Address: Umbro House, Lakeside, Cheadle, Cheshire.
Date of birth: 1924.
Nationality: British, but for some time it was in American hands.
Marital status: Acquired in April 1999 by a fund management company
Background: Umbro was founded in Cheshire by the Humphrey brothers.
(Useless trivia: Umbro is an abbreviation of ’Hum Bros’).
The company remained in the hands of the Humphrey family until 1992 when
it was sold to US outfit Stone Manufacturing for a paltry pounds 3
This was a small fee for a company that had a rich heritage in British
sport, supplying the kits worn by the 1966 England World Cup team and
the 1961 double-winning Tottenham Hotspur side.
Stone initiated a massive investment plan in Umbro, hoping to take on
Nike and Adidas. It signed a pounds 40 million deal to supply kits to
Manchester United until 2002, and a pounds 50 million deal to produce
the England kit until 2003. It also secured sponsorship deals with Alan
Shearer and Michael Owen.
Struggling to compete against Nike, Adidas and Reebok, Stone sold Umbro
to Doughty for pounds 90 million. The takeover prompted a change of ad
agency, and Cheetham Bell was replaced by Fallon in May this year.
Perhaps Umbro’s US parentage was doomed to fail, as Stone didn’t
understand that England only win when they wear red. In Euro 96, Umbro
was slated for kitting England out in grey for the epic semi-final clash
with Germany. The public pleaded with Umbro to let us play in red, but
it insisted on the ashen attire. In Euro 2000, the lesson was learned
and we beat the Germans, resplendent in lucky crimson.
Marketing manager: Shay Boyd recently joined as marketing and
communications manager from Adidas. Helene Hope is consumer marketing
Marketing director: Global director of marketing is Martin Prothero.
Contact Umbro on 0161-946 0966.
Media agency: MediaCom TMB. Account manager for TV is Paul Gibbon; Paul
Wheeler looks after print. Contact MediaCom TMB
Annual media spend: Between April 1999 and May 2000, Umbro spent just
pounds 606, 895 (AC Nielsen MMS). This is lower than normal because of
the uncertainty surrounding its sale to Doughty. Its total spend by the
end of 2000 should be more than pounds 1 million, reflecting a push
around Euro 2000 and another at the start of the new football
Media used: Umbro has mainly been using Sky for its TV ads, featuring
Michael Owen in a campaign promoting the Mach Speed boot. This launched
early in the year and will come up again at the start of the new
Owen also features in print ads, placed in football titles like Shoot.