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Nike

In the first in a couple of posts this morning dedicated to beautiful football kits, we kick off with the new away kit for The Netherlands National Football Team. Representing what a nations footballing culture is all about is a tough ask but that is what Nike have set out to do with this number which combines the country’s evocative national colors with a unique graphic design that captures the exhilarating speed of their football. Cool hey?

The Dutch are renowned for their speed and attacking style of play, moving the ball around the pitch quickly and surging forward at pace. The kit design represents the speed, movement and energy of the national team and combines innovative graphics with the iconic classic Dutch color palette of orange and white. After appearing on the cover of the latest Green Soccer Journal, photographed brilliantly too I might add, Gregory Van Der Wiel is clearly a leader in the football cool department.

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He’s naturally involved in this kit launch, noting; “This is a beautiful looking kit, really fresh but classic, and represents the Dutch spirit. When I put it on I feel inspired to play well for my country, the team and the fans,”

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The shorts feature a printed gradient speed graphic consisting of orange and white light rays, which extends up the side panels of the shirt to represent their distinctive style of football.

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The innovative graphic on the shorts creates a strong sense of motion and a blur of color and light when the Dutch players are in action. SERIOUSLY ACE SHORTS.

The color in the graphic is most intense in the middle and the deep hue comes together near the waist on the shorts and on the hem of the shirt before gradually becoming lighter down the shorts and up to under the arms of the shirt.

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The white base of the away shirt amplifies the famous saturated orange of the home shirt in the graphic, crest and numbers. The renowned Dutch graphic designer and typographer Wim Crouwel created a special font for the names and numbers on the kit. The bold and modern font also maintains a distinctly retro appearance, reminiscent of the style seen throughout football during the 1970s.

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The away shirt continues to feature the enlarged lion symbolizing Dutch football values of simplicity, honor and unity. A pennant tab inside the back of the neck displays the crown that sits upon the lion’s head on their association’s crest.

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The new away socks are white with a wide tonal stripe of chevrons on the calf at the back.

While the new kit features Nike’s signature style and passion, it has also been designed to offer players the very latest in performance innovation, kit technology and environmental sustainability.

The new away kit will be available in stores and at nike.com starting March 21.

Boots that reflect the man – Cristiano Ronaldo is certainly not short of glamour. Winning is always his number one aim and with winning comes silverware.

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This latest addition to the Mercurial Superfly CR7 collection is inspired by trophies.

Leveraging the unique shimmer effect that initially debuted in black last October. The new colorway is inspired by the silver trophies elite players like Ronaldo pursue this time of year. The shimmering silver accompanies an obsidian Dynamic Fit collar and an orange pop of color on the Swoosh and the CR7 logo.

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The Mercurial Superfly CR7 Silverware is built for speed. The Dynamic Fit collar helps the boot act as an extension of the body and locks down the foot at full velocity. The micro-textured Nike Flyknit upper provides a barefoot-like feel that gets the foot closer to the ball and closer to the ground for increased control. A highly responsive carbon-fiber plate is designed to provide explosive speed on the pitch.

How incredible are these?

The Mercurial Superfly CR7 Silverware will be available exclusively via the Nike Football App on March 18 and on nike.com March 20.

Big admirers of like minded folk across the pond – Kicks to the Pitch a fresh online magazine and live event production company—held their website launch party at BAIT in Diamond Bar, California recently.

Joining forces with fellow preachers of the cultured and artistic side of the game we all love so damn dearly, the party was co-hosted by BAIT and Bumpy Pitch FC.

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Featuring live music from DJ Episodes; free tacos and beverages provided by D’USSE and Hubert’s Lemonade; art displays from 8 by 8 Magazine, The Transhoeformer and Bumpy Pitch FC; as well as an EA Sports FIFA 15 tournament. It quite literally had it all.

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The event was attended by various people within the sneaker and lifestyle industry and the reception of the concept was welcomed with high regards. Live music set the tone and created a solid atmosphere where the attendees spoke about various topics from who was the best player on the pitch right now to the new adidas Yeezy release.

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The combination of the football and lifestyle – creating that perfect blend was packed with plenty of goodness.

The two level event hosted the upstairs lifestyle soccer gallery with items such as the Mambacurials signed by Kobe himself, Custom Kicks to the Pitch Kits to match the Clark Kent 112 packs and the Nike Safari packs.

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Limited edition art work from the first few years of the FIFA video games as well as a very unique display of vintage soccer kits and limited sneakers on display from Project Blitz.

