Posts Tagged ‘ New Balance ’

SoccerNomad Podcast: EPL 16/17 Kit Preview

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EPL 16/17 Kit Preview

JR Francis (@paynomind) returned to the SoccerNomad podcast to look at the kits for the upcoming EPL season. After we both rant about the Manchester teams, we gave comments on the rest of the league and picked our top 5. Plus there’s some news and notes on the manufacturers.

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Thanks for listening! You can also subscribe via iTunes and please leave a rating and review. Follow me on twitter @austinlong1974.

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Best (and Worst) 16/17

Ahead of each season I skim football kit websites looking at the upcoming season’s offerings. Here are some of the best and worst I came across. (Note: no EPL kits below as I will be doing an 2016/17 EPL kit preview when the new season starts.)

maribor-16-17-away-kit-2

(pic courtesy of Footy Headlines)

NK Maribor first came to my attention in the late 90s/early 2000s during their dominant period in Slovenian football. When I saw their away shirt I instantly loved it. One of adidas’ new templates is a horizontal bar that alternating different shades of the same color, in this case purple, which switches in the middle of the chest. The yellow trim around the crew collar is a nice touch. Definitely a hipster’s choice.

bologna-2016-2017-macron-home-kit-5

(pic courtesy of Football Fashion)

As I scanned through the jerseys for the upcoming season, this kit from Bologna really jumped out at me. Similar in the way the Crystal Palace home shirt from last caught my eye, the home strip for I Rossoblu gets the job done. The half and half colored collar and sleeves and big bold stripes give the strip a great look.

palermo-16-17-away-kit

(pic courtesy of Footy Headlines)

Another Italian team got a really nice shirt for the upcoming season. Palermo is usually associated with their pink home shirt but their white away kit kit for the upcoming season is gorgeous. Taking the band that typcially goes across the chest, Joma broke it up and it serves to highlight the club badge. A pink collar accents the shirt as well as the black piping. Beautiful shirt and wonderful set from Joma for the 16/17 campaign.

porto-16-17-home-kit-2

(pic courtesy of Footy Headlines)

Porto almost always makes this annual post, usually for bad reasons. For this season New Balance has taken a recent design element one step further. Pinstripes inside of solid vertical bars seems to be a trend, I’m thinking Montreal Impact, Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, and the American company has amplified it with a gradient visual.  Up close it’s an interesting take but will probably barely even see it on TV.

benfica home

Staying in Portugal, while I like shirts painted on women as much as the next guy, this release from Benfica is top notch.

bordeaux-16-17-kit (3)

(pic courtesy of Footy Headlines)

OMFG. What can you say about this? Bordeaux’s third strip uses images from the city and maybe it’s because I’ve never been there but this doesn’t work for me at all. Cluttered, jarring, just not good. Perhaps had they taken one image and shadow printed it, that might have worked. Puma overstepped the bounds on this one.

odense-bk-2016-2017-hummel-kit-6

(pic courtesy of Football Fashion)

No idea how I found this one but Hummel produced a jersey Danish club Odense that uses their iconic chevron branding and combines it with vertical stripes. Inside the bars you will not find pinstripes but a checkered geometric pattern. I like this shirt, the stripes, the color and solid back for the number set.

besiktas-16-17-home-kit

(pic courtesy of Football Fashion)

Usually when I look at Turkish teams, I am drawn to Galatasaray, who have had some really sharp designs over the last couple of seasons. Scrolling though the 16/17 kits I saw Besiktas’ home offering and wondered if this team going to compete for the Turkish Super Lig or the American League crown. Holy pinstripes. Don’t like this one at all.

nec-nijmegen-2016-2017-patrick-kit-4

(pic courtesy of Football Fashion)

NEC Nijmegen won promotion to the Eredivisie and decided to put two designs up to fan votes. Based on the post from Football Fashion, the voting was so close that the club will two home jerseys. I like the simplicity and use of club colors for both. Whether two shirts is good or bad, I’m not sure and hope this doesn’t give major manufacturers and clubs a horrible idea moving forward.

If you know anything about the early years of the Premier League, then you’ll know about this shirt:

norwich home 92 94

(pic courtesy of Norwich City)

Now there’s this:

norwich-city-16-17-third-kit-3

(pic courtesy of Footy Headlines)

Errea decided to bring it back but in white. I think the only positive is that the Canaries are in the Championship, so I won’t have to see this unless I really really want to.

hajduk-split-16-17-kit (2)hajduk-split-16-17-kit (5)(pics courtesy of Footy Headlines)

Let’s end on a high note. Footy Headlines brought the new Hajduk Split home kit to my attention and I am so thankful. What a kit. Clean white shirt with hints of gold paired with royal blue shorts and royal blue socks with white turnovers. Real beauty.

 

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Check out my previous season previews and other kit reviews on the Strip Club page of the SoccerNomad blog.

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So those are the ones that caught my eye. If you want to see more, I encourage you to visit the following sites. . .

Football Fashion

Football Kit News

Football Shirt Culture

Footy Headlines

Quality posts, great pictures and a wide selection on offer.

Plus there are several great podcasts on kits and kit design. Check out the Football Attic kit podcast and the podcast from Design Football.

SoccerNomad Podcast: Summer Tournament Kits

copa america Euro-2016

Summer Tournament Kits

Fellow #KitNerd JR Francis (@paynomind) came on the SoccerNomad podcast to talk about kits for the upcoming tournaments this summer–Copa America Centenario and Euro 2016. We didn’t discuss all 80+ kits but discussed some general trends, mentioned some of our best/worst and had a passionate discussion about the future of US kits.

For more information, check out these podcasts and posts.

Below are images of the some shirts we discussed:

Uruguay home/away

uruguay-x-puma-2016

Ecuador away

ecuador away

Jamaica away

jamaica away

Germany away

germany home

Portugal away

Portugal-Euro-2016-Away-Kit (4)

Belguim/Portugal friendly

belguim portugal

Albania set

albania

Hungary home

Hungary-Euro-2016-Home-Away-Kits-Vote (3)

Wales home/away

wales

Belguim away

17943_3_max

Mexico home

mexico

Argentina away

argentina-2015-away-kit-1

England home

england home

Croatia

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USA home/Dorothyusa-2016-copa-america-home-kit-4 Dorothy - Inspiration

USA away/Cop Car

usa-2016-copa-america-away-kit-1 download

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Thanks for listening! You can also subscribe via iTunes and please leave a rating and review. Follow me on twitter @austinlong1974.

Solutions

Soccer shirt design is a hot button issue for me and I spend a great deal of time reading and writing and discussing the topic. I even have developed rules for my purchasing for my personal collection. One of those rules is the only national team jersey I can buy is that of the US National Team. I haven’t bought one since the Centennial shirt in 2013. Why? Am I not patriotic? Yes but mostly because they are unattractive. Read THIS to see how I really feel.

centennial shirt

But why do we even buy shirts? To show our support? To have the latest thing? To make sure that Phil Knight or the generations of Dasslers live comfortably? Whatever the reason, fans round the world are going to continue to buy shirts and clubs are increasingly using them as a revenue stream and even making transfer decisions based on the number of shirts that will be sold (cough Real Madrid).

Adidas signed a $1.3 billion contract with Manchester United and the company wants to recoup their money. According to a post on the Richest website, United sold 1.4 million shirts in 2014. Figure each shirt is sold at a conservative $75 and that’s $105 million. New year, new shirt, fresh revenue. Clubs continue to ramp up the arms race and kit manufacturing contracts are only one weapon in their arsenal. The other component to the jersey is the shirt sponsor. AC Milan has the tenth highest shirt deal and that’s at $19 million a year, with most clubs in the Top Ten, north of $30 million per year.

Ok so let’s accept that jerseys will continue to be sold. The next issue I have is with the design. More and more frequently, manufacturers are producing utter pieces of crap in terms of aesthetics and club tradition. Bad kit design is not limited to the Stars and Stripes. Players all over the world have pulled on some pieces of shit. In the very recent past, the Gunners have had to wear skin tight travesties, Newcastle players had to suffer under Mike Ashley and the mustard disasters from adidas and of course who could forget the Warrior (now New Balance) eye sores for Liverpool. The players have no choice. Forever they will be on the internet or whatever technology comes after the World Wide Web wearing some ghastly strips. But what are fans supposed to do? Not buy shirts? Wear their Chelsea kit from the 90’s with the Coors sponsorship until is it a rag? Is that fair? But I want to support my team. I know, but I didn’t buy the picnic blanket or the button orgasm for Manchester United.

Touching on the historical nature of kits, who can forget Cardiff’s famous change from blue to red? Granted that was an ownership decision so we’ll give Puma a pass. But what about Inter who released an all RED away strip a couple of years ago? The Nerazzurri who usually have a white away strip produced a kit with a color of their major rivals. It’s like the Spanish April Fools all white Barca strip.

Speaking of FC Barcelona, Nike launched the home shirt for next year.

barcelona-15-16-home-kit

Horizontal stripes. Not once in over 100 years has this happened. But the Swoosh decided now is the time. Then you have adidas’ Florida Gators shoutout for Feyenoord and Mexico’s Vulture themed goalkeeper shirt.

Jersey-Feyenoord-Away-2015-2016 mexico gk

To be fair, it’s not all the fault of the designers. Cranking out a new range every year has to be tough, but they are just serving their masters who are signing huge contracts with soccer clubs as previously mentioned.  Keep producing shirts and eventually you run out of ideas.

In the spirit of not being part of the problem but being part of the solution, recently it has occurred to me, why don’t the clubs just have the fans create the jerseys? Seems to me it’s a win/win. Fans get to participate, get to have their voice heard via social media, feel  a sense of ownership  as they see their creations every other week, plus they are doing all the heavy lifting for the club and manufacturer. No longer will designers have to sit in a room and figure out how to make the iconic white and black stripes of Juventus modern or classic or new or whatever adjective they plan on using in marketing materials. Fresh ideas, template free designs from creative fans that are then approved by the supporter community. (Two sites came to mind http://www.designfootball.com/ and http://www.lovefootballhatefootball.com/. I’m sure there are more)

Another idea would be for clubs to bring kit design in house. Recently Southampton and Roma and Cardiff City have produced their own strips. They were attractive, legal by the rules of the game and the domestic leagues, and amazingly enough the world kept spinning. As fellow Kit Nerd JR Francis (@paynomind) pointed out, the club would have creative control but would lose revenue, which is the name of the game in the modern game. But it is a solution.

Third option would be for someone with a lot of financial muscle (Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet) to create a new brand. Start from the ground up with socks that are solid, or hooped if appropriate, and shorts that are simple, maybe some modest piping, a logo, a club crest and a number every once in a while. They would agree to release a new, classic, non-complicated, traditional strip every two to three years and maybe this new company would even break even. Any takers?

Kits are a stand worth taking. Nike and adidas and Warrior/New Balance and Puma are dicking us over. From painted on to ridiculous designs to God awful color schemes. This has to stop. Join me in my effort.

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