Marketing 301H Submission 5: World Cup Rankings and the Honduras National Team

The 2014 FIFA World Cup was one of the most exciting spectacles of sport the world has ever seen. Whether it was watching the Costa Rican National Team take down Europe’s elite or seeing the Germans dismantle the Brazilians on their home turf, you were always in for a surprise when you tuned in for a match.

Throughout the month-long competition we saw the world’s best barrage us with the unthinkable:

the bizzare:

agony:

and ecstasy:

But while most fans were dealing with mixed feelings experienced during this wild ride (myself included) I couldn’t help but notice the fluctuation of quality in the uniforms seen on the field. This is why I decided that for my final submission I would critique and redesign the worst uniform of the 2014 World Cup.

But which one is the worst? I had a hard time deciding which one would carry this unfortunate distinction. So, I figured the only way to figure this out would be to start from the top and work my way down, which is why I will be ranking the 2014 World Cup jerseys from best to worst and giving brief reactions to each one. So, without further ado, let’s get this show on the road!

1. Holland

5 holland

They nailed it. Never before has the orange of Holland stood out so well. The simplicity of the uniform really makes that color pop while using dark blue to complement the orange on the second uniform was an excellent choice. The color-changing pattern is also nice.

2. Argentina

5 argentina

Argentina always go with the vertical blue and white stripes and it still works here. The new addition is the dark-blue, darker-blue stripe pattern on the second jerseys. It works extremely well and is one of the best jerseys in the competition.

3. France

5 france

The French are known to be classy and it’s never been more true than in the case of their most recent soccer jerseys. The off-blue with the white collar is as simple and professional as it gets while the grey stripes are a nice addition to an all-white uniform. These could easily make a case for number one.

4. Brazil

5 brazil

The hosts had to look good and did not disappoint. The green and yellow uniform is safe but always looks good. They had a bit more freedom with the second jersey, however, and came up with a three-shaded blue stripe pattern that I would LOVE to see more of in the future.

5. Uruguay

5 uruguay

Uruguay went with the skin-tight Puma jerseys (a look that I really enjoy) and the results were great. The powder blue is a distinct look which is why a simple design works best with it. Unfortunately, the deep-V neck on the white jersey is not needed. A better collar could have put them into the top 4.

6. Croatia

5 croatia

Croatia, like so many other nations, have the same design every year, and theirs is one of the best.The checkered pattern makes them stand out more than any other team and the use of this pattern on the shoulders and sleeves of the blue uniform is the perfect design to make sure that jersey is not too simple.

7. Germany

5 germany

Unlike other nations, Germany wheeled out a completely different jersey from that of their 2010 World Cup campaign. The red mark across the chest may seem forced, but in a way it represents the directness and strength of the Germans. Alternatively, the red and black stripes were something that we have yet to see from the country and it was a very good stylistic choice. Overall, they looked good as they hoisted the trophy.

8. Portugal

5 portugal

I don’t think Portugal has gotten enough credit for their first-choice jersey. This one is exceptional; one of the best in the tournament. The increasing thickness of lines from the chest makes for an interesting visual effect and the off-red color is very sharp. Perhaps they have taken heat for their second jersey which looks as though it was thrown together 15 minutes before game time. That’s why they’re down in my list, at least.

9. Ivory Coast

5 ivory coast

The Ivory Coast rarely stray from tradition. Orange first jersey, green second jersey. Many people complain that it’s too simple. But the colors and the skin-tight design is such a classic look that I can’t help but love it.

10. Algeria

 

5 algeria

Similar to the Ivory Coast jersey is the Algeria jersey. It’s simple, but it brings an interesting color scheme the the world’s biggest stage has yet to see. Im not even sure what to call this color. For some reason I want to call it “Kiwi Green.” There’s probably a name for it, but I don’t know what it is. All I know is that I’m a fan. Algeria rounds out the top 10.

11. Greece

5 greece

Greece put us back into Europe with a a simple, elegant jersey set. Not much risk taken, but the classic blue with the collars give these jerseys a classy look. Not much to complain about here.

12. England

5 england

England showed up with probably the most basic jerseys in the entire competition. Like Greece, these are very safe, and because England prides itself on its soccer history, they get credit for having jerseys that stay true to tradition.

13. Italy

5 italy

I’m most torn by the Italian’s jerseys. The blue jersey is exquisite with its classic color and collar and sleeve accents while the white jersey is horrid as the vertical stripes do not work at all. With one jersey flying high and the other floundering at the bottom, Italy falls somewhere in the middle.