Most brilliantly, to commemorate the launch of the site Kicks to the Pitch partnered with BAIT and Bumpy Pitch FC to create the blackout collection: A capsule featuring an all black Nike soccer jersey with black reflective branding on the front and back and a black Flexfit snapback cap with black embroidery.

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The collection was released at the launch party and will be available at the pop-up space inside BAIT curated by Bumpy Pitch FC and Kicks to the Pitch that will be inside the BAIT store in Diamond Bar through the month of March. This limited edition collection will be available to purchase online at baitme.com and bumpypitch.com starting 3rd of March.

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I think you’ll agree – utterly sublime. Looking forward to linking up with Kicks to the Pitch a plenty over the coming months.

Nike’s relentless innovation ethos ensures the best boot is the next boot. But across the brand, there are treasured icons that stand the test of time.

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First introduced as the Tiempo D in 1985, the boot has evolved significantly while remaining instantly recognizable to fans and players alike. One of its signature features, the oversized fold-over tongue, gained immense popularity after eight Brasil players wore it in the 1994 World Cup Final in California. The original purpose of the fold-over tongue was to provide a flat surface atop the laces for a better strike of the ball. As boots and laces evolved, this was no longer necessary and the iconic tongue was retired with the launch of the Tiempo IV in 2011.

Look at this for a legacy:

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Nike packaging has long included the statement: “Engineered to the exact specifications of championship athletes.” One of those championship athletes in particular, Francesco Totti, has continued to request the iconic Tiempo tongue on his boots and Nike has delivered for him through the years. Now, with Totti as Nike Football’s muse, a limited-edition Tiempo Legend V Premium will be available that features the Tiempo tongue while honoring the player who wears it.

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Totti has played his entire legendary career with AS Roma, becoming the club’s top goal scorer and its most-capped player. His reputation as a warrior inspired Nike’s design team to place a unique logo on the sockliner that incorporates Totti’s uniform number (10). The tongue and Swoosh of this boot also play off the warrior inspiration with a metallic aesthetic designed to mimic armor.

You cannot argue with a record like that – he is a hero, football through and through – a genuine legend.

Legend V Premium features exquisite craftsmanship and quilted Alegria leather. It is protected by Nike Hypershield and resists overstretch, retaining the Tiempo’s timeless shape and performance.

Three-thousand individually numbered pairs of the Tiempo Legend V Premium will be available on nike.com and at select retailers March 5.

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With spring in the ascendance and summer around the corner it gives us another chance to look at the feast of football design, culture and nostalgia that is Nike F.C.

The Spring 15 collection is now available featuring many a fresh product.

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If you need a reminder as to what makes this collection SO good, I’d urge you to take a look at the book. It summarises the legacy, the players involved and contains heaps of bespoke art work and photography all supporting this undercurrent of footballing damn right glory.

Illustration, design, photography – all centered around football.

You can see the full book here by tapping this image below:

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Here’s a snippet…

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You can find out more about the Nike F.C. Spring Collection here.

Recently you might have seen a couple of posts about pre-season campaigns by a couple of clubs on home shores… I thought it only right to take a look at some work that is going on overseas. Where better to look than Brazil?

And so, here is ‘Cada 1 é 11’ by Brazilian giants Sport Club Internacional – direct translation of ‘Each 1 is 11’ – a campaign that aims to express that the fans are as much part of the starting 11…as the starting 11. Quite often the 12th Man and inspiration behind the name of this here blog, there’s no denying that fans make the beautiful game we all go nuts for.

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With the help of Brazilian photographer Thiago Peraça the Porto Alegre based club have delivered a campaign of high value – sporting a pretty swish (swoosh) kit in a belter of a stadium to boot.

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This is a really smart campaign – so clean and well packaged – this is piece is in the build up for an upcoming fixture. Simple and effective.

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How about this for a place to do the biz too – the Estádio Beira-Rio, notably one of the 2014 Brazil World Cup Venues. It’s a work of art in itself.

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Stellar campaign, kit, design and fans – ace. Find out everything you need to know about Sport Club Internacional here.

As a big fan of the work by Simon Walsh, it’s great to be able to feature another top piece of work from his peach of a portfolio.

This illustration of Watford’s no. 9 Troy Deeney is right at home in amongst a brilliant collection of work. Check out his portfolio here.

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Watford are sitting just inside the Championship playoffs as it stands and Deeney, a proven and consistent striker has 12 goals in 28 games to his name.

Do check out more of Simon’s work – it’s nothing short of superb.