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Good Ol’ Fashioned Rant: Fan-Designed Football Kits Are Rubbish

By Jeff Maysh

shirtsimagejm

Football shirt expert Jeff Maysh says fan-designed kits are rubbish… 

Last Monday, Under Armour unveiled their new Tottenham kits from behind a wall of exploding marketing bricks.

I was secretly hoping a sozzled Gazza would emerge with a fishing rod and a six-pack of lager. But instead I was relieved to find that the mental kit designs ‘leaked’ before the big day (some of which were absolutely bloody terrible) were just dreamed up by Spurs supporters.

Thank God they didn’t let Tottenham fans design the real kit: “Colouring-in time at the nuthouse” springs to mind.

Instead, the proper shirts were designed in isolation by a team of highly paid professionals, at Under Armour’s headquarters in Baltimore, USA. The cream of America’s sportswear design industry were enlisted to make Gareth Bale— a Welshman—look trendy.

You see, I’ve been increasingly worried about this latest trend of supporters having their say in designing their club’s kit. Fan-power is en vogue for kit design at the moment, and it’s catching:

Olympique Marseille ‘crowd sourced’ their team’s horrendous “denim” strip from 60,000 designs scribbled by supporters. Real Sociedad printed some of their fans’ names on the front of their shirt. And this year my local team, LA Galaxy, held a competition to let fans design its third kit—the result was a Reggae-flavored abomination, like a joke kit made for a Bob Marley testimonial match.

Look at poor “unidentified fan” up there modeling it. See how sad he is?

spurs1314

Tottenham’s new 2013/14 kit is a bit of a Bobby Dazzler

Instead of hiring civilians, Under Armour left it to their man in charge, Gabriel Rodriguez, who is obsessive about Tottenham shirts, like me. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit to writing two books about Spurs shirts, like some kind of club megastore Rain Main. And while I was really impressed that Under Armour also hired a former NFL star to work as a kit-liaison officer with Tottenham to make sure shit went right, I was still quite concerned before the big unveiling.

Historically, when a new sportswear brand take over a team, they tend to tread very carefully in the first year; producing a safe, traditionalist strip. Then in the second year, the multi-colored crayons come out, the designer drops acid and they go to town creating a monster (see Warrior’s embarrassing Liverpool away and third kits this year).

2013-2014-away-kit

 The away strip ain’t half bad either

That said, Tottenham’s new home strip is a triumph: Historically accurate, the deep blue shorts were inspired by the colours of Spurs’ most successful era, the 1960s. I like the ‘Capri’-coloured away strip. And the team has never worn a Granddad collar before. Nicely done, Under Armour.

In fact, the kit launch gave Spurs fans little moan about, and when it comes to complaining, Tottenham fans are top of the league, up there with the Scousers: When Everton redesigned their club crest this year, the fans revolted, demanding a re-design. The club felt forced to release a statement to declare the new badge was staying – but only for one season.

But perhaps I have spoken too soon, because the third kit hasn’t been unveiled yet, and it’s promised to be released later in the summer…and I’ve heard vicious rumours they’ve let Gazza design it.

See Spurs’ new kit here.

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By Chris on July 16th, 2013 in Featured, Kits & fashion, Newsnow, Tottenham Hotspur. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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14 Responses to “Good Ol’ Fashioned Rant: Fan-Designed Football Kits Are Rubbish”

  1. Matt Edmond says:

    Absolutely love the ‘unidentified fan’ reference hahaha

  2. Holsten says:

    Rubbish kit from under armour would of preferred a fans kit all white shirt with NAVY blue simple

  3. Holsten says:

    And the collar is pony

  4. Marvin says:

    If we have to have the upside-down dy logo colour should have been same as shorts. the faded blue looks awful. Style of away collar is way nicer than the home strip. Other than that I could live with it

  5. Stu says:

    I was shaking with anger when the shirts were released. The home kit looks like a ‘pony’ production and with the added misery of losing out to athletico for David Villa on the same day. Levy better buy a W/C striker or i’m gonna kidnapp chirpy until we are with Puma again.

  6. joe says:

    Is it me, or are those shorts also inspired by every other Tottenham era (ie exactly the same colour they always have)? Or is the author one of those interior design types that claims to be able to see the difference between off-white and eggshell?

  7. joe says:

    Also, why does Hugo Lloris always look so surprised?

  8. the69ersfc says:

    Another thumbs up for “unidentified fan” becoming the standard reference of Robbie Keane. Never fails to make me chuckle!!!

  9. Rob says:

    Have a look on some Liverpool sites and you’ll find every fan designed kit is an improvement on the “highly paid professional” warrior ones. Then again, it doesn’t that’s not really saying much is it?

  10. __wowza says:

    the LA galaxy third was a throwback to their inaugural kit:

    http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/850070/72320260.jpg

    which was designed by “professionals”

    while we’re on that topic, these were designed by “professionals” as well:

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7m6kxrGLK1rqub13o1_500.jpg

    90′s be damned, those were all just horrible, any of them deserve a place in shit football kits (wink wink, nudge nudge).

  11. porcelain sandwich says:

    Surely that “writing two books on Spurs’ kits” is a lie. How can you even write one? How can you even write a chapter? The kit is almost entirely the least important or interesting facet of football.

    However, if you managed to sell a decent amount of copies of those books, good on you.

  12. Matt says:

    there were loads of fan versions on Spurs Community that were much nicer than the finished ones

    The shirts look so cheap up close, too. Bobble central

  13. KingB3113 says:

    This kit is perfect for Spurs, it certainly won’t look out of place in the Europa League but what’s going on with Hugo’s sleeves in the second pic? Looks like he’s wearing a straitjacket.

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