In the world of football, there are plenty of controversies that always gets millions of fans talking, for example ticket prices and who should be chosen in the starting eleven. Today, the latest controversy to hit the headlines is the new Southampton kits for the upcoming 2013/2014 season and it’s safe to say that there is a divided opinion of both the home and away kits.
|THE KITS IN QUESTION: Southampton's 2013/2014 kits|
On Thursday morning, the #saintsfc hashtag went into overload with fans expressing their views after somebody uploaded a leaked (now proven) image of the new home shirt, after the club announced that the new kits would be released the next day. Just like last season, the home shirt is mostly in red with some sections of the Saints fans asking where are the stripes for the second year in a row, including myself. In all honesty, last year’s home shirt, designed by Umbro, did have stripes but not the type that the fans were expecting. Moving forward 12 months, the new shirt is the first to be designed by Adidas as part of a long-term partnership and personally, the club should play in red and white stripes. It’s a disappointment but I can understand that the club are moving on as part of the rebrand which has seen them ranked outside the top 50 in the top 100 social brands in May.
Adidas are one of the most popular global brands which was clear to see from the reaction of the Saints fans when they saw the news of the deal between the company and the club. Both shirts are part of the few templates that Adidas use with the clubs that they are associated with which also has divided opinions on the various social media platforms. Some say that the shirt is a carbon copy of Bristol City’s home shirt whereas others say it is a smart look for the club.
A new addition to the home shirt (pictured left) is the gold application to the sponsors and crest. You don’t have to have a high IQ to work out what gold connotes. I think it adds a glossier look to the shirt as the club shows the ambition to progress further. There is a lack of white on the shirt which is a real shame but it won’t stop some fans buying the shirt, including myself.
There is a very different approach with the away shirt (pictured right). The black and silver are co-ordinated with the Saints crest that is used for social media and it’s proving to be a hit with the fans already. It is another template from Adidas. However, it is one of the popular designs they have brought out with the ‘V’ underneath the neck which displays the logo of the company. The shirt looks like a business suit, albeit without a tie, ending out more messages about the rebrand of Southampton Football Club. It is a very smart shirt which has the sense of elegance about it and will be flying off the shelves when they come out on sale.
Change is something that people have to get used to in many aspects of life. Southampton is moving forward as a club and as much as I am disappointed that the home shirt does not have stripes, it could prove to be a winning formula. Spain, Bayern Munich and Manchester United are all examples of teams that play in red. What else do they have in common? They are all successful! The club has the ambition to follow in their footsteps. However, let’s take one step at a time. The kits are part of that ambition to get the club noticed across the world and with the club in the Premier League, it’s the perfect place to do it in.
Everybody will have their opinion on the new kits, where in my view, should all be respected. They are both different in their own way and with the new season starting on August 17th, it’s a promising campaign ahead for everybody connected at the club. What do you think of the kits?