Typography

 

 

interview-umbro-i.jpg

Following on from the interview with Umbro UK , Jonathan Courtenay, Managing Director of Umbro Ireland also very kindly agreed to talk to Jay from Designfootball.com about the brand's direction across the Irish Sea .


Jonathan, thank you for taking time out to speak to us. Umbro Ireland seems distinct from the rest of the company in that stores and web prominence are geared towards football in the Republic of Ireland , rather than worldwide. Is this also the thinking that goes into the design of the kits, as whilst the designs share traits with UK strips there seem to be specific features such as Irish tricolours?

Well Umbro is a licensee network so all partners can design their own kits for local clubs. The kits do follow a certain Umbro DNA and you can spot these elements in each and every kit if you study it closely, but touches like the Irish tri-colour on certain kits are either requested by the club or can come from Umbro’s unique insight into football.

An example is on Shamrock Rovers' current home kit we paid respect to their old stadium with a reference on the back as this was their first season in a new stadium; it read “Glenmalure Park – Gone but not forgotten”.

And looking at the UMBRO.ie website, there seems to be a significant dedication to your nation's teamwear as well.

Teamwear is a very strong part of our business in Ireland . Umbro.ie is currently being updated and will be live in a few weeks with a full new range of product for clubs, schools and colleges.

We have also just entered a 3 year deal with Dunmanway Town AFC which is great news considering the amount of publicity that they generated around the Liverpool game down in Cork. A great coup for a small club in these commercial days.

So continuing and galvanising this influence on Irish football from professional down to grass-roots, you find using Irish - and Irish-based - designers is beneficial?

Yes we have a few designers here in Dublin but we have one very talented guy called Paul Fitzgerald who can turn his hand to anything from advertising to kit design. Personally I still design and look after all of the League of Ireland kits. I also talk to the fans of various clubs on their forums, taking inspiration for the fans requests for colours for kits etc.

Obviously I cant keep everyone happy all the time but I think the majority of fans appreciate that Umbro take the time to take their thoughts into consideration. I believe interacting with the fans gives you a greater insight of what “their club means to them” and we can hopefully build that into the kits.

With this in mind, there seems to be a move in the design of the Irish club team kits (notably Shamrock Rovers and Bohemian) towards simpler, more classic design. Was this conscious decision and something that the fans were calling for?

Well, the fantastic tailored approach that Umbro International have - so far - used for England and Manchester City does influence your thoughts.

We have just launched the new Bohemian FC and Shamrock Rovers away kits and I don’t think either of them would be considered traditional but both clubs have quite classic home kits. Again Shamrock Rovers home kit was deliberately designed with a classic approach in mind due to the fact that it was their first season in their new stadium after 22 years without a base so there was a legitimate reason to pay homage to the past.

There is a new Bohemian FC home kit due next season. I am currently nearing the end of that process and I think the kit is excellent and hopefully the fans will feel the same.

As you say, less traditional are the Bohemian and Shamrock Rovers away kits (the latter recently featured against Real Madrid) but this pales in comparison with their pink strips. How did these come about and what made you run with an idea that had famously been used with Everton in England ?

Well I saw what Everton had done and I thought what a fantastic effort they had made for a brilliant cause. I got in touch with Jim O'Malley from the Irish Cancer Society and he agreed that we had the basis of a great idea to help raise awareness for the charity; the fact that we were able to raise €10,000 in the process was fantastic.

The 500 Shamrock Rovers Pink kits sold out in 2 days and although there are some Bohemian kits left they too have sold really well. If anyone is interested in getting one of these kits they are available from the FAI web store and the Irish Cancer society website.

As an extension of the deal, we are currently producing a range of ladies Umbro product with the Action breast Cancer ribbon which will be available from sports retailers from November.

I'm sure they'll be big sellers for a massively important cause. Another big seller on both sides of the Irish Sea has always been the national team shirt. What considerations go into the development of, for example, the recent, warmly-received, away strip?

Well we look to give every strip some individual elements. For the new Ireland Away we thought changing from emerald green trims to dark green would be a nice touch with the addition on the dark green pinstripes. The kit was received really well by the players and the fans so that’s a win-win. The fact that Ireland wore it for the first time against Italy in Bari and became the first team to ever secure a point there help make that kit one that could become much loved in the future.

Actually, I can also say that the Republic of Ireland ’s next home kit will be tailored and the internal reaction to the prototype has been phenomenal. Let's hope it gets worn in South Africa next year!

There's a lot people who share that hope and that kit sounds very interesting. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing that. But, of course, football in Ireland can also refer to the Gaelic variety. Is the GAA football and hurling market one that Umbro ventures into at all?

Most certainly. We supply the boots' and gloves of the likes of Darren Magee, David Henry, Peader Andrews and some of the legends of the last 15 years Dessie Farrell, Jim Gavin, Paul Curran.

Very recently many of our players wore the new Speciali for the first time. The reaction to the boot has been brilliant, so much so that most of the guys we sponsor are asking for boots for their teammates.

We are very careful about who we target with our footwear in Ireland and we were delighted to have had, back in soccer, 7 of the 11 players in the 2008 League of Ireland Premier division team of the season.

Pretty impressive. Some very interesting stuff. Thanks very much for talking to us, Jonathan. We very much look forward to future kits and - I think I speak for a lot of people when I say this - particularly the Tailored By Republic of Ireland kit. Thanks again.

Jay

 

 

Comments (7)

  1. Agustin

yes!!!! I can see it with white shorts and socks......<br /><br />10!!!

