Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts says the new Umbro kit deal will become visible when the senior Reggae Boyz will try out the gear for size in a few months’ time.
According to the JFF boss, the Boyz are expected to showcase the kit when they face neighbours the Cayman Islands in their opening game of the CONCACAF Nations League qualifying tournament at the National Stadium on Sunday, September 9.
Before that, Ricketts told the Jamaica Observer that a joint launch of the JFF and the British-based sportswear manufacturer is planned for Kingston the week before the Nations League kick-off.
“On 16th and 17th of July they (Umbro) will have a photo shoot in preparation for the launch, which will be done a week before the start to the Nations League, which would be the first week in September.
“The kits will then be on show for the first time when we play the Cayman Islands at the National Stadium on September 9, and that is as far as we managed to have finalised,” said Ricketts following a meeting with officials out of Umbro’s Panama office in Kingston on Wednesday.
The deal, worth US$4 million (about $500m) over four years, should have officially taken off at the end of July, but the parties decided on a delay so that the launch could coincide with the start of the new CONCACAF Nations League.
“They will be some weeks behind schedule because the contractural documents did say the end of July, but they have chosen to go the week before the start of the Nations League,” Ricketts explained.
In response to the signing of the contract in Panama last December, which and was facilitated by Umbro’s represenative in Panama Flex Pro, Umbro’s Managing Director Anthony Little expressed delight with the addition of Jamaica to his company’s wide portfolio of clients.
“We’re very pleased to have added the Jamaican national team to our roster of clubs around the world. The team has a unique culture that fits perfectly with Umbro’s values and, combined with our unparalleled kit design and footballing insight, should make a fantastic partnership,” he said then.
The new Umbro deal will see the brand outfitting Jamaica’s men’s and women’s teams — 12 in all — with football boots and balls, training gear, socks, shin pads, slippers, jackets, hats, sweatsuits, shirts and shorts.
There is also the potential to earn from merchandising and performance-related incentives. The JFF could earn substantial cash bonuses should the senior Boyz qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2022 World Cup slated for Qatar.
Though no figure was given, a signing bonus also comes with the new deal, which is customary in these types of deals.
Umbro, with headquarters in Manchester, England, sponsors the national teams of Peru and Serbia, both of whom participated in the FIFA World Cup in Russia, but were eliminated at the group stage. Umbro also covers CONCACAF teams Canada, El Salvador and Guatemala.
At the club level, Umbro’s reach includes English Premier League clubs AFC Bournemouth, Everton FC, West Ham United, and PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands, to name a few.
In 2015, Jamaica signed what was thought to be a lucrative deal with their last kit provider, the Dubai-based Romai Sportswear, a new player to the market.
That deal, a four-year contract which was valued at US$4.8 million (approx J$670 million), did not mature as both parties separated from the arrangement by mutual consent.