Potential pitfalls and benefits as Celtic and Adidas reportedly enter new territory
Celtic’s relationship with Adidas is largely seen as one which has been a huge positive to the club and, presumably, the German sportswear manufacturer.
Supporters have responded well to their designs for kits and fashion ranges, shifting a lot of units that have made a considerable amount of money. For fans, it’s never a drag to feel a real affinity and appreciation for the products that are being made available.
Yet, the reported launch of a ‘fourth kit’, which has leaked online, is entering new territory and caution should be taken. The last thing anyone would want is for the partnership’s reputation with fans to take a hit.
Renowned kit leak website Footy Headlines reported as long ago as October that a fourth kit was in the offing to complement the three that were released by the club last year. Now, they’re carrying images of the potential top that have been shared all over social media.
Dark green in design with Irish detailing and a clover crest that is reminiscent of away kits in previous years, the kit is said to be a potential release in conjunction with St Patrick’s Day.
Celtic have technically had fourth kits before, but they were simply reused tops from other seasons, worn as a result of unavoidable kit clashes with that current year’s efforts.
Don’t take things too far
Releasing this as a brand-new top for purchase, even on a limited edition basis, would be a new step. For some, it would be a step too far in terms of what is seen as cashing in on die-hard support.
Listen, buying kits is always optional and that is always the argument in opposition to any complaints about how much merchandise is released by the club. But the point remains that Celtic should be wary of diluting its offerings with Adidas too much.
The recent retro range launched by Adidas just this week already is priced pretty steeply with jerseys available for £70 and tops at £100. I doubt any new kit, released in the same month, would be cheap either.
The benefit, of course, is that it helps make more money for the club which, in theory, is reinvested towards progress that supporters get to enjoy. But there’s always a risk of pushing things too far and turning people off of what has been a pretty exciting link-up for many. In the end, that could hurt the perception and release of core offerings such as the home kit.
I’m not preaching utter disaster here, only caution. Clearly, the club will have likely thought about the reaction to a fourth kit if they do intend to release one. Maybe they’ll even have a charity element involved – who knows apart from those on the inside?
What I do know is that the Celtic support can be strong-willed and if the club go too far down a merchandising road that is not seen as credible, fans will be quick to let them know. Moving forward, that should be kept in mind.
In other news, Ange Postecoglou’s powerful answer on the support sums up force of Celtic that rivals can’t keep up with.