion," other brands of soccer shorts, such as Adidas, Diadora, Hummel, Lotto and Mitre, also became popular. Its major competitors in this market include Reebok, Nike, Adidas, Puma and Lotto.

Other releases by Umbro include the Stealth boot, [23] released in 2010 and worn by players such as Gaël Clichy and Phil Jagielka. The same year, the company released the GT, worn by then-Fulham striker Darren Bent. The company announced it as "its lightest ever boot." This was succeeded by the GT II model. [24] June 2011 saw the release of the Umbro Geometra Pro. [25] In 2013, Umbro introduced to a new wave of releases that included the Speciali IV and the Geometra II. [26]

Following the purchase of the brand by Iconix Brand Group in 2013, the first major product release from Umbro was the UX-1, [27] a technologically advanced football boot which was voted as one of the best new releases of the year. [28]

Sponsorships

Umbro is the official supplier and sponsor of numerous association football teams, players and associations, including:

Associations

National teams

Africa

Asia

Europe

North America

Club teams

Africa

Asia

Europe

North America

South America

Athletes

Handball

Curling

Volleyball

Artists

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