In an era where football, as a business, is expanding commercially to a pronounced level, the kit manufacturers – be it Umbro, New Balance, Nike or Adidas – need to be at their virtuous best, to say the least. A great deal of concentration and a lot of conceptions are put behind the designs of these kits, hence the fans can rightly demand a diverse texture whenever a new kit for the new season is brought into the market.
The likes of New Balance and even Adidas have been doing it with perfection, but a certain Nike has disappointed me, personally, a big time of late. Despite not being a Liverpool fan, I’ve been left amazed by the designs New Balance has been sketching for them, which in every sense, is a perfect depiction of their club’s rich history. Adidas, on the other hand, has been keeping the shoulder stripes a charter, but the rest of the design and even the little details have been nothing short of any perplexion.
Witnessing Real Madrid’s and even Manchester United’s home kits was such a treat to the eyes. If not for the antis, the antiquity behind the yesteryears of these iconic football clubs is a perfect blueprint for the faithful. Take the Manchester United kit for instance; the club featured their iconic train track graphic at the bottom and paid homage to United’s original name; Newton Heath (Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway) Cricket and Football Club.
Thoughts over the designs matter a lot, to say the least, and it seems Nike isn’t putting any perception over it in recent times. Apart from their vibrant and divergent scheme of colours, the Nike designs share a similar texture and to support that, here we present you PSG’s away kit from the previous season and Manchester City’s away kit from the same season.
Releasing an all-maroon away kit, Manchester City said this jersey is inspired from the reference of the past coupled with Nike’s Aeroswift technology to give this kit a modern design. Well, this homogeneous ‘modern design’ was picked while announcing PSG’s yellow away kit for the 2017/18 season, which apart from the colour scheme had no viable split.
PSG and Manchester City are the clubs on a rise and in order to at least assert an authority on the commercial front, the least they can do is to ébauche a quirky gear. Okay, let’s just get over the previous season and bring in light the one where both these rising giants are set to defend their titles.
Announcing their new home kit back in May 2018, Nike said Manchester City’s home kit is inspired “from the key moments in the club’s history.” And in underlining that, their traditional City blue tone was kept intact, while a single buttoned ‘V’ neck collar was featured. A unique design, accepted. But, on July 25, 2018, Nike dropped Paris Saint-Germain’s away kit for the upcoming season and guess what; it has a single buttoned ‘stylish v-neck’ collar and according to the club, it represents “the famous monuments scattered across the French capital.” And not to forget the horizontal texture sketching from the sleeves to the collar and the waist.
I may very well be a layman, but someone explain to me how the same design can represent two different entities.
Alright, let’s just get over all this PSG and Manchester City feud and carry on with the piece. Being one of the biggest and arguably the best sports manufacturers, Nike has to deliver when it matters the most, and for that matter, they have failed miserably especially. And in supporting the cause, I’d present you the analogy between Barcelona’s home kit and Tottenham Hotspur’s away kit for the 2018/19 season.
Featuring a knitting style design on the sleeves, Tottenham quotes this is to “emphasise the team’s powerful energy” as they edge closer to another exciting season in the club’s history. And as it seems, Nike cultured a similar ‘powerful energy’ in Barcelona’s training kit in order for them to get their hands on the La Liga honour for the second season running. Maybe a bit more creativity would have helped there. And well, lower your sight to the shorts, they are kindred too.
Nike have done wonders in the past; just take a glance at Manchester United’s home kit from 2013/14 season and even the latest Nigerian kit for their World Cup campaign, which almost shattered a sales record, so you just cannot expect designs being mimeographed like this, to say the least. We expect and deserve better, Nike.