Category Archives: Fashion

Jersey Sponsorship

Yesterday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke at a Sports Business Daily conference and said that the move to put sponsorship patches on team jerseys is “inevitable.” He added that this revenue-increasing tactic will likely go into practice within the next five years.

Jersey sponsorship has its roots in soccer, but it has slowly begun to creep into the other major professional sports. Here’s a brief history of the practice, including some of the more interesting jersey sponsors over the years.

THE PIONEERS

Most soccer historians credit Peñarol, a Uruguayan club team, with introducing the concept of jersey sponsorship to the sports world during the 1950s. A handful of clubs in France, Denmark, and Austria turned to jersey sponsorship as a means of bringing in a little extra money in the years that followed, but most leagues throughout the rest of Europe were vehemently opposed to the idea and prohibited member teams from featuring names or logos other than their own on their shirts.

JAGER BOMB PRECEDES SPONSORSHIP EXPLOSION

A new age in jersey sponsorship began in 1973, when Günter Mast, the nephew of Jagermeister creator Curt Mast, had the brilliant idea of placing the German liqueur’s stag and glowing cross logo on German Bundesliga squad Eintracht Braunschweig’s uniforms. Mast had previously launched a Jagermeister-sponsored motor racing team, but saw an incredible opportunity in the world’s top sport. “Through football, you could reach all sections of the population,” he said, according to a 2008 Soccernet article.

Mast paid Eintracht Braunschweig anywhere from 160,000 Marks to 800,000 Marks over five years to put the Jagermeister logo on the front of its shirts. Initially, the German football association denied the club’s request, but the league was powerless when Eintracht Braunschweig’s players voted to replace their traditional logo with the Jagermeister stag. On March 23, 1973, the team made its debut against Schalke in its new uniforms. Seven months later, the Bundesliga officially sanctioned jersey sponsorship.

ENGLAND RELUCTANTLY JOINS THE SPONSORSHIP PARTY

Three years after the Jagermeister logo debuted on the pitch in Germany, Kettering Town of the English Southern League signed a four-figure sponsorship deal with Kettering Tyres and took the field with its sponsor’s name emblazoned across the front of its shirt. When league officials ordered the club to remove the name, Kettering responded by removing the last four letters in “TYRES” and claimed that “KETTERING T” stood for Kettering Town. The league didn’t find that explanation satisfactory and threatened the club with a hefty fine before it eventually removed all of the letters. One year later, English leagues began allowing jersey sponsorship.

JERSEY SPONSORSHIP VALUES SKYROCKET

Over the last 35 years, jersey sponsorship deals have emerged as major revenue sources for clubs throughout the world, particularly in Europe. According to a report by SPORT+MARKT, the total invested in jersey sponsorship in Europe’s top five leagues doubled from 235 million euros in 2000 to 470 million euros in 2011.

One of the largest jersey sponsorship deals belongs to Manchester United, which agreed to a $131 million deal over four years with Chicago-based AON Corp after previously being sponsored by AIG.

BARCELONA SHELLS OUT, EVENTUALLY SELLS OUT

While most of their European counterparts gave in to the temptation of jersey sponsorship long ago, FC Barcelona shunned the practice for the first 111 years of its storied existence. In 2006, the club announced an unusual agreement with UNICEF, whereby it would donate $1.5 million annually to the humanitarian organization and feature the UNICEF logo on the front of its classic jerseys.

In the face of growing financial pressures, the opportunity costs of not having a corporate sponsor became too great, however, and Barcelona announced a record-setting agreement with the Qatar Foundation last December. Starting on July 1, the Qatar Foundation’s logo will appear on the front of Barcelona’s shirts and the UNICEF logo will be moved to the back. Barcelona will receive $200 million over five years from the nonprofit.

ALL SORTS OF SPONSORS

Money talks, which leads to some interesting sponsors. Here are a few of the more amusing and interesting European jersey sponsorship deals over the years.

• Clydebank – Wet Wet Wet: In 1994, the Scottish pop rock band Wet Wet Wet’s cover of The Troggs’ “Love Is All Around” spent 15 weeks atop the British charts. Following that success, the band sponsored its hometown team.

• FC Nurnberg – Mister Lady: The garment company sponsored the German Bundesliga team, making Nurnberg the target of much ridicule. There’s no need for trash talk when you can simply point to your opponent’s chest. (See also: Oxford United – Wang Computers, AC Milan – Pooh Jeans, and many more.)

• West Brom – No Smoking: From 1984 to 1986, the West Midlands Health Authority paid to have the universal No Smoking sign placed on the front of West Bromwich Albion’s jerseys. The campaign featured the slogan, “Be like Albion – kick the smoking habit.”

