Celtic Didn’t Get Lucky Or Go Begging Adidas. We’ve Spent Two Decades Building The Brand.

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You know what the latest ridiculous nonsense is?

That we went out and lobbied for Adidas’ business.

That we rattled the old tin cup with the New Balance deal coming to an end.

Over on the notoriously awful Football Insider Noel Whelan has congratulated us on “being smart” and going for Adidas to raise our profile on the high street.

Why do websites employ the services of people who do not have the first idea what they are talking about?

Whelan clearly knows as much about business as he does about particle physics, which I would imagine isn’t a terrible lot. Celtic fans who read that daft site should stop immediately; this is the level of content they produce. Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s not great.

But we are not a certain other Glasgow club that had to advertise their kit deal and beg for suppliers to come and talk to them. Our club has been growing its brand for years now and that brand is strong enough that it has come through the global health emergency with record figures on the pre-order of the kits. Record figures, okay?

Think about that for a minute. That’s how strong Celtic is.

The truth is, when the New Balance deal was rolling towards its finish, we’d have had no shortage of offers and interest from firms across the business. We could have gone back to Nike, who we had an outstanding business relationship with. They are the leading brand in world football, and they would certainly have been happy to have us. Adidas are the second biggest brand. This is the market we move in. Not for us a Hummel or a punt on some comer.

I can hear certain people wailing now over this article … “Ah but what about New Balance?”

I say only this to them; New Balance has been in the sportswear business for 114 years.

Their global turnover is over $4 billion. That’s billion, with a B.

70% of Castore’s business last year came from the direct-to-order website; they made £8.1 million. That’s million, with an m.

(Hummel’s turnover is $1.5 billion. Our rivals have gone from Puma to them to a local firm from Liverpool in the space of three deals. The direction of travel is obvious. If they screw this deal up, as they have the last two, their next move will be to have the shirts made in some backstreet factory in a Birmingham industrial estate with Chin Brothers stamped on the labels.)

We do business at a slightly higher level.

Our appeal is more widespread, as befits a football institution that thinks globally and acts like it, rather than one which markets itself to a certain section of the community and collects all manner of detritus on the way.

Celtic has spent more than two decades getting this stuff right.

We know what we’re doing.

We employ the best people, we have the best marketing strategies in the history of Scottish football, and we also have a support with a glowing reputation.

We know full well that our rivals’ fans have waged a constant war against our sponsors and other commercial partners over the last few years; this is not a secret.

When you consider how many emails and phone calls and letters sent from dimly lit parts of Scotland all these folk must have had to comb through on any given week, you can see how well perceived our club is by the people who really matter.

Not only has no-one paid the least bit of attention to the background noise, but our relationships have gotten stronger and better along the way.

We will continue to build these relationships. We will continue to grow.

People can put it down to luck or they can put it down to Celtic going begging for business, or whatever they choose to believe … we are a socially responsible organisation with a sterling reputation which we’ve spent years developing.

That’s the bottom line here folks.

We didn’t have to go cap in hand to anybody.

This was not a “smart decision” on Celtic’s part but on that of Adidas.

They know exactly what they are getting with a partnership with us … and even this early, with the pre-orders breaking the sound barrier, they must feel fully justified in it.

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In the 1951/52 season, SFA chairman George Graham tried to stop Celtic from flying the Irish tricolour flag over Celtic Park, leading to a bitter stand off between him and the club. Which Scottish club backed Graham over his stance?

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