Umbro is a British sportswear and equipment supplier based in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, England. Umbro designs, sources and markets sport-related apparel, footwear and equipment and its products are sold in over 90 countries worldwide.
The company was founded in 1920, in Wilmslow, Cheshire, as Humphrey Brothers Clothing; in 1924, the company changed its name to Umbro, a contraction of its previous name, Humphrey Brothers. In 1985, in Brazil, Umbro introduced its first football boot, which went into production two years later.
Umbro also manufactured a popular style of shorts, which reached its peak in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They were made of nylon, had a drawstring waistband, and often came in bright colors. These shorts, nicknamed "Umbros", are football shorts, intended to be part of a football strip. With the growth of youth soccer leagues in the United States in the 1980s, many youths, teens, and young adults began wearing them as everyday clothing. Like football itself, they were equally popular among both genders. At the height of the fashion, other brands of football shorts, such as Adidas, Diadora, Hummel, Lotto and Mitre, also became popular. However, by the mid 1990s, Umbros began to lose their appeal among youth to other styles, such as cargo shorts.
The company today specialises in football kits, clothing, and other football apparel, like boots and training kits, and is registered on the London Stock Exchange as UMB.
On the 19th October 2007, JJB bought a 10.1% stake in Umbro in a move to protect its stake in the market for England football shirts.
On the 23rd October 2007, it was announced Umbro had agreed to be bought by Nike in a deal worth £285m ($580m). 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.
Dec 2007 the takeover was approved by OFT regulators, it is now believed the takeover deal will go through in Feb 2008 unless a rival offer of over 210p per share is lodged.
Feb 2008 - Nike Inc. took over Umbro.
Umbro currently manufactures all types of sports wear apparel including training gear and football boots. Umbro also produce casual clothes and shoes, including a line by British designer Kim Jones. The company is also a major player in kit manufacture for some of the world's best known teams.
Umbro have recently launched their new hi-technology SX Boot. Deco has been playing in the boots which are visually striking with different colours for each foot, reflecting the left (logical, assertive) and right (intuitive, creative and passionate) sides of the brains. The boot uses Michelin tyre manufacturing-related technology which improves control by up to 90%*.
Umbro's products have been endorsed by many professional athletes around the world.
Umbro has produced kits for many notable football teams since establishment; its first kit was produced in 1934, for Manchester City, who won the FA Cup that year. Over the years Umbro has produced kits for many other professional teams around the world, as well as referee kits for some leagues.
In addition to club teams, Umbro also produced kits for a wide variety of international teams across four continents. During the 1966 World Cup, all but one of the 16 participating teams wore Umbro kits.
However, Umbro have suffered in recent years with many of the big clubs they provided for moving to the big two of Nike and Adidas (notably including Manchester United, Chelsea, and Celtic). In addition to this Puma have vastly increased their participation in football and now provide many national teams with kits. Still, Umbro managed to retain their long-standing partnership with The FA and, often in cooperation with JJB Sports, gained contracts for a number of clubs in recent years, including Everton, Rangers F.C.|Rangers]] and several Welsh, English & Scottish clubs.
Umbro currently are the official sports manufacturer of the English FA Cup and official sponsor of the new Wembley Stadium. Umbro will partner The FA in the further development of the National Football Centre (NFC) at Burton-upon-Trent, becoming the title sponsor of the Centre. Umbro is also the exclusive supplier of footballs to The FA.
Umbro is the majority owner (94 percent) 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 current top flight women's league (W-League) and youth league (Super Y-League).
During the 2006 USL First Division season, the Carolina RailHawks, Charleston Battery and Vancouver Whitecaps (USL)|Vancouver Whitecaps all wore Umbro kits. The now-defunct California Victory wore an Umbro change kit, but a Kelme home kit.
UMBRO SOLD THE JERSEY; Scots Firm Axed for Cheap Egyptian Labour FIASCO GOES ON: ANGER AS FIRM IS AXED FOR CHEAP EGYPTIAN LABOUR
Aug 14, 1999; THE Celtic shirt fiasco came after Umbro ditched their Scottish kit suppliers to exploit cheap Egyptian labour. The sports...