 
  1. fsc

Thank you FSC for doing a Umbro Ireland interview. I am very pleased. I am also happy to hear we are getting a tailored shirt. Let\'s just HOPE it doesn\'t have a Eircom logo pasted on it. The FAI needs to wake up.<br /><br />And nice reference to the GAA. (sports of Ireland.)

 
  1. fsc

Can\'t wait to see the new Republic of Ireland kit now!<br />The Umbro tailored kits are fantastic. It\'s just a pity Scotland have gone with Adidas as a tailored Scotland kit would have been brilliant.

 
  1. fsc

They owe Ireland a tailored home shirt to make up for the dog\'s dinner that is the new 3rd. :unsure:

 
  1. fsc

I\'m not a huge fan of Umbro\'s current League of Ireland kits. Especially not the Bray one which uses an older template. But they\'ve done a great job on Shamrock Rovers . Just wish that they still did Longford Town\'s. Exciting about the new home kit, just hope it\'s not a clone of England\'s or Man City\'s.

 
  1. fsc

Would love if Ireland had a jersey similar to Man City\'s!

 
  1. Dylan Keenan

\' Hope there\'s A \"Tailored\" Northern Ireland shirt on the way... :whistle:

 
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

LATEST 17/18 KITS

Orlando City 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Orlando City 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Orlando City SC have unveiled their new Adidas away kit for the 2018 season, honoring the loyal support of the fans whose passion is the origin of…
Bucheon FC 2018 Astore Away Kit

Bucheon FC 2018 Astore Away Kit

This is the new Bucheon FC 2018 away kit by Astore. The new away kit will be used during the 2018 K League 2, which will be the sixth season of the K…
Bucheon FC 2018 Astore Home Kit

Bucheon FC 2018 Astore Home Kit

This is the new Bucheon FC 2018 home kit by Astore. The new home kit will be used during the 2018 K League 2, which will be the sixth season of the K…
FC Seoul 2018 Le Coq Sportif Home Kit

FC Seoul 2018 Le Coq Sportif Home Kit

These are the new FC Seoul 2018 home kit and goalkeeper kit by Le Coq Sportif The new home kit will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be…
Brondby IF 2018 Hummel Third Kit

Brondby IF 2018 Hummel Third Kit

This is the new Brondby IF 2018 third football kit by Hummel. The shirt is cyan blue with the crest, logos and diagonal stripes in neon. It was…
Racing Club 2018 Kappa Home Shirt

Racing Club 2018 Kappa Home Shirt

This is the new Racing Club de Avellaneda 2018 home football shirt by Kappa. The new home kit will be used during several tournaments in 2018.
Houston Dynamo 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Houston Dynamo 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Retro and modern at the same time, the Houston Dynamo 2018 away jersey by Adidas features a black base that shifts away from the traditional orange…
Ulsan Hyundai 2018 Hummel Away Kit

Ulsan Hyundai 2018 Hummel Away Kit

This is the new Ulsan Hyundai FC 2018 away kit by Hummel. The new away kit will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be the 36th season of…
Ulsan Hyundai 2018 Hummel Home Kit

Ulsan Hyundai 2018 Hummel Home Kit

This is the new Ulsan Hyundai FC 2018 home kit by Hummel. The new home kit will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be the 36th season of…
Dundalk FC 2018 CX+ Sport Away Kit

Dundalk FC 2018 CX+ Sport Away Kit

Dundalk FC has unveiled its new away kit for the 2018 SSE Airtricity League season. The new black and grey strip, adorned by the logo of the Club’s…
Daegu FC 2018 The Hump Football Kits

Daegu FC 2018 The Hump Football Kits

These are the new Daegu FC 2018 home (blue), away (navy) and third (white) kit designs by The Hump. The new kits will be used during the 2018 K…
Incheon United 2018 Hummel Away Kit

Incheon United 2018 Hummel Away Kit

This is the new Incheon United 2018 away kit by Hummel. The new away kit will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be the 36th season of…
Incheon United 2018 Hummel Home Kit

Incheon United 2018 Hummel Home Kit

This is the new Incheon United 2018 home kit by Hummel. The new home kit will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be the 36th season of…
Jeonnam Dragons 2018 Joma Home and Away Kits

Jeonnam Dragons 2018 Joma Home and Away Kits

These are the new Jeonnam Dragons 2018 home and away kits by Joma. The new kits will be used during the 2018 K League 1, which will be the 36th…
Asan Mugunghwa 2018 Mizuno Home and Away Kits

Asan Mugunghwa 2018 Mizuno Home and Away Kits

These are the new Asan Mugunghwa FC 2018 home and away kits by Mizuno. The new kits will be used during the 2018 K League 2, which will be the sixth…
Toronto FC 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Toronto FC 2018 Adidas Away Kit

The new Toronto FC away kit by Adidas is out, complete with a star above the crest honouring last year's MLS Cup triumph. The Reds are going with a…
Limerick 2018 Umbro Home Kit

Limerick 2018 Umbro Home Kit

This is the new Limerick FC home football shirt by Umbro. Limerick will be wearing the new home kit during the 2018 League of Ireland Premier…
Waterford 2018 Umbro Home Kit

Waterford 2018 Umbro Home Kit

Waterford revealed the new home shirt by Umbro for the 2018 season. Waterford FC will be wearing the new home kit in the 2018 League of Ireland…
Atlanta United 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Atlanta United 2018 Adidas Away Kit

Atlanta United have unveiled their new away kit for the 2018 season by Adidas, and its crest and other logos offer a peachy new splash of colour.…
River Plate 2018 Adidas Third Kit

River Plate 2018 Adidas Third Kit

River Plate and adidas Argentina revealed the club's new third shirt. This shirt is inspired by all the colours of the Estadio Monumental, packed…