Blinded by the New Cosmos Whiteout Collection

The Drill Top, part of the new Cosmos Whiteout Collection by Umbro. (image source: umbro)

Of all the things one might expect to hear from the New York Cosmos, the launch of another special Umbro collection was close to the bottom of the list. Yet today Umbro did just that, and what’s left of the Cosmos didn’t even seem to take notice.

According to Umbro, yesterday, February 5, was the anniversary of the Blizzard of 1978. And to commemorate the event, Umbro has introduced the Cosmos Whiteout Collection. I was tempted to suggest that the Whiteout Collection was meant to “white-out” all the mistakes the Cosmos have made, but then I realized that half the people out there might have no idea that there was once a thing called Liquid Paper. Instead, I think I’ll just refer to it as a blizzard of stupidity, given all that’s transpired since their launch of the Blackout collection last July.

True, it’s quite possible (and perhaps even likely) that Umbro had designed this new line and placed the order before things with the Cosmos started to unravel last fall. And once the stuff is being made, you really have no choice other than to try to sell it.

But given that the new owners of the Cosmos have fired nearly everyone on staff, it’s a public relations blunder. It appears that they have the money for this sort of thing (even if Umbro paid for it, the public sees this as a Cosmos line) yet don’t have money to do much else. CosmoSela did pay the second installment of what they owed BW Gottschee for the youth academy, but they have sacked the brains behind the Cosmos Copa NYC tournament and now are asking teams to pay even more for the honor of participating while requiring them to do more of the work as well. On top of that, there’s no PDL team this year. Whether or not that was a financial decision is unknown, because CosmoSela is about as media-friendly as a cinder block - buried 30 feet beneath an unmapped minefield.

I’m not sure what to make of all of this. Are Umbro still in the game? They didn’t respond to my Tweet asking if there will be a Cosmos Orange Collection to celebrate the anniversary of Christo’s orange gates in Central Park on February 12. Not even a peep about my suggestion for a Cosmos Transparency Collection. But I suppose you can’t really blame them at this point.

You have to feel for the retailers, though. Everywhere you look, Cosmos gear is on sale - especially the Blackout Collection. When I checked Eurosport’s, I found that 37 of the 41 Cosmos items they had listed were on sale, including all 5 of the Blackout items they had. That’s 90 percent! And at Upper 90, the premier soccer retailer in New York City, all of the Cosmos gear appears to be on sale. Yet Umbro hopes to move more merchandise?

Personally I liked the Cosmos Blackout Collection. I bought myself one of the t-shirts at Upper 90 shortly after the launch. And I have been monitoring the plummeting prices for all Cosmos gear, hoping to pick up a few bargains before the entire lot is released to a distributor that will put it out for sale in some distant land - likely alongside the Super Bowl Champions shirts the Patriots had made up for Sunday. A few things in the Whiteout Collection have also caught my eye, like the Drill Top. But as with everything Cosmos-related, these days it’s best to wait and see.

This story also appears on Total Footblog: The Crossroads of Global Football & American Soccer. It is a soccer blog written by Christopher Dobens that offers a wide range of commentary, from the local pitch to the global stage.

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One Response to “Blinded by the New Cosmos Whiteout Collection”

  1. Dobens
    February 6, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    I heard back from my friend in fashion and she said it could indeed take up to 6-8 months from the time the order is placed to the actual launch of the line. And given the special manufacturing needed for this reflective stuff (not to mention finding someone at the Cosmos to sign-off on things), I think there’s a very good chance that this was in the pipeline before the Cosmos imploded.

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