Sports sponsorship is one of the very best ways to bring recognition to a brand, while corporate affiliations between brands and sportsmen can be worth countless millions of pounds. One of the most iconic sports sponsorship relationships is the football shirt sponsor, with some of the greatest kit designs of all time owing their immortality to an iconic sponsor.
Best Football Kit Designs
Who can forget the Sharp-era Manchester United strip, or the Unicef Barcelona shirt? While kit manufacturers such as Nike, Adidas and Puma have been the only shirt sponsors on show during this year’s World Cup, we can all appreciate the exposure the world’s best sporting event has given to those lucky enough to see their brand name adorning the chest of the likes of Neymar, Messi and James Rodriguez. What was your favourite World Cup kit of 2014? Here are our top five…
There’s nothing quite like the yellow-gold shirt of the Selecao. For many of us the World Cup means Brazil, with the great players of the past such as Pele, Zico and Socrates synonymous with the beautiful game – the joga bonito. The 2014 Brazil shirt features the iconic green piping on the collar and sleeves, as well a large Selecao badge flanked with five World Cup winners’ stars. On the opposite breast, the Nike tick is almost as prominent. Would be higher on our list if Brazil had kept the classic blue shorts, rather than opting for a less iconic white number.
You know what you’re going to get with a Croatia international football strip, but that doesn’t make it any less eye-catching. The red-and-white check of the Croatia strip is as iconic as they come, and in an era of monochrome kit designs is even more impressive thanks to its relative novelty. This year’s design features the player numbers in a white square on the chest, making players such as Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic resemble overgrown jockeys. Still a great design however, and a shame that a group stage exit meant that we couldn’t see more of the flamboyant Croatia World Cup shirt in the tournament itself.
Speaking of flamboyance, the Cameroon shirt takes some beating. Considering Cameroon stumbled to a group stage exit you might not have noticed the subtle detailing on the team’s home strip, but closer inspection reveals the green design to be comprised of stylised lions, African print patterns and the team’s nickname – Les Lions Indomptables – repeated across the chest. Few teams can boast a shirt with such a sense of national identity, and shirt sponsor Puma will have been pleased to see their big cat logo alongside the roaring Cameroonian lion on the players’ chests.
Few pundits predicted Columbia to take the World Cup by storm in the absence of talismanic forward Radamel Falcao, but that’s precisely what Los Cafeteros did – thanks in part to the goals and invention of young James Rodriguez. The team has done so in style, too, with the Colombian national team kit one of the coolest creations of the tournament. The bright yellow design is intersected with diagonal black stripes, with the Adidas logo opposite the team crest on the chest. Best of all is the hashtag on the back of the neck – an Andean condor bears the slogan #UnidosPorUnPais (united for a nation) in what is undoubtedly one of the most innovative kit design elements of the World Cup.
#1: France (away)
Columbia’s excellent kit design is beaten into second place by France’s away kit, however. Sometimes the simple designs are the best designs, and there’s no doubt that simplicity aids the FFF’s second kit for the 2014 World Cup. A round-necked shirt with a buttoned V, the French away kit is white with subtle grey stripes – visually reminiscent of a Breton top. A French flag is embroidered inside the collar, while the FFF rooster crest is topped with a World Cup winner’s star above the left breast. An elegant design with subtle detailing, and one that sponsor Nike will be only too proud to represent.
We’ve seen some great kit designs at this year’s World Cup – will the Premier League and Champions League be able to compete in 2014? If you’re looking to sell sports sponsorship this year, Buffalo7 can help you to win the most lucrative contracts. We specialise in PowerPoint design, helping to make your pitch as compelling as can be. To find out more about how we can help you sell your ideas, contact Buffalo7 today.