After months of anticipation, today we see what a “new” umbro has offered West Ham United for their very last kit, in their very last season at the Boleyn Ground.
There has been mixed reviews about the deal between the two parties. Quite a few disgruntled fans highlighted that the kit won’t have the iconic three stripes, which sends marketing appeal globally.
Fans also used the previous umbro kit examples as a reason why the kit will lack the gravitas that we need to succeed as a club, but most importantly as a footballing brand.
Don’t panic West Ham fans! Gone are the dicky dirt days! Hoorah!
Umbro has gone through a tough period since we last had an umbro kit and swapped them for….42″ chest, size small Macron shirts.
Financially they were failing to deliver, a recession hit and the company was bought by Nike. Although umbro still traded as a brand under Nike’s watchful eye, they were still making tailored by design kits for a handful of asset teams, England and Man City being the biggest.
All of a sudden, Nike deals were confirmed for the biggest umbro assets, including Andy Carroll, and then umbro were sold to Iconix group. iconix saw the potential in umbro as being a football only brand, unlike Nike and adidas having many fingers in many pies as possible.
I can see the lack of fashion sense unbroken have to offer, especially to kids, kids don’t want umbro trainers, they want the climacools and airmaxs and willing to let their parents pay double the price for it.
Umbro is PURELY for football and most of all is an ENGLISH brand being unearthed in Manchester and creating kits for the biggest clubs in the early stages of their development. The England national team that won the world cup wore shirts made by umbro, an event in history us West Ham fans really connect with.
Bobby Moore, England captain, wore an umbro shirt, the only player in world cup history to score a hat-trick in the final, Geoff Hurst, wore an umbro shirt, and not forgetting Martin Peters who also scored on the day, wore an umbro shirt.
You want passion? There’s an example.
West Ham’s latest historic and “iconic before a ball has been kicked” kit shows how much umbro have progressed as being a kit manufacturer. The simplicity but detailing of the kit is stunning. The small details include a fully gold badge for the first time on a home shirt defining a golden history towards badge designs of yesteryear and a perfect goodbye to the castle background, the golden gates defining the dates of the year we started and the year we will end our reign, which will sit perfectly on the upper back just above the players’ names.
Just thinking about Noble’s name with that detail really epitomises what West Ham is about.
The style of the kit has been designed as per the first ever kit we played in in 1904, beating fierce rivals Millwall 3-0. The classic light blue sleeves are back and boy, are they back!
As much as I liked the horizontal pinstripes of last season, nothing screams more to me personally and having those beautiful and nostalgic arms and full claret body.
A noticeable addition to the kit is having the light blue ring around the neck of the shirt, something that hasn’t been a feature since that very first game.
Overall I’m very happy with the kit that has been so carefully chosen by the Supporters Advisory Board, the chairman and most of the decision by umbro to offer a one of a kind kit especially for us.
I’d like to specially mention members of the KUMB.com forum as with out those members we couldn’t even imagine of what type of kits we would have and if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be seeing mock ups circulate the social networking environment. Sutts07 and Si_Preston_hammer are two members who really put a lot of effort into creating these and don’t get the credit they truly deserve, so thanks lads your efforts are fully appreciated!
I look forward to our last season at The Boleyn Ground, I won’t be sad yet, but I will be. I hope the team can use this very kit as a platform for success as we push on as a brand and as a club to eventually become a competitive team in England and Europe.
Let’s get behind the boys in claret and blue a little bit more this season, we now have the kit, let’s give the stadium the send off it deserves.