It’s no secret at all that Aston Villa have ditched Under Armour as their ‘Technical Partner’ ahead of the 2018/2019 football season.
The partnership between AVFC and UA was ended ‘mutually’, but it’s looking like the American Sportswear giant may have begged for release after a terrible year which saw its stock collapse, and its ‘brand’ fall into disarray with people preferring other brands. Investors.com say that ‘as a running and casual shoe brand, Under Armour “dropped significantly” in the poll, sliding to sixth place from third’ - which is some drop. It might be that UA are looking to ditch the English football market, which doesn’t seem to have been greatly kind to them despite the quality of their gear. For Under Armour, it might be a wise time to disconnect and recollect, before rebranding and moving forward as a business.
Still, it’s just as likely that Aston Villa presented Under Armour with the opportunity, as it was a deal brought in by the old regime under Randy Lerner and Tom Fox, that may not have been greatly beneficial for AVFC following their relegation. If Villa stand to make more money from a new partner, while Under Armour can stop shooting money into a partnership, it’s going to be a good deal for both partners despite the quality of Under Armour’s work at the club. Under Armour have been Villa’s best kit supplier in a fairly long time, and seemed genuinely interested in making good jerseys for Villa, unlike Nike who slapped a few templates together, and Macron’s jerseys, that despite looking fairly good, fell apart when washed.
In a blog on the official Aston Villa site, the team announced that their new technical partner would be somewhat special, and will be announced with a few weeks:
News of a new technical partner for our 2018/19 kits will break on club channels in the coming weeks.
Today we announced that we will be mutually ending our agreement with Under Armour, who have been with us for the past two years.
They will make way for an innovative new agreement, which will be ground-breaking within football and, more importantly, will benefit our supporters.
So, who next? There’s every reason to be excited about it - since in Villa’s own words, it will be innovative and benefit the people who support Villa. However, it’s a kit. How innovative can it be, and how greatly can it benefit the supporters?
That all remains to be seen, but work will have to commence shortly. Under Armour were well underway with their new kits for Villa’s next season, so the new manufacturer will need to hit the ground running.
Who will it be? We’ll have an article running through the options shortly.