• Scarborough – Black Death Vodka: The English Football League banned this sponsorship shortly after it was announced in 1990. “The company is wholly reputable,” Scarborough chairman Geoffrey Richard told reporters following the announcement. “It may be just a case of overreaction. It is perhaps understandable when efforts are being made to improve the sport’s image.”

• Portsmouth – Ty: The Ohio-based company responsible for Beanie Babies had its European headquarters in Portsmouth and sponsored the English Premier League team from 2002 to 2005.

Do You Know the famous of jersey number

1.Number 10
The Jersey number 10 is now worn exclusively by the greatest players. The soccer scoreboards showed that it was worn by the legends of the game, Pele, Maradona, Zidane are only a few to name, and now it is worn by Lionel Messi, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Rooney etc. Jersey number 10 is now regarded as a legacy and is given to only those who deserve this honor. Players like Messi, Kaka, Rooney and Ronaldinho certainly are the deserving ones as they brought laurels for their respective countries. Players who wear number 10 are regarded as great players who have changed the game in some way, and who raised the bar of the game for the future.

2.Number 7
Number 7 is worn by Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. Ronaldo is known as one of the best players in the world. Although some people think that he is overrated and that fans love him more for his looks and because he has the same name as Brazil’s Ronaldo. I disagree though; Ronaldo is a great player and has brought a lot to the game of soccer. David Beckham, when started his career also wore the number 7 jersey, but he does not wear the same number now.

3.Number 23
Two players come to mind when you hear or see the number 23; Michael Jordan and David Beckham. Beckham, after moving to Real Madrid, wore the number 23 jersey as a tribute to Michael Jordan. He wears the same number when he plays his the national team, England.

4. Number 9
Though this number is not famous right now, at one point in time it was. Number 9 was worn by the Brazilian footballer, Ronaldo. He has now made way for the greats of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo but he was outstanding in his day. He was a part of the Brazilian winning team in thew 2002 World Cup.

Worst Soccer Kits

A soccer kit (for the uninitiated, the wee British term for a soccer uniform) creates the identity of the team. The home kit is iconic, centered around a core club color or two, and gives fans a way to be recognized as fans of a particular team instantly.

The away and third kits vary from year to year – it gives designers a landscape for play, clubs a yearly chance to change looks (and sell jerseys), and in some unintentionally entertaining instances, an occasion to celebrate Mistakes That Were Made in lists like this. Though, as we’ll see, it’s easy for designers to screw up home kits as well—especially in the early ‘90s, the Golden Age of Terrible Kits.

1. Cardiff City (Home), 2012-13

Sometimes, a jersey can look just fine, and yet terribly wrong in the eyes of the fans. Since 1910, Cardiff City (Nickname: “The Bluebirds”) had blue jerseys. But new owner Vincent Tan, knowing that red brings good luck, and dragons bring good luck, and that the Welsh flag has a red dragon on it, decided to transform the team’s jersey (from blue to red, and with a dragon hovering above a small bluebird on the crest) to “turn the club’s fortunes around” (read: sell crazy amounts of Cardiff City jerseys in Asia).

You could argue that it worked; in its first year in the red jerseys, Cardiff won promotion to the Premier League, and initially looked like a team that might stay up under the guidance of manager Malky Mackay. But Tan fired Mackay mid-season, the team floundered, and home crowds still showed up in blue jerseys – in part to adhere to tradition, but in larger part in defiance of Tan’s leadership. Next year, Cardiff will be wearing its good luck jerseys in the Championship.

2. Deportivo Wanka (Home), 2003

This Peruvian side rolled out this mildly terrible home kit in 2003, with a very unfortunate treatment of the club name, particularly if you’re a Wanka fan in England. Sometimes, the jokes just write themselves.

3. Liverpool (Away and Third Kit), 2013-14

Warrior, fairly new to the soccer kit-making game when it won the Liverpool account, wanted to make a splash with the alternatives to the classic, can’t-possibly-screw-these-up home reds. The away kit featured an awful red and black flecking and bizarre red stripes down the front of the jersey (and on to the shorts!), distracting from what could have been a simple white design, and the third kit was a purple and black quilt of awfulness. The “Rise Up” campaign featured pictures of Liverpool players barely able to conceal their disbelief and disdain for the jerseys.

4. Recreation Huelva (Away) 2012-13

To paraphrase Lil Jon collaborating with LMFAO, “Dots! Dots! Dots! Dots! Dots! EVERYBODY!” Polka dots somehow look great on Tour de France racing jerseys, but something gets lost in the translation to soccer.

5. Shrewsbury Town (Home) 1992-93

Diamonds are forever. Fortunately for Shrewsbury fans, diamonds only lasted one year on this ill-advised home kit.

