Roma may have lacked for silverware under former owner James Pallotta, but where the American investor failed on the pitch he succeeded off it, improving Roma's brand recognition and media presence through an overhauled website, an increased focus on social and digital media, a new club crest and utilizing the resources and brand recognition of Nike to make Roma's kits some of the most lauded and desired year after year.
Despite their combined aesthetic success, Pallotta wasn't happy with the exact terms of the deal and bought back the actual distribution rights from Nike in the summer of 2019. In essence, this allowed the club to control the distribution network for their kits and training gear, thereby earning a bigger slice of the kit pie, as it were.
Seemingly still unsatisfied with their Nike partnership, the club announced an end to their partnership with Nike this past July (though Nike agreed to outfit the club for the 2020-2021 season), which led to immediate speculation on possible replacements, including traditional football outfitters like Adidas and Puma, as well as dark horse candidates like Under Armour and sentimental favorites like Kappa.
According to a report from La Stampa, New Balance may have beaten all of them to the punch. The Italian paper reports that Roma will sign a four-year kit supply deal with New Balance, the Boston-based athletic company best known for their running shoes. The deal is reportedly pending Dan Friedkin's approval and no specifics were speculated upon by La Stampa, but we can safely assume the terms of the deal will be more club friendly than their current accord with Nike.
New Balance may be most closely associated with footwear (dad shoes in particular) but they've been outfitting football teams for some time now, most famously dressing Liverpool for the past five seasons. While the Reds left New Balance for Nike, you can still find clubs like Sevilla, Celtic, Porto and the Irish National Team sporting New Balance.
While we await for official confirmation and terms of this deal, tell us what you think of Roma's new kit supplier: good move or will you miss Nike?