Pre-season. The time for training, but mainly for new kits.
Although is it actually pre-season right now? Mid July is traditionally when most football clubs are either back in the full flow of training, or starting to prepare for it. Take a look though at the English Premier League. Two games to go still. In July. Some teams like Chelsea are already wearing their 2020-21 kit and the 2019-20 season hasn’t even finished. Most other leagues have long since called time.
Liverpool are due to make the jump from New Balance to Nike, and in normal circumstances the streets would be awash with the new offering. Yet the reality is Liverpool are seeing out the season in New Balance. The actual contractual agreement determined Liverpool would be wearing Nike from July, right now, in faraway destinations like America and China at pre-season exhibition matches. That all changed back in June when the club announced the changeover would happen on August 1st.
Times are much different though. Let’s not labour, the now tiresome ‘new normal’, point too long though. Teams may be all launching slightly differently, but they’re all still changing and that gives fans the chance to swoon over their teams new threads, but lambast their rivals. Often there is minimal difference.
At Club Sport NI we have been involved with the design team at Umbro UK and various departments at Glentoran Football Club during the last 9 months to arrive at the point of spectacular induction in July. The reaction to the green, red and black was mainly positive, whilst the depth of feeling for the fantastic launch video created by the clubs social media team was off the chart. A resounding victory once again for these guys. Pre-sales have indicated that the fans are more than happy with the shirt, which ultimately is where it’s at for any club.
Staying within the Irish League, Crusaders have made the change in brand from Kappa to Hummel and on first inspection this looks to be a really sound move. Both home and away shirts have been presented to the world of social media and the overwhelming reaction has been a resounding thumbs up.
Whether these glad rags have any difference to how a team or a player is going to perform is a debate, or maybe a blog, for another day. Kit too heavy, kit too light, long sleeve, short sleeve, round neck, V-neck, collars; a players’ mind is a psychological minefield ready to be exploited by placebo. Let the 2020-21 season kit battles commence.