There was a lot of material to write about this week – the NWSL playoffs are set, something is brewing with the Brazilian National Team, Pass The Ball just kicked off (with a little help from Julia Roberts and Ellen DeGeneres), and I still have a lot of thoughts on Sam Kerr not being a finalist for FIFA Female Player of the Year. But I needed a little break from so much seriousness this week, and I also needed a little retail therapy. So where does that leave us? With five reasons why the Ashyln Harris/Umbro partnership is going to be a successful one. Ready? Set? Lets talk about it!
Everyone Loves A Throw Back
On August 15, when news broke of Harris becoming the first female ambassador for the Umbro brand I thought two things. First, “That is so cool that she is breaking the mold being the first female sponsor.” And then, “You can still buy Umbro in America?”
I know that may sound harsh, but it’s true. Whenever I think of Umbro I think back to my glory days on a half-pitch with my Umbro checkerboard shorts, my little league rec soccer team that my dad coached, and orange slices and Capri Suns at half-time. It was glorious … and it was the 90s. Since then I haven’t seen Umbro around. But luckily, this can play to the advantage of the brand. Let’s not lie, the 90s are kind of in right now. And us millennials love to honor them with a throwback anytime we can. Harris and Umbro have taken this into account too. They know when the Umbro heyday was. So, along with a normal Spring ’18 premier line that Harris will help contribute on, the brand will also be releasing ‘classic lifestyle’ and ‘heritage’ pieces of some of their best throwback threads. So, get your credit cards ready, mid-to-late-twenty-somethings. You’re going to want some of this!
She Could Be A Champion Soon
Along with being a 3x NCAA Women’s Soccer Champion, and a World Cup Champion, there is a good chance that Ashlyn Harris could soon add NWSL Champion to her list of accolades. The Orlando Pride has been playing exceptionally well lately, and because of that, there is a chance that the stock in their fan-favorite starting goalkeeper will rise come the playoffs. And if the Pride do win it all, well, that means that Harris gets some more publicity through winning. As a brand, Umbro will be happy about that. Because winning sells. Let’s not lie. You don’t want to buy the basketball shoe of someone who’s team is sitting in last place. It’s not quite the same in the soccer world, but there is definitely some correlation with winning and sales. Everyone likes a winner. And a winner who rocks a throwback? Even better. Sign me up.
Her Fans Fan HARD!
The third reason that Ashlyn Harris and Umbro will be successful with their Spring ’18 collection has to do with the amazing fan base that Harris has surrounding her. They are supportive, and loyal, and loud. Don’t believe me? Check out social media whenever the USWNT lineup comes out before a game. No matter what – regardless if Harris is starting or not – the most intense debate begins on who the best American goalkeeper is currently. And Harris’ fans do not stand down. They will back their girl to the death, and I love that about them. Umbro should love that about them too. Because even though Harris only has about 400k followers on Instagram, they are some of the most loyal followers in the world. They will make sure to get the word out about the new line, and they will be sure to rock it themselves. No doubt about that.
She Breaks The Mold … And So Does Umbro
My favorite thing about Ashlyn Harris is that she is herself one hundred percent of the time. And the person she is, isn’t necessarily what the mainstream soccer world always wants her to be. And neither is Umbro. And that is what makes them such a good fit for each other. They are both unapologetically unique and true to themselves. Umbro hasn’t changed its course or its mission, and Harris isn’t one to be pushed into following the crowd. Neither one of them is your normal cookie-cutter soccer player or soccer brand. And neither is afraid to break the mold. They both stand for something and represent something almost pure. They are both here for the game and to live the style that they want. And that is what the fans of both the brand and the champion goalkeeper want too – to love the game and be who they are. That’s why it works. That’s why it’s a brand/player duo that makes people want to buy the product and cheer for the individual.
It’s Swanky Stuff
I mentioned earlier in the article that I needed a little retail therapy this week. In turn, I am currently writing this article rocking some checkered Umbro shorts. And let me tell you, they feel amazing … just like they did when I was six and following the ball around the pitch with no sense of what my position was actually supposed to be. And that’s what I really enjoyed about the Umbro pieces I recently bought. They were a good material, they were relatively inexpensive, and they brought me back to a time when life was simpler. They also got me a compliment at the local deli from the man standing behind me as I waited for my pastrami sandwich. “Are those, Umbro? That’s so cool!” I know, kind deli customer – you don’t have to tell me. Overall, I would definitely buy more Umbro apparel, and I am really excited to see what Harris does with the Spring ’18 line.
So there you have it, my friends – a different take on my weekly 5er. You can check out Ashlyn Harris and the rest of the Orlando Pride this postseason, and make sure to be on the lookout for some sweet-action Umbro apparel. Whether you are a Harris fan or not, this brand lives, eats, and breathes the beautiful game and if you are reading this article, the chance is that you do too. So give them another shot. Your inner child would want you to.