14. Australia

5 australia

Australia, like other countries that went with Nike jerseys, have a simple design. The first jersey, however, is exactly like the Brazilian’s first jersey just with a collar, while the second jersey looks like nothing more than a discarded rugby jersey idea. Nevertheless, it is a sleek look and keeps them in the upper half of the jersey countdown.

15. USA

5 usa

As I said in my earlier review, the USA jerseys were not horrible, just disappointing. The first just looks like a simple white polo golf shirt while the second looks like the design of a flag of any of the myriad of countries whose colors are red, white, and blue. They’re different enough to be interesting, but not good enough to keep us satisfied.

16. Switzerland

5 switzerland

Like so many jerseys we have already seen, Switzerland have a simple design; skin tight jerseys with an opposing color line going down the sides. The faint cross on the red jersey adds a little, but not much. Overall, these jerseys are about as neutral as, well, Switzerland.

17. Spain

5 spain

The defending world champions had a disappointing 2014 World Cup campaign and jerseys to match it. You would think the Spaniards would want to stand out on the field considering their status as an elite team. Their dull vertical stripe pattern on the first jersey would suggest otherwise. As for the second jersey, they lazily went with the neon-green and black combination which so many teams have tried before. It’s simply out of style.

18. Ghana

5 ghana

Ghana represent the first of two African jersey sets with this interesting design. I’m not a fan of it as a full jersey design, but the use of it on the collar with a solid white jersey offers a good balance of professionalism and national flair. Again, I am conflicted between a good and bad jersey, but the bad outweighs the good here.

19. Chile

5 chile

The problem with this jersey is simple: no…that’s it…it’s too simple. There’s nothing glaringly wrong with it. It just gets lost in the forest of red, white, and blue jerseys that were at this World Cup and, as a result, gave Chile no real on-field identity. Shame for a team that made a good run in the tournament.

20. Russia

5 russia

When I think of Russia, the first words the come to mind are plain, dark, and cold. Coincidentally, those are the three words I would use to describe these jerseys. The maroon is too dark and is not offset well by the gold stripes while the awkward blue pattern on the white uniform looks cold and boring. Not much to like here.

21. South Korea

5 korea

Some would say this is a bit harsh on the South Koreans. I, however, have one big problem with these jerseys. I don’t think that thick shoulder stripes are a good design. If that’s your thing, then you’ll love these. If not, then you’ll see my issue with them. With just that design, they’re too simple and boring. Also, the differing shoulder stripe colors on the white jersey is an interesting idea, but it just doesn’t look good. Better luck next time, guys.

22. Colombia

5 colombia

The Colombians took the world by storm with their performance at the World Cup finishing as the 5th overall seed. Much less impressive were the jerseys they decided to wear. Yellow is a very tricky color to get right, so much so that I’ve only seen it pulled off when paired with black. Any other color (*cough* blue *cough*) just doesn’t accent it well. Similarly, the color on the second jersey is all wrong as well. The dark-red with dark blue designs on the sleeves are just too dull. A blue jersey would be better for the Colombians.

23. Mexico

5 mexico

Like I said in my previous review for Mexican National Team, the zig-zag design makes the first jersey look cartoonish, while the second jersey looks like Charlie Brown’s shirt. Simply put, this design looks bad, and the orange jersey doesn’t do them any favors considering there are better orange jerseys in the competition.

24. Belgium

5 belgium

The 2014 World Cup was Belgium’s chance to reintroduce itself to the world of soccer with a new crop of young, talented players. They did so with their gameplay, but their jerseys looked like they were stuck in the 1990’s (the last time they were at the World Cup). The chest lines on the first jersey are random, the crown is hideous, and the black jersey looks like it’s been through the wash one too many times. If I had more reviews to do I’d probably do this one next, but it’s not the worst of the tournament.

25. Costa Rica

5 costa rica

Like Chile, Costa Rica failed to differentiate itself from the other red, white, and blue countries. Unlike Chile, they didn’t go with a simple design, and it ended up hurting them. The diagonal wave across the chest is an awkward, unwelcomed design, and with that, we’re officially into the worst of the worst.

26. Japan

5 japan

Not much is happening in the first Japanese jersey, the main design are the rays of sunshine coming from the crest which doesn’t make sense considering the flag is above to crest. It would have been a better jersey without that design. As for the second jersey, the lime-green color is, yet again, forced (as it was in the Spain jersey) but this time it is accented by blue shoulder stripes which looks horrendous. Believe it or not, however, it gets worse.

