SBD/March 4, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

U.S. Soccer Reveals World Cup Home Jerseys By Nike To "Generally Negative" Response

Nike's U.S. home uniforms have been compared to those of England
The U.S. Soccer Federation yesterday released its Nike-designed home jersey for the '14 FIFA World Cup, which "has a white polo collar," and reaction among fans on social media was "generally negative," according to the AP. The collar and the sleeves of the jerseys "have red trim, and the shorts and socks also are white." Some fans were "deriding the simple design, and others saying the uniforms looked like knock-offs of England’s jerseys" (AP, 3/3). In N.Y., Jack Bell wrote some will call the new uniform "boring," while others "will call it classic." Everyone "will call it all-white (with some colorful accents)," and while some "will like it, some will not." The design "could be seen as a tip of the cap to those Pelé-led Santos teams" of the '50s and '60s. It is "classic white with gray horizontal pinstripes across the body and sleeves, a nod to the tradition of using stripes." Inside the back of the neck a "blue pennant tab displays the 13 stars of the first United States flag." The back of the jersey "includes a unique and specially designed font for the names and numbers, which is modern and angular." The shorts are "white with a red stripe on each side." The away uniform "will be unveiled at the end of April" (NYTIMES.com, 3/3).

NOT OVERLY IMPRESSED: ESPN's Keith Olbermann said the uniforms allow members of the team, "whether its last match is in the group stage or in the glory of the final, to go directly from the World Cup pitch to offseason jobs serving as ball boys at the U.S. Tennis Open at Flushing Meadow or working at any cabana club or hotel pool bar at any resort in Florida or Southern California" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 3/3). The N.Y. Daily News' Frank Isola said, "Ghana, Germany, Portugal are not going to be intimidated." But ESPN's J.A. Adande reffered to a previous team jersey and said, "They don’t look like gondoliers anymore with those red stripes" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 3/3).
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