6. Arsenal (Away), 1991

Although Arsenal fans associate yellow away kits with great seasons, this particular jersey is awash in a confusing array of upward and downward pointing chevrons, with Adidas’ three stripes somewhere in the mix. Shockingly, one of Adidas’ last offerings for the club before Nike took over in 1994.

7. Huddersfield Town (Away), 1991-92

Just one question on these red-and-blue tie-dye jerseys: Did they make them themselves?

8. Chelsea (Away), 1994-96

Dismal gray was paired with solar orange and unfortunate stripes to make the magic happen for this mid-’90s offering for a club that typically does better with its away kits (save for the recent blue shoulder grid on black offering).

Swiss Soccer Jersey Fails

Puma SE became the latest sportswear brand to suffer an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction after several players on the Swiss national soccer team had their jerseys torn in a match against France at the European Championship.

At least four of Switzerland’s red jerseys were torn in the course of Sunday’s game, which resulted in a 0-0 draw, leaving players running around with large parts of their backs exposed until they could get a replacement from the bench. Three of them ripped around the numbers.

Puma on Monday said it has opened an investigation into the cause of the tattered jerseys.

“Our analysis of the Swiss home jersey from Sunday’s game shows that there was one batch of material, where yarns had been damaged during the production process, leading to a weakening in the final garment,” the German company said.

The sportswear maker said the defective material, a mix of elastane and polyester, “was used in only a limited number of Swiss home jerseys.” Puma said a check of its inventory found no problems for the four other national teams whose jerseys it sponsored in the tournament.

Asked about the ripped jerseys in his post-match press conference, Switzerland manager Vladimir Petković joked, “Do you sell Nike products?”

“If a shirt is pulled, occasionally they can come apart at the seams,” he added.

“What can I say? It can happen. That means that it was a fight on the pitch,” Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer said after the game. “I can’t say that we have to change, because Puma is great!”

Sportswear malfunctions in professional sports are an occasional headache for manufacturing companies.

Runner Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, who is endorsed by Nike Inc., shuffled through the majority of the 2015 Berlin Marathon with the insoles of his Nike sneakers flapping in the wind, winning the race but coming up short on his goal of breaking the world record.

At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, members of the U.S. speedskating team blamed their poor performance on their Under Armour Inc. skinsuits.

Some skaters thought the suits caused too much drag and it became a point of tension within the team for the duration of the Games.

An Under Armour seamstress traveling with the team made adjustments on the fly to assuage the skaters.

The Swiss jerseys weren’t the only piece of equipment to fail on Sunday night in Lille. Caught in a particularly physical clash between Swiss defender Valon Behrami and France’s Antoine Griezmann—or at least their cleats—the match ball burst.

The “Beau Jeu” edition soccer ball had been manufactured specifically for the tournament by Adidas AG.

An Adidas spokeswoman said Monday the ball incident was “extremely rare” and the company was examining “how this could have occurred.”

National Soccer Team Jerseys Tips For Men

When a national soccer team wins a FIFA World Cup, it marks the accomplishment by embroidering a small star onto its uniforms—the sporting equivalent of Dr. Seuss’sSneetches on Beaches. After Germany’s men’s team won in Brazil this summer, its fourth World Cup victory, Adidas couldn’t keep up with demand for the team’s new four-star jerseys. In the U.S., the men’s national team has zero stars; the women’s team has two. Nike sells replica jerseys for both, and their design, other than the stars, is the same. Nike doesn’t, however, sell the two-starred jerseys in men’s sizes.

The small symbols have large significance. And their absence in men’s sizes has frustrated at least one customer wanting to display his allegiance to the women’s team at the 2015 World Cup in Canada next June. On this week’s Men in Blazers podcast, a weekly chat on all things soccer by two British expats, hosts Michael Davies and Roger Bennett discussed an e-mail from a reader complaining that he was “stuck either wearing a jersey without the stars or trying to squeeze into a youth jersey.” Bennett addressed the apparel brand directly: “Nike, it’s a plea from us to you: Don’t be sexist. Let us support our women without losing our dignity.”

Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins confirms that the company does not offer jerseys with stars in men’s sizes. The converse is also true: Jerseys without stars do not come in women’s sizes. Nike, Wilkins says, fears that adding stars to the men’s replicas would be interpreted as a false claim that the men had won two World Cups.

In any case, if there are scores of frustrated men looking for a pair of “stars upon thars,” they’re keeping quiet about it. “We’ve rarely heard this be an issue,” Wilkins says. A visit to the WNBA online store suggests that Adidas, like Nike, doesn’t offer women’s replica gear in men’s sizes, though sleeveless basketball jerseys are basically unisex.

Nike, says Wilkins, would be open to selling women’s replicas for men if the two jerseys were not otherwise identical.