27. Bosnia

 5 bosnia

Bosnia made their first World Cup appearance this year and hopefully, this is the last we see of these jerseys. They’re not that dissimilar to those of the Greeks (who are rated highly) but subtle differences like loose-fitting material, outdated collar and sleeve designs, and the incomplete shoulder stripes make this jersey look like they belong to a high school team with a thin budget. Next.

28. Nigeria

5 nigeria

All of the African countries jumped aboard the Puma train with the exception of Nigeria and they didn’t do themselves any favors by staying off of it. Like Bosnia, these jerseys have a loose-fit. Additionally, the lime-green does not work well the dark green nor the white. Overall, there is nothing to like about these jerseys. They’re a worthy start to the bottom 5.

29. Ecuador

5 ecuador

Marathon’s only submission into the tournament was a complete dud. A boring, awkward design with thick sleeve and shoulder shapes does not help the fact that their faint, downward arrow design was outdone by the Danes. A complete failure, and a true candidate for the worst jersey of the tournament.

30. Cameroon   

5 cameroon

Cameroon certainly came in with the most absurd designs and as I said with the Ghana jerseys, it’s not a design that I am particularly fond of. These designs should easily make them the worst jerseys of the bunch, but the good use of colors and the skin-tight design work in their favor. Cameroon is saved.

31. Iran

5 iran

Second-to-last are the Iranians. Let me just quickly rifle off the problems with these jerseys: the split in the red-chest stripe, the use of the stripe on just one sleeve, the faint tiger design, the different sleeve-end colors, the dull red color, the angled green stripes, the dull green color. The list just doesn’t seem to end. It’s hard to be below this. So what could be worse? I’m glad you asked. The worst jersey of the 2014 World Cup and recipient of the Bryon Blaisdell Remodel is…

32. Honduras

5 honduras             

Joma has done Honduras’ jerseys for years and rarely have they looked different than this. They’re loose-fitting, they lack any design whatsoever, they have generic colors that are used by better teams, and their crest is just a big “H.” These truly are, without question, the worst jerseys of the 2014 World Cup and are in major need of a revamping. Here is what I came up with:

honduras uniform

The first thing that I wanted to do was use a color scheme outside of the generic royal blue and white that so many teams use. The Honduras soccer crest has light blue in it and I thought that would be good to use to complement a dark blue jersey. I implemented it as an outline to the jersey so as to focus on the new color. A simple, yet fresh design that I came up with were the enclosed lines that are on each shoulder. This is just enough to give the jersey an innovative feeling. Additionally, the numbers and Puma logo are white with blue trim because that is how the crest appears. Going off that, the actual crest of the Honduras Football Federation was used because it gives the jersey a more professional look. Puma was chosen as the company to manufacture the jerseys because I pictured these jerseys as being skin-tight, unlike the loose-fitting jerseys they had previously. Another feature that is consistent between both jerseys is the new collar design which provides another fresh aspect.

For the second jersey, I wanted to use a color other than white. I decided that a light grey would provide a simple alternative to the bold blue jersey while still providing a new look. As for the design on this jersey, I went with a continuation of the collar using two light blue lines as an outline of the chest area which is a new but professional design. The lines down the side of the jersey balance it out while the logos and numbers remain consistent with the first jersey. The other feature is the slightly darker grey arrow that goes over the number. This gives the jersey another design feature while not making the jersey appear too cluttered. Overall, these would be sharp, professional, and intriguing jersey designs that I’m sure fans would appreciate.

All in all, this has been a very interesting, revealing, and fun project to do over the course of the semester. Normally, I would finish with a joke, but a reflection seems more appropriate. I will reflect further in my project summary, but I felt as though this would be an important place to conclude the assignment as a whole. I hope you learned a thing or two about jersey design (and hopefully about me, as well) and had some laughs along the way. Feel free to go forth and share my ideas with others, and you may just inspire others to share their ideas as well!

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Marketing 301H Submission 4: Mexican National Team

The date was October 15th, 2013. Mexico had just suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Costa Rica. The soccer world seemed to be flipped on its head. The unthinkable now seemed inevitable. The team that had dominated North American soccer for so many years would fail to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Cue the TRUE best soccer team in North America: the USA. With the Mexicans already defeated, they begged their bitter rivals to get a result against Panama (with whom Mexico were in direct competition for the final World Cup spot), and the Americans came through in the form of Graham Zusi, or “San Zusi” (Saint Zusi) as he is now known in Mexico.

