Everton reveal new long-term kit deal

Alex Livesey

Everton have confirmed that Umbro will replace Nike as the club's new kit supplier from next season.

The news was announced in a unique way, with a select group of specially invited Everton fans gathering at Finch Farm before travelling to a 'secret location'.

That secret location proved to be Umbro's HQ in Manchester, where it was confirmed that a five-year deal would commence from June.

The fans also got the chance to speak to Graeme Sharp and manager Roberto Martinez and were given some Umbro merchandise to top off the day.

The new set of kits will be released in  July and will be available in the full range of men's, women's and childen's sizes - including babies kits.

One major issue the fans have encountered with Nike is the small range of sizes. This is because they wouldn't produce below a minimum number of shirts per size, potentially leaving Everton with a load of unsold stock if they ordered a wide range.

Nike, of course, produce kits for a number of sides and we were clearly not one of their top clients, meaning our designs, particularity for the home kits, were generic templates.

The situation could not be more different for Umbro, a company who have gone through some tough times in recent years.

It was bought by Nike in 2007 and sold in 2012, but Nike kept many of their major contracts in the process including the England national team.

Everton will be the only Premier League side (barring any future announcements) to wear Umbro kit next season so there should be a lot more focus on the designs than previously.

The return to Umbro also evokes memories of some of Everton's classic kits, for the company made Everton jersey's throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s.

No figures have been released yet but they are not expected to be ground breaking, given the club are still tied down to the Kitbag deal.

Speaking of the deal, Roberto Martinez said:

Everyone at the Club is not only delighted, but excited, to be back wearing the Umbro diamond next season.

I have been involved in a number of discussions with Umbro over the past few months in preparation for next season and their approach to quality, design and the technical aspects of the product is unique and I have no doubt it will help us to perform to our full potential on the pitch.

It was a great experience giving a number of our fans an exclusive opportunity to meet Umbro, to take them through the design process of the 2014/15 kit and, most importantly, be able to give them this news first.

Chief exceutive Robert Elstone added:

The Club is delighted to be entering into this new and exciting partnership and looks forward to working alongside the Umbro team over the next five years.

Umbro has an unrivalled football heritage and is committed to maintaining its reputation for design excellence and innovation.  Of course, we're starting from a good place. Based on many years of working together, Umbro enjoys a great affinity with Evertonians.

Starting in 2014/15, supporters can expect bespoke kit designs and great-looking, technically advanced training wear. It was also really important that we could guarantee fans across all ages could show their colours with pride and, as Umbro’s flagship club, all Evertonians can look forward to enjoying quality product over the term of the deal."

When I first heard the news I was initially a little underwhelmed, mainly because some of the kits they last produced for us were not that impressive (in my opinion).

However, it looks like we will one of their flagship brands as they attempt to relaunch themelves after the Nike sale, meaning (hopefully) some unique designs and wide range. There is potential there for some really unique designs as well as some recreated classics.

I have to applaud Everton for listening to the fans on this issue and acting on their concerns. I also loved the way they involved the fans in the unveiling and their very clever Twitter campaign on Tuesday afternoon.

Some fans were unimpressed with the 'secret announcement' idea, probably because it got their hopes up over a takeover or new stadium etc...

But any criticism leveled at the club is unfair, it was another fine example of fan engagement employed by the excellent media team, inspired by a head of communications Alan Myers, who once again deserves a pat on the back for organising the event.

What do you think of the new deal? Do you have a favourite Everton jersey from the past? Let us know in the comment section below!

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