Umbro has been looking to swoop up as many big name British clubs as possible, and Sunderland has been no exception. Sunderland has been netted in a five-year deal with the kit manufacturer. It was announced that the Black Cats will be amongst the newest clubs to have Umbro as their official provider of playing and training kit.
Despite a current contract with Lonsdale that has a two-and-a-half years run left, Umbro will be supplying for Sunderland for the 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons. Lonsdale and Sunderland have both agreed to end their agreement early allowing for Umbro’s head-start.
Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn added: "In the next five years we’re all going to be working very hard to deliver this club's potential and Umbro are very welcome partners.
This adds enormous strength to the direction the football club is taking and it's great that Umbro believe in us and what we're striving to achieve."
Umbro carries an impressive clientele roster which includes Everton, Rangers, West Brom, Hearts, Nottingham Forest, Olympique Lyonnias, Santos, Independiente, Cruz Azul, CSKA Moscow, Besiktas, and Gamba Osaka. Many national teams also have kit deals with Umbro, including England, Sweden, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Norway.
Perhaps the Black Cats are hoping to return to the glory of their famous 1973 defeat of Leads to grab the FA Cup, a win that was accomplished in kit exclusively supplied by Umbro, a relationship that also existed in the early eighties. Despite being courted by a number of different high-profile kit manufactures Sunderland was pleased to team up with Umbro.
Sunderland's marketing communications director Lesley Callaghan said: "We are very pleased to be joining forces with an international sportswear brand of the calibre of Umbro for at least the next five years. Umbro is an internationally recognised brand and their global presence through sponsorship, of among others… the England team, makes them a name that is synonymous with football. They have many years experience in the field of kit design and the quality of the product range is first-class, and we're sure our supporters will agree when they see the new away kit in June."
Umbro’s Director of Football Simon Marsh said: "It is with great pleasure that we have now added Sunderland to our international portfolio of contracted teams. In the past 18 months we have worked hard to implement our strategy of creating geographical representation within the United Kingdom.
To add Sunderland is fantastic news for the brand as it provides Umbro with a platform in the football heartland of the North East of England. It was evident from the outset that all parties involved in these discussions had a desire to work together and therefore grateful to the previous rights holders, SWI, for enabling this to happen. All of us at Umbro hope this will be the platform for the club to go on to achieve greater success both on and off the field."