The Diamond Heist: Was Nike’s Sale of Umbro Ruthless?

By Kyle Elliott, writing from Leeds

The future of a name that has seemingly been an ever-present in the world of football apparel was cast into uncertainty recently, as Nike announced the $225m sale of Umbro, which was acquired in 2008.

Originally a purchase to combat adidas’ absorption of Reebok, Nike announced earlier this year that they’d be listening to offers for the Manchester-based brand, as they felt the Nike Football label had grown to the point where it could serve the needs of Nike’s customer base.

Rumours soon flew that an investment group from South Korea and Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley were both ‘in’ for the historic brand; however another detail was also abundantly clear: the offers Nike were getting where well short of the $580m they paid for the Double-Diamond trademark 5 years prior.

Stranger still, rather than ‘dressing up’ the deal further, Nike actually began to make Umbro look like an even worse potential investment for interested parties.

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