Under Armour deal puts Cosmos gear within fans’ reach

Lucky Mkosana, Jimmy Maurer, Andres Flores

by DAVE MARTINEZ

New York Cosmos fans have been dreaming about the day when they could walk into a neighborhood Modells and find their favorite team’s gear next to the lines of other pro sports teams.

With the team’s new Under Armour deal, that dream will become a reality.

Not only will the Cosmos have a new look for 2016 — their first kit change since signing with Nike in 2013 — but their gear will also be available in retail stores domestically and nationwide.

Lucky Mkosana, Jimmy Maurer, Andres Flores - posed“We are working with other partners who have purchased the jerseys for resale,” Under Armour Director Shawn Flynn told EoS. “Modells, Soccer.com and then obviously the Cosmos, their online store and stadium.”

But the reach far extends that respectable base. Cosmos gear will feature prominently at the Under Armour Brand House in SoHo — just across the street from the famed adidas store on West Houston. They will also feature in several of the Under Armour retails stores across the nation — possibly even in Mexico and Canada.

Already, that gives the club it’s most expansive apparel footprint in the short history of the team’s reboot era.

Though Nike is the more recognized of the two brands, Under Armour is offering the kind of personal attention to the product that puts this deal at a higher level than their previous arrangement.

“I understood the frustration [of the fans],” Cosmos COO Erik Stover tells EoS. “Whether it was for them or friends visiting New York, there really wasn’t anywhere we could tell them to go.

“To have a presence here in this store [SoHo] will be big, but also to be available in their global catalog, for buyers and retailers around the world to put our shirt, or track jacket, some lifestyle gear together, distributed globally and working together … it is huge for us.”

Unlike Nike, who cater to hundreds of professional sports teams nationwide, Under Armour will have a focus on the success of the Cosmos. The team is their vehicle in this foray into the domestic soccer landscape. This follows similar incursions by UA in Europe, most notably as the outfit partner for the Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur. The Cosmos deal, in part, comes thanks to the closed nature of Major League Soccer’s structure. The American top league has an exclusivity deal with adidas to furnish all club kits and apparel. With that avenue closed, Under Armour established a partnership with the NASL — which eventually led to discussions with one of America’s most popular soccer brands in the Cosmos.

Due to the short turnaround of the Under Armour/Cosmos deal, jerseys and gear will not be available in stores for another 4-6 weeks.

Despite that unavoidable hiccup, Under Armour are pleased with the deal and see a bright future with the Cosmos.

“It was incredible,” Flynn said of the Cosmos deal. “I mean, I didn’t expect to get this many people here to celebrate the unveiling of the jersey.  When we announced the deal, we had calls from around the world wondering where can we buy a Cosmos jersey. It has been tremendous.

“We did the official ball deal with the NASL which we are excited about as well. But when you look at the Cosmos and the property it is — it is such an iconic institution here, not only in the region but the U.S. This is what we wanted to look at.”

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  • slowleftarm

    Great – their fans can now buy gear. Now all they need is some fans.

    • Larry\’s A Simpleton

      If you cant find f.cosmos gear in modells just look for the brooklyn cyclones and si yankees stuff. you know the minor league section

      • What Larry Really Means

        I root for a team that is subservient to its English overseers. It’s like the American Revolution never happened. I hate myself for this and you should hate me too.

    • Greg

      Says the guy who walks around in his jersey looking like a shiny new can of Red Bull. You must be loving the new jersey with it’s smaller logo in the front and the 2 stars above the crest for the supporter shield trophies. Oh right, no one cares about that meaningless dish #NYisBlue

      • What Slow Left Arm Really meant

        My team jersey looks like a soda can and I live in a state governed by Chris Christie. I live in deep shame.

      • slowleftarm

        Is this dude kidding me? How about getting a point against us (just once) before you start puffing your chest out? True story – the NYCFC shirt has stars on it for every point they’ve ever earned against RBNY.

        I’ve never said that RBNY’s history is particularly impressive but winning two supporters shields and actually having a real stadium (even if it’s in NJ) makes us by far the Kings of NY. Maybe in the grand scheme of the soccer world that isn’t much but it’s a lot more than the fans of the other NY teams can say.

  • Tommi

    Nice update for the New York Cosmos uni’s, love the hoops!

  • Garry Redman

    It’s reasons like THIS that makes me sorely wish they have joined MLS already. The Belmont Project WILL happen one way or another (after all, Stover got RBA built – no reason why he can’t get this done), and their brand and identity is strong enough to stand on its own. For a team playing in the 2nd division, they have certainly made a lot of noise. Noise, that now folks are starting take notice.

    • MTF

      While the brand has cachet, it’s value and name recognition is really overblown. You are glossing over the fact that they really haven’t made a lot of noise outside of the 4,000 people on average who attend their matches (lower than many other NASL and USL teams) and the few of us knuckleheads who comment on this website. MLS has two teams in the Metro area drawing multiples of the Cosmos in attendance. Safe to say MLS has moved on and if anybody is losing out it’s the Cosmos. I agree that had they joined MLS they would be in the exact position NYCFC is in now: drawing 25,000 – 30,000 fans, getting nationally televised playing time, wheeling out Pele and Beckenbauer, and overshadowing the Red Bulls as the media darling. They would’ve been the Seattle Sounders of the Eastern Conference. Shame, but hopefully they find some location to build a 12,000 seat expandable stadium somewhere. Yes, Stover knows how to build a stadium, but first New York State has to choose to.

    • Anthony

      Its frustrating for sure, they are a model club on the field. Playing in Hofstra does them no favors though, NASL as a league needs to step up as well.

  • Kevin

    I like the uniforms. U can’t fault them for lack of trying

  • Larry\’s A Simpleton

    i dont know whats funnier. the fact that UA thinks the f.comsos global brand is iconic or the fact those laughable t shirts wont be available until mid may.