I’ve generally been happy with Kappa. They seem to put some thought into the designs, particularly the patterns for the away and third last year (unfortunately three great kits were spoiled by the awful W88 sponsor). The retro shirts and tracksuits were a nice touch too. I think we are one of their top 5 clubs (with Napoli, Fiorentina, Monaco, and Real Betis), and their only UK Club, so perhaps we get more of a V.I.P. service. I’d like to see another few years of Kappa, but it’s probably contingent on them ironing out any quality issues and offering an improved financial deal, now that we are established in the Premier League. I have heard rumours that Kappa are about to lose Napoli, so if that happens, they will be even keener to keep hold of us.
Nike, Adidas, and Puma do some great stuff for the bigger clubs (Inter this season, Arsenal 2019, AC Milan this season) but unless you are in the the big 3 manufacturers’ top tier, it seems like a club basically get to pick colour schemes and apply them to a few templates. The Brighton, Wolves, Leeds, Leicester, Palace and Newcastle kits from this season all reek of this approach. I’d like to think we are more attractive to a sponsor than those clubs, by having a bit more recognition globally, but unfortunately we are lagging behind the top clubs commercially, so I’m not sure how much benefit we would get from a deal with one of ‘the big 3’. I like Umbro, but I wonder if they could roll out three sets of claret and blue kits for us, West Ham and Burnley every year.
Hummel have made a comeback over the past few years and have produced some really nice stuff. They have Everton, and Southampton too from next season, I wouldn’t be opposed to them having a third go at our kits after the Kappa deal.