Boasting some of the world's most exciting young talent, Brazilian giants Santos have taken major strides in establishing themselves as a worldwide brand. The Sao Paulo club have increased in global recognition over recent years and as a result have drawn the sponsorship attention of Nike, who will now partner the reigning Copa Libertadores champions and FIFA World Club Cup 2011 finalists.
After Umbro's 14-year long partnership with the club, parent club Nike
have offered to take the reins as the profile of Brazilian football continues to rise. There's a new attitude and excitement within the Brazilian game, and with a World Cup on the horizon Nike are increasing their efforts gain a further foothold in one of football's rising markets.
For the Santos 2012/13 home shirt Nike have opted for a no-thrills approach, preserving the iconic Santos style with a design that is clean and simple. Featuring a white round-neck collar with the clubs motto “Menino da Vila desde 1912″ – Vila Boys since 1912 – on the inside, the shirt is a celebration of the club's centenary year along with its famed reputation for developing young players.
With Nike now on board, the club will be expecting their new partnership to increase shirt sales across European and Asian markets. Santos marketing manager Armenio Neto told the club's website, “We are working increasingly to internationalise the brand, a process that had an important boost in Japan last year. With this new contract being signed, we will be able to explore the sale of shirts in key international markets, with Santos present in the main shops of the world.”
Santos fans will have to wait until March before they can pick up the new jersey. For Nike stars Neymar, Ganso and Ibson, it's another opportunity to represent the swoosh as they take to the field in their Nike football boots. Let us know what you think of the clubs latest look for the new season. Share your thoughts online, on Twitter and on Facebook.