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Umbro the Football (Soccer) Fashion Company

Technically Umbro is a brand.  However, their is an important company history behind the brand.

Umbro Fashion for Women

If you don’t live in the UK, we better first explain to you the term “kit" before you begin reading the company profile below.  In association football, as in a number of sports, kit refers to the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The terms "kit", "strip", and in North American English "uniform" are used interchangeably.

Umbro is the original Manchester based football brand that invented sportswear and sports tailoring. Umbro’s first major football kit was made for Manchester City in 1934, a kit they won the FA Cup in. Today, the company combines its heritage in sports tailoring with modern football culture to create groundbreaking and iconic football apparel, footwear and equipment that blend performance and style.

Umbro Cleats & Socks for Men

Harold Humphreys was barely out of his teens when he started a sportswear company called Umbro from a tiny wash house on Green Lane in Wilmslow in 1924. The first deliveries were made with a handcart but within ten years, he was dressing Manchester City and Portsmouth for the 1934 FA Cup final at Wembley. By 1966, 85 percent of all British clubs would be wearing Umbro.  By then, Umbro was known as “the football brand".

Even a brief list of memorable Umbro moments is a trip through the annals. Pele and Bobby Moore swapping shirts in sweltering Guadalajara in 1970. Alan Shearer wheeling away with his right hand in the air after all those England goals. Michael Owen slaloming through the Argentine defence in St. Etienne. Wayne Rooney’s first Premier League goal. Umbro on their backs or on their feet. Sometimes both.

It wasn’t just kits either. At the 1966 World Cup, Umbro crafted 5000 different garments to ensure players had the right gear to wear for work, rest and play during the three-week long tournament. Over time, the ever-increasing Umbro range of sportswear – from trackie bottoms to training tops, rain jackets to sweat shirts – became fashion staples in the schoolyard and on the street.

Umbro Double Diamond Logo Through various changes of ownership in recent decades, the distinctive double diamond logo has remained a constant. Wherever it is found, on trainers or boots, drill tops or team apparel, it guarantees quality and authenticity. Every item bearing the Umbro double diamond has been designed by people who genuinely know and love this game. That the very first English international shirt in 1874 contained a similarly shaped inlay is merely an accident of fate, an uncanny foreshadow.

The visionary Harold Humphreys wanted to bring a tailoring touch to sportswear to stylishly serve the practical needs of the modern, competitive athlete. From Speciali boots, the lightweight revolutionary that remains the professionals’ favourite in dressing-rooms across the world, to the ground-breaking new England kit, from the playground to the training ground, Umbro remains true to that ethos.

In October 2007, U.S. sportswear giant Nike agreed to buy Britain's Umbro in a 285 million-pound ($583 million) deal aimed at strengthening its position in the market for soccer gear.  October 23, 2007 Forbes reported, “On Monday Umbro, which supplies shirts for football teams around the world, said it had agreed to be taken over by  Nike  for $582.2 million, or $3.94 a share – 61.0% above the closing price on Wednesday, the day before the American company revealed its bid." 

In early 2013 Umbro was purchased by Iconix Brand Group, a US-based company that owns many famous brands including Peanuts, Rocawear and Starter.  Immediately focusing Umbro back on the football pitch, the deal marks an exciting new development in the history of the Umbro brand.

Umbro Velocita Pro in cool blue atol
Image 2015: The Velocita Pro in cool blue atol, white, and black.

Notes:

In the United Kingdom they call the shoes worn by players a boot.  In the USA it is called a cleat.

In the United Kingdom they call the game Football.  In the United States it is called Soccer.

Football refers to a number of sports that involve, to varying degrees, kicking a ball with the foot to score a goal. Unqualified, the word football is understood to refer to whichever form of football is the most popular in the regional context in which the word appears: association football (also known as soccer) in the United Kingdom.  That is the sort of football discussed in this article.

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal. The goalkeepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play and only in their penalty area. The game obviously has many other rules, that we can not get into on this page.

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