It is a battle that goes on in front of our very eyes in professional football yet it may sometimes escape you but the battle I speak of is for corporate supremacy.
To use another example if you are at a school in America the likelihood is that school will sell only Coca-Cola soft drinks; the school down the road however will more or less sell Pepsi soft drinks and it is a balancing act that has gone on for an extremely long time.
In football it is no different and despite the growing prevalence of the Puma brand German company Adidas and American giants Nike rule the roost. In the past there has been a propensity for city divides across continental Europe particulary. Real Madrid and Atletico are opposites in this fight(Barcelona are also Nike) and AC Milan and Internazionale have been provided by Adidas and Nike respectively since 1998.
In the UK new battle lines are starting to be drawn. Now the companies are aiming to control entire cities. It came after Nike felt they were going head-to-head for the Liverpool market. In the wake of Everton’s growing reputation worldwide they took up the manufacturing of The Toffee’s kit to do battle with the three stripes at Liverpool. However US brand Warrior changed the game when they signed a record breaking deal with the Anfield club this summer.
However the dissolution of Umbro has leant its weight to Nike; as of next season both clubs in Manchester will be sponsored by the American firm. Adidas however now look set to take on Manchester by gaining a major foothold in London. Nike have made huge steps in the capital, with the Nike store occasionally looking like a shrine to Arsenal FC in recent years. The likes of Thierry Henry have been great poster boys for the company but now it seems Adidas will re-associate themselves with the North London club.
West Ham United’s deal with Macron expires this summer and Adidas could reignite the relationship they had in the 80’s with The Hammers. While gaining ground via Spurs will be difficult considering their long standing contract with Under Armour there will be no doubting that London has become Adidas territory.
What do you make of the battle of the brands in the Premier League?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald