SBD/April 17, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike Releases U.S. National Soccer Jerseys, Brings Back Flag Motif

For next two years, men's, women's teams will wear red-and-white hooped jerseys
The U.S. national soccer team primary uniform was unveiled yesterday, and the Nike-designed jersey “represented a dramatic departure for American soccer," according to Brian Straus of SPORTING NEWS. The U.S.’s "first-choice ensemble has comprised a white jersey, navy blue shorts and white socks” the majority of the past 25 years, but the “flag motif has returned.” For the next two years leading up to the ‘14 FIFA World Cup, both the U.S. men's and women's teams “will wear a red-and-white hooped jersey that, while distinctive, essentially rebrands both national teams.” Those jerseys will “be paired with dark blue shorts and white socks.” The men’s national team’s “away/secondary uniform, unveiled before February’s game in Italy, is all navy save for white sleeves.” The men will debut the new uniform May 26 during an exhibition against Scotland at EverBank Field, while the women will “wear the hoops for the first time when they meet China the following day at PPL Park” (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 4/16). In N.Y., Jack Bell noted the color blue “is reduced from dominant to complementary as the trim around the neck collar.” The jersey, “in continuing homage” to the ’50 World Cup win against England, has what Nike calls “a tonal sash to echo the same design” that team wore. The women’s jersey is “slightly more tailored” than the men’s, but both versions “will include the United States flag, the Stars and Stripes, inside the back of the neck.” The men’s jerseys will be “available at retail beginning April 26” (NYTIMES.com, 4/16). YAHOO SPORTS’ Brooks Peck wrote the jersey is “a lot for the eye to take in.” The fact that both the men's and women's team kits "feature the same design" comes after complaints "about the nurse vibe of the previous women's kit.” In addition to the U.S. kit, Nike also “released a new batch of Euro 2012 kits for Poland, France, Portugal, the Netherlands and Croatia” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/16).

G'DAY, SOCCEROOS: The SYDNEY MORNING HERALD reports the Australian men’s national soccer team’s new home kit was released today, and the Nike jersey “has a traditional yellow body but includes a green stripe down the entire left side, which runs through the national coat of arms.” The right sleeve features “a smaller green stripe, which completes the stripe on the body of the shirt.” The new home shorts “are green with the Australian coat of arms on the bottom right leg, while the new home socks are yellow with 'Australia' on the back of each calf.” The uniforms will be worn for World Cup qualifying matches (SMH.com.au, 4/17).
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