What’s in a World Cup Kit?
Football fans are probably feeling a bit unusual right now, as the hype for the FIFA World Cup begins… in the fall season. With the 2022 World Cup set to kick off in Qatar in November, the anticipation is beginning to build up and teams have begun to release their uniforms for the tournament. However, not every uniform release is equal, and the reception has also varied.
Some fans have been very pleased with the creativity and design of their kits, and some have been unimpressed with their kits. Canadian fans were disappointed to see that they would be the only nation in the World Cup without a specially designed kit for the tournament. Frustration did not stop there, as national team players were also unhappy with Nike’s decision:
Forward Jonathan David’s celebration against Qatar in a friendly pre-tournament game went viral as he covered the Nike logo, which presumably is his commentary on the World Cup kit launch. From every perspective, this cannot be a great look for Nike – especially for a nation’s fanbase who has not seen their team in a world cup since 1986, notwithstanding the country’s status as a host of the 2026 World Cup. The world shall see if fans forgive Nike for this decision.
On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Denmark’s kit release made waves across the world, with kit partner Hummel releasing a “toned-down” design for the world cup:
Hummel, in collaboration with the Danish national team, toned down all designs for the team kit in protest of Qatar's human rights record. They also released a black colour 3rd kit, in a show of mourning for all the lives lost in the preparation of stadiums for the World Cup.
The Denmark national kit is a great example of how presence and branding is not exclusive to logo use. Actions speak louder than words, and fans will look beyond the logo on the kit if the “why” factor is compelling enough. Hats off to Hummel and Denmark for taking a stand.
October 7, 2022 - Issue 57 of The Sport Marketeer