The last month has seen a slickly headline trending on social media circles, involving a match against an English club against Barcelona’s junior club. The Barca kids started well and had a firm grip on the match for half an hour or so. But then the visitors took charge and scored their first goal from a penalty. The final result was 3-0 in the English club’s favour.
If you’ve been wondering about English football, it’s great future and the junior teams of United, City or Liverpool performing really well, here is some startling information about where they have been coached!
As it turns out, the players are from nowhere else, but the Nike Academy. In fact, it’s a full time Premier League coaching centre based out of St. George Park.
The Nike FC has been a success and is slowly marching on its way to something very interesting. The academy is run by ex-pro coaches and has a bunch of under-20 players in its kitty.
Till date the, academy has helped over 44 players without breaking into the A list. Some of the notable player inclusion from this academy to other clubs includes the likes of Callum Harris, Tom Rogic and Majeed Waris.
Although we are yet to see the inclusion of any players into big clubs, Nike’s endeavour is definitely going in that direction!
There is no human product placement here, but it is an excellent opportunity for the players involved. The best thing is the fact that Nike has huge resources and it doesn’t have a first class team or a star coach to sack.
Nike, though, is still keeping its academy under the veil. This is particularly sad because this is the only thing that Nike has done for football in many years. Although the brand has a global presence, the brand has hardly contributed to the game directly.
Allegedly, the reason is because of its product placement, which is nothing, but exaggerated. No one plays the game with better kit and quality of jersey. However, these things hardly matter to the game.
Nike’s association with football is somewhat odd. Except the nylon T-shirt, it has hardly contributed to the players. They were only taken seriously when they sponsored the Brazilian football team in the year 1982.
Adidas, on the other hand, can take a fair bit of credit in this regard since they not only invented the lighter boot, but also came up with the screw in-stud variety as well!
That being said, the fact remains that mega brands are still the super power of any game because of their deep pockets.
Nike, for instance, has an annual turnover, which is greater than the top five football brands in Europe. Not only these companies have money, but they also have power, clout and everything else that takes any brand to its highest level.
Perhaps, the day is not very far, when corporations such as these will take on the super powers of football and launch a team of their own!