Home Business of Soccer FC Edmonton to get new kits, Umbro changes gears

FC Edmonton to get new kits, Umbro changes gears

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FC Edmonton's blue jersey from the 2010 season of friendlies
FC Edmonton will sport a new look for the 2011 season.

The team confirmed that the kits it will wear for its inaugural NASL season will be different than the ones the club wore in a series of 2010 friendlies. Umbro will remain the team’s kit supplier.

No specific date has been given for the release of the new uniforms. For now, fans interested in replica kits from the 2010 season can get them through the team’s office.

Umbro, which, like Converse, is part of the Nike family, is making inroads back into Canada. Umbro was the supplier of the national team’s jersey in the 1990s and came back into the fold in 2010 with a deal to replace Adidas as the official outfitter of the Canadian Soccer Association. The new kits made their debut during Canada’s friendly last week with Greece. The Umbro kits will be available in stores across Canada on June 1.

While the Canadian jerseys and FC Edmonton kits represent the core of Umbro’s business — designing soccer gear — the company is combining with the design teams at Converse and Nike to design street shoes designed for the street.

And, while Umbro’s ownership is now American, the company is still being marketed as one that carries a very English soul. It is still the designer of the England kit. As well, Umbro is launching the Alf Ramsey jacket, a line inspired by the coat worn by the legendary England manager during the 1966 World Cup final.

Ramsey Jacket

And, if you have a lot of the old Factory Records on vinyl — from a time when Manchester had the world’s hottest music scene — you’re likely familar with the stark, futuristic artwork of Peter Saville. He is now designing shirts with Umbro, taking the English St. George’s cross and applying them to gear for the street.

For the Canadian fan, especially the ones who don’t have English ancestry, the adoption of England as our media’s de facto home team — a given considering how much of our soccer media has English roots — can be difficult. But, for Umbro, the success of the England brand will always be intertwined with the business strategy. It’s a major reason why Umbro was made part of the Nike family, and not simply swallowed by it.

Peter Saville shirt

Really, the strategy is not much different than what Adidas adopted when it took over Reebok, allowing that brand to continue in soccer, fitness and hocke

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