Ceci N’est Pas Un Maillot Français

I woke up this morning and day had indeed turned into night. One of the small constants of the football world is that Adidas make the French national kit. Ever was it thus, and ever should it be. Indeed, such had the ties between the FFF (the French Football Association) and the German kit manufacturers that France have been wearing Adidas shirts since 1970. It was, I thought, set in stone. Well, it was until now. From 2011, France will wear shirts made by Nike, having signed a deal that will last for a minimum of seven years. The deal, perhaps unsurprisingly, involves the sort of figures that give me a nosebleed. It will be worth more than £240m over seven years – one of the biggest kit deals of all time – and this amount is more than four times the amount that the FFF currently receives. Following on from it’s purchase of Umbro, it reinforces Nike’s position as arguably the biggest players in a market that is continuing to expand in a year on year basis. It is a decision that clearly makes business sense for the FFF, but my heart says that, somehow, the French national team won’t be the French national team any more without the three stripes on the arms of the shirts with the tricolore cleverly worked into them. There is a case,...

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