Celtic’s New Balances Helps Keep Scottish Status Quo

NB & Celtic

Celtic and sports manufacturers New Balance have come out and announced that the American sports firm will now become the Glasgow sides new official kit supplier.

New Balance will takeover from Nike this summer.

It’s a great deal for all involved.

Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell has heralded the deal as the best in Celtic’s history and probably the biggest ever in Scottish football.

The five year deal is thought to be worth £30m for the Hoops and once again proves Celtic’s credentials as the best run club in Scottish football and probably up there with most European sides too.

Obviously the deal could harm Scottish football in terms of any other side competing with the Scottish champions but alas that isn’t Celtic’s problem.

Lawwell and company owe it to the Celtic fans and shareholders to run the club properly and maintain success both on the park and on the balance sheets too.

The deal is even more remarkable when you think that Scotland’s league competitions can’t find a sponsor and the SPFL continue to undersell the product to TV networks.

But there is a big difference between Celtic and the SPFL and that is simple, Celtic play well in the market and can sell themselves all over the world.

New Balance have been shrewd. They are the parent company of Warrior Sports and have taken over Warrior’s deals with Liverpool, Sevilla, Porto and Stoke. They also wanted a big ‘new’ signing and noted that the Celtic brand sells.

When you go into most Nike stores anywhere in the world and you’ll be greeted with Celtic shirts on the rails. I was in Schiphol airport in Amsterdam and the Hoops donned the walls there.

Celtic Park

The home strip might seem a bit samey but the hoops themselves are a strong part of the brand. That kit, for many, represents strong values and a rich history.

The club’s support is well respected worldwide and it’s hard to find a land in the world where no one has heard of Glasgow Celtic.

Plus another advantage Celtic have is there recent history in European competitions and the big games they’ve been apart of.

For New Balance, Celtic are a top selling worldwide brand that along with Liverpool greatly enhance the up and coming football product that they have.

Now why on earth can the SPFL not use the same tactics when selling the overall Scottish product?

They have Celtic as the top club. Aberdeen, Inverness Caley and Dundee United are trying to keep up with Celtic and growing as clubs. The Scottish national team are once again performing well and players are being developed up here before moving south and doing well there. We also have a big battle at the bottom with three teams desperate to avoid relegation or the play-off match. These are all attractive factors.

Yet SPFL chief Neil Doncaster can’t seem to sell that to anybody! I just can’t understand it. Either he’s pricing it out the market place, not trying to sell it to the right companies or can’t be explaining the product properly. Or he’s playing a waiting game for Rangers and Hearts to get back into the top flight and that actually devalues the current product in my opinion.

As Celtic get richer, mainly down to fine business acumen on their part, the rest struggle with paltry handouts. The whole of Scottish football deserves better but unfortunately its the same old faces in charge that prevents our game from flourishing.

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