Having already qualified for the World Cup, the USA gained nothing measurable from that goal. It was simply a great team providing assistance to those who clearly needed it. And I have to say, I feel inspired. If the US men’s team can put aside their hatred for the good of sport and help out Mexico, why can’t I?

That’s why I decided that for this entry, I will be analyzing and recreating the jerseys of the Mexican National Soccer Team. As you can see below, the designs they threw together for the 2014 World Cup could certainly use my help:

Now, if you ask me, Mexico is lucky they weren’t wearing this to the World Cup:

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(Get it??? Because they wouldn’t have been there if not for us!!!)

But, I suppose they did earn their spot fair and square and their jerseys should get a review just the same.

First things first, though:

charlie brown

Alright on to the analysis. The first-choice, green jersey is not the worst that Mexico has ever worn, but it is far from the best. The classic green will and should never change and is always accented nicely by the white and red. The problem with this jersey is that it tries to do too much. The zig-zag across the chest looks cartoonish and the vertical lines make the front of the jersey looked cluttered, Additionally, it makes it look like the jersey uses three different shades of green which strays from the classic look that Mexico has utilized for so long. The centralized crest and adidas logo also makes the jersey look cluttered  as it eliminates the open feeling that a traditional layout provides. The white stripes on the sleeves and the slim collar are good touches, however, and the attempt to do something innovative is there, so this jersey gets marked up slightly.

GRADE: C

Aside from the obvious Charlie Brown joke, the orange, second-choice jersey is not horrendous. The faded zig-zag going down the length of the jersey would be cool if it was any other pattern, and the simplicity outside of that is sharp, aside from the fact that the central adidas logo and off-center crest make the jersey look imbalanced. In the end, however, there’s one glaring problem. When you try to get into the orange shirt game, especially on the international stage, you’re just playing for second. Holland owns that area, and no one else can compete.

GRADE: B-

All-in-all these jerseys are not the worst that I’ve reviewed so far, but they could definitely use a revamping. Mexico is a nation with a rich soccer history who has yet to find an image that has landed between the overly simplistic and the outrageously outlandish. That’s what I tried to do; create an image that stayed true to the team’s roots, while bringing in some exciting, new elements.

Mexico Jersey

The first choice jersey has to be green. It always has been and there’s no reason to change that. The key is complementing it correctly with the traditional white and red colors of Mexico. First and foremost, I wanted this jersey to be simple and sleek. The three adidas lines on the shoulders will appear on all adidas jerseys and I think they are a good design here. Couple that with the thin lines that go from the collar to the sleeves and the design is simple enough to be elegant and classic, but not so simple that it’s boring. Making these features white makes them pop against the green background while the red is a good complementary color to use on the extremities (collar, sleeves). Additionally, keeping a white line between all red and green parts of the jerseys makes it so those sections don’t blend together, making the jersey look more sharp. Overall, this is a classic look that offers some new features while not straying from tradition.

The second-choice jersey, like so many international team jerseys, offers a chance for more creativity. Most teams don’t stick with similar designs for their second jerseys from year to year, meaning I was able to create a new jersey completely from scratch. I thought that a design with thin stripes of three alternating colors would have an interesting visual effect. In order to do this I could have gone with any color, but the different shades of grey make the jersey look very bold. Again, white was used to make the number and logo pop, while grey was used in the aspects that appeared in the first jersey. By implementing these features, this jersey has a very unique look while utilizing simple design features. It has a new look without any ridiculous colors or patterns.

Overall, these are two of my favorite jerseys that I have created to date, which pains me because I hate to aid the enemy in any way. So, even though I think my creations for the USA jersey were better, it’s nice to know that I haven’t done anything to change the fact that our team is far superior on the field. Don’t believe me? I’ll just leave this here:

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Marketing 301H Submission 3: Montpellier Hérault Sport Club

Ever in the shadow of the big four soccer leagues, the French Ligue 1 has made recent strides to thrust itself into the upper echelon of European competition by gaining wealthy owners capable of bankrolling their teams. While this has allowed teams to bring in star players, the likes of which rival the best talents in the world, it has done little to change the quality of uniforms that have been ironically spewing from a country that prides itself on style and culture.

No disrespect to the entire French nation, though. After all, they were the king of jerseys at the 2014 World Cup. The club teams of the country, however, have failed to live up to the hype. Such is the case with Montpellier Hérault Sport Club. There’s no denying the quality of a team that won its respective league title as recently as 2012, and Montpellier is no exception. The problem is that the club has failed to establish a successful uniform design in recent years and the newest installment may just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. So, I invite you to feast upon the jungle of mistakes that are the 2014/15 blue and orange, first-choice jersey and the white, second-choice jersey:

The biggest problem with both of these uniforms is that there are too many sponsors. While the empty jersey space may appear to be money lost, the inclusion of extra sponsors makes the jersey look less like a soccer jersey and more like a cluttered and unorganized racing jumpsuit.

racer

One primary sponsor is all that should appear on a jersey. Aside from the sponsors, the color scheme is decent but orange and blue complement each other well when the blue is more of a royal blue instead of navy. The use of the blue in this jersey makes the entire thing look dull and ends up swallowing the vibrant orange. If one color was used to merely accent the other color, it would work. This, however, does not. The pattern of the jersey is similar to that of the USA jersey I critiqued several weeks ago and not much has changed regarding my opinion.The separation of color at the chest is a nice idea but separation of color is not enough. They tried to correct that problem by inserting the white line but it just ends up looking awkward and forced. Overall, there are just too many errors to justify giving it anything more than a:

GRADE: D+

As for the second jersey, the number of sponsors remains a problem, with one more glaring issue; why are two of the sponsors printed in red? There is no, nor has there ever been red in the Montpellier color scheme and, therefore, has no place on the club’s jerseys. Again, I’m not crazy about the pattern, but the colors make this one easier the stomach. Being all white, the line at the chest doesn’t serve to divide the jersey, but serves as a design, itself. As a result, it provides a good focal point in a simple jersey by using the blue and orange double-line.Unfortunately, this is just me stretching to find compliments in a jersey I don’t really like. This was better than the first, but still not good.

GRADE: C+

So, as I set out to recreate these jerseys, I did so with a few things in mind. I wanted to make sure I used the same color scheme, but my main goal was to create more of an identity for the club that has been consistently changing its jerseys in recent years. I believe I did just that:

Montpellier Jersey

The first step was to eliminate most of the sponsors so there was one, central sponsor. There’s a reason for why the majority of clubs make their jerseys this way; it looks better. In addition to getting rid of the other sponsors, I raised the position of the primary sponsor and made it smaller to make it more proportional with the other aspects of the jersey. After changing the sponsor situation I moved on to colors. Color allows you to establish an identity. Most major clubs have simple first-choice jerseys that are recognizable by their color. The funny thing is, not many teams use orange, leading me to use orange as the primary color. As for the design, I decided that a simple design would be necessary (to keep the focus on the orange color) and, as a result, opted for a dark-blue accent. To implement this accent I used the angled line idea that appears in the club’s logo. Instead of covering the jersey with this design, however, I decided to use a curved, thin line going around the entire uniform to contain it, making the jersey appear multidimensional in a way. Additionally, I made the sponsor and Nike swoosh white to make them stand apart from the blue lines. As for the collar, more material was needed above the angled lines as there is excess space below the lines. This helps balance the uniform. All-in-all, this uniform accomplishes the goal of making a classic but fresh, reuseable look.

For the second uniform I wanted to use the other two Montpellier colors (blue and white) as my base. It was at that point that I took another look at the logo and realized that the color scheme of the angled lines used in the first jersey could be used as a design itself. So, I implemented that design and used orange lining around the blue stripes in order to make the jersey look more sharp. I did not include the stripes on the sleeves, however, as such a design would look awkward with the movements of players arms during the game (considering the stripes cannot be made perpendicular to the arm or sleeve opening). Finally, the classic-style collar was used because the stripes, even if angled, are a classic design. When kept entirely white, the collar also balances out the uniform as it creates a source of solid white in the middle instead of just on the sides. Again, this is a new design that could help to establish an identity for the club.

Of course, I understand that in order for changes like this to happen, this team would would have to make some serious adjustments. I’m making a lot of requests, after all. So, if I’m going to commit to the recreation of this team’s identity, then I’ll have to commit 100% to the cause. That’s why I’d suggest an adoption of a new sponsor with the approval of my designs and, with that, the introduction of a new, fashionably appropriate mascot:

tony the tiger

…and “Les Tigres” isn’t a bad nickname either!

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Marketing 301H Submission 2: Liverpool Football Club

Do you ever just look at someone and wonder how they get paid to do what they do? This thought is constantly lingering in the back of my mind as I sift through the seemingly endless soccer jerseys that need critiquