SBD/April 2, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

U.S. Soccer, Nike Debut Away Kit For '14 FIFA World Cup To Mixed Reviews

Features of the jersey include three bands representing the colors of the American flag
The U.S. Soccer Federation and Nike yesterday unveiled the away kit for the men's and women's national teams, which will be worn first by the men during tonight's friendly against Mexico. Features of the jersey include a crew neck collar and three bands representing the colors of the American flag, with red featured prominently. There is a pennant tab inside the back of the neck featuring 13 red and white stripes. The kits are available for purchase at ussoccerstore.com. Images for the release included Colts QB Andrew Luck and Lions DT Ndamukong Suh modeling the uniforms (USSF). ESPN.com's Darren Rovell noted negative social media chatter regarding the kit "focused on its simplicity, which some compared to a firecracker ice pop." Others said that the stripes of red, white and blue "made it look like the French flag." Nike Soccer Creative Dir Martin Lotti said, "We wanted to create a design that reflected this in a daring and colorful fashion to give them an even more imposing appearance on the pitch." Nike said that the red shorts are 20% lighter than "previous versions and are meant to fit better to the player's body" (ESPNFC.com, 4/1). In N.Y., Jaime Uribarri wrote the kit features an "unsightly red, white and blue combination that looks more like the French, Russian and Dutch flags than Old Glory." Many fans "reacted unfavorably to the latest design, with some of them wondering on Twitter whether it was part of an April Fools' joke." Uribarri: "Unfortunately for them, the jerseys are all too real" (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 4/1). The Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay said of the jersey, "I don't hate it. A lot of people compared it to the classic popsicle -- the bomb pop." FS1's Michael Kosta said, "It looks a lot like the Russian Olympic hockey jersey." FS1's Trevor Pryce: "It looks like a Domino's Pizza" ("Crowd Goes Wild," FS1, 4/1).

TWITTER REAX: Social media was replete with reaction to the kit unveiling. The Breakout Group Principal Bill Glenn tweeted, "Why is the blue on the new US Soccer away kit not the US flag's blue? C'mon, it's World Cup." The N.Y. Times' Andrew Das added, "Sometimes you just wish April Fool's news was a joke." SI's Grant Wahl: "You know I collect soccer uniform shorts to run in, but think new US kit looks better with all-red shorts/socks combo." NBCSports.com's Joe Prince-Wright tweeted: "Top quality if you ask me."
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