Well, here’s a 21st century twist on branded apparel: All new football kits – soccer to us Yanks – that are available only in the digisphere.
Let us explain.
On the cusp of Christmas, Adidas has released fresh fourth uniform designs for four of the biggest football clubs on the planet – Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus. Thing is, you won’t be able to buy the new uniforms for wear in the real word. Instead, they’ll only be available in EA Sports’ FIFA 18 video game through Ultimate Team, the most popular gaming mode.
The new kits are automatically available to FIFA 18 players who picked Juve, United, Bayern or Real as their favorite team on their active gamer profiles before December 14. For others, the uniforms will be available in packs or purchasable from other players on the transfer market.
If you fancy, check out the kit designs below.
For our money, the all-black Real Madrid ones – such a contrast to the team nicknamed Los Blancos for their famous all-white kits – seemed perhaps a little bland compared to the others, though they certainly emit a polished, no-nonsense vibe many will dig. As for Juventus, the big “J” is reminiscent of the spit-a-car racetracks we played with as kids, but we say that in the nicest way, liking the design. While some might critically remark that the Bayern sash looks like tire tread, we’re not going that route, instead commenting that it has a gritty, urban aesthetic we’re sure many will enjoy. Ditto the United design, our admitted favorite, which is something between black-and-red camo and an early 80s punk band concert tee.
For promo pros, the jerseys’ design elements could harbinger trends that will pop up in our industry. Maybe even more interestingly, the release of branded/licensed apparel designs that can only be worn by pixelated representations of people (in this case famous athletes) exclusively in a video game…boy, that would seem to signal something different altogether…a new category of promotional products perhaps? Who knows. Still, it’s worth a reflection on the many potentially exciting new directions branding is heading in our brave new world. Ole' ~ Ole' ~ Ole'