Clubs’ new gear gets fansin a spin

2011-07-16 15:19

Soccer gear has evolved so much that the new Mamelodi Sundowns’ kit is made from recycled bottles.

This is the kind of advanced science and technology being introduced by manufacturing companies in the design of ­soccer outfits these days.

Sundowns’ technical sponsor Nike says “each complete kit is made up of up to thirteen ­reclaimed plastic water bottles”.

However, some of the new ­designs, like the new Kaizer Chiefs’ home jersey, has resulted in the club being mocked as “Zebra Force” by rival ­supporters.

The likes of Sundowns and Orlando Pirates have stuck to their tradition of coming up with “clean” designs, while clubs such as Moroka Swallows, ­SuperSport United, Free State Stars and Bloemfontein Celtic will continue with their familiar look from last season.

Seruscka Naidoo, Nike SA communications manager, says: “The black and gold ­diagonal stripes across the front of the jersey emulate the chief’s headgear.”

Bidvest Wits have also joined the Nike family and will launch their design in a week’s time, according to the club’s team manager, George Mogotsi.

Absa Premiership triple champions Pirates stuck to a similar design as that of the Adidas home jersey they wore when they won a treble last season.

Adidas PR manager Zobuzwe Ngobese said the development of the latest Pirates’ range ­started in May last year, when they also recalled their all-red away strip.

Locally, the German sports goods maker also equips Ajax Cape Town and AmaZulu.

Usuthu launched their strip on Friday while Ajax will unveil the same outfit as that of their ­Holland-based parent club, Ajax Amsterdam, on August 2.

Nike says the Downs jersey is “30% lighter and keep players dry and cool at all times” through “Dri-FIT”, a technology they say draws sweat away from the body.

Adidas countered that their soccer shirts feature “‘Climalite’ for moisture management, ‘Climacool’ to provide heat and moisture management, ‘Formotion’ for performance and ­comfort while in motion.”

Meanwhile, Celtic are going into their final year with kit sponsor Reebok.

The club’s chief executive Aiki Auguosti said they would “probably launch a third jersey as ­opposed to unveiling a new kit”.

Neither Swallows nor Jomo Cosmos will unveil new outfits this season, as per their contract with Puma.

“They only change every two years.

“All the designs come from our international range and product development team,” said the company’s marketing director Brett Bellinger.

The Swallows and Cosmos strips have the same features as the designs that were worn by Ghana, Algeria, Ivory Coast and Cameroon during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Puma also back Bafana ­Bafana among the 12 African countries which are endorsing their kits.

The unveiling of Bafana’s new jersey last month was met with mixed feelings on the domestic soccer front, with many arguing that the design was no different from the kit ­English Premiership side ­Tottenham Hotspur wore last season.

Said Bellinger: “The interim kit has been launched and will go on sale to the public on Monday (tomorrow).”

Bafana will turn out in this kit in their friendly match against Burkina Faso on August 10.

Puma are trying to spare the fans a few bucks by not changing designs ­frequently, but Adidas says that they still bound to change outfits every year.

As for the retail prices for the replicas, sports goods manufacturers said the detailing in the jersey and the type of fabric they use play a major role in determining the price tag.


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