Tag Archives: soccer

Nike buys authenticity?

7 Dec

Nike announced recently that it intends to buy rival company and dedicated football brand Umbro. The terms of the deal are yet to go through but still look likely despite a late intervention by Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley to buy 9.9% of extra shares. One of the key reasons Nike is giving as to why it went for Umbro is that it will offer authenticity in the key market of football, something they don’t have.

Nike is a relative new comer to the game, having only started seriously in the early 90’s. Compare this to great rival adidas which has a rich history in football spanning almost 70 years. Now I have no idea of Nikes plans with Umbro and I don’t know how they intend some of that magic authenticity to rub off on their own football related products. In fact does it really need it? Nike has been relatively good at playing the upstart challenger to adidas over the years, coming from no where to be within percentage points of being the worlds number one football brand. Their passion for innovation and signing some of the games key characters have driven the category forward.

I hope they don’t intend to get rid of the Umbro brand, I think the market needs Umbro to challenge the big boys, its pure football stand point is refreshing and yes it does have authenticity. But it doesn’t have Nikes character or dynamism, my feeling is that they have bought Umbro to put one over adidas. When they both sit down and announce their figures Nike can lump Umbro in with theirs, and I’m quite sure that combined figure would have Nike as the world’s number one football brand.