Umbro gears up for Chelsea’s centenary

Football-kit manufacturer Umbro is poised to deliver a PR onslaught to mark Chelsea Football Club’s 100-year anniversary in 2005.

Umbro has called in Threepipe Communications to handle a media campaign for the May 2005 launch of Chelsea’s centenary playing kit.

The campaign will be conducted in partnership with the club and feature Chelsea and England defender John Terry, as it looks to better exploit the media profile of its roster of 170 footballers signed up to promote the Umbro brand.

Threepipe, which was set up in July by former Umbro UK marketing manager Eddie May, will also use Umbro’s best-known football striker Michael Owen and keeper David James in its campaign to launch England’s new home kit in March.

Umbro UK marketing manager Peter Cronin, who joined last month from designer outlet McArthurGlen, said the PR campaign would target football titles such as FourFourTwo and Match, but the story of Umbro’s long-standing partnership with the 100-year-old London club would be of interest to wider lifestyle media.

He added that Umbro’s core sportswear brand Evolution X, for which PR

will continue to be handled by August.One Communications, will enjoy broader media interest as the leisure clothing market grows. August.One’s 2005 plans for Evolution X are in development but are set to include greater targeting of style press and women’s media as Umbro expands its women’s sportswear range.

August.One also handles PR in markets including Japan, China and the US.

Umbro was formed in 1920 and its involvement in football dates to before 1934 when Manchester City won the FA Cup dressed in its gear. Umbro floated in June and sold £195.1m of Umbro-branded kit in the first six months of the year.

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