Umbro was returning as a technical partner to Everton, a club that closely matched its own ‘heart and soul of football’ positioning. The first kit launch of this renewed partnership would need an idea that not only demonstrated the quality and style of the kit, but also connected with fans on an emotional level – why should they care about Umbro’s return?
It had to transform the generic affection that the football community feels for Umbro into an authentic and personal connection for Everton fans.
Both brands can claim to be part of the fabric of football, but importantly, Umbro has been part of the fabric of Everton since 1962. The kit launch took this concept of ‘fabric’ as an intrinsic part of something, and used it to define a partnership which went beyond a shirt, beyond performance and into territory that connected with every fan, every player, every partner and every single person who has cheered the club on: once you’re touched by Everton, you’re part of the fabric.
The pinnacle of the campaign was the Fabric film, which featured 11 people who brought the concept to life. Filmed on the Goodison Park pitch, it travelled from the oldest living ex-player Tom Gardner (Fabric since 1947), through John Manville who paints the stadium (Fabric since 2003) to Roberto Martinez, who manages the club (Fabric since 2013) and everybody in between.
The film was watched nearly 50,000 times on YouTube and helped drive a 30.6% increase in Instagram followers and a 27.8% rise in Facebook likes.
Umbro itself experienced a 23.6% rise in visitors on the day of the kit reveal (its busiest day for traffic on site for 18 months).
Both partners were buoyed by retail results: first month home kit sales were up 95% year on year, and at time of writing, up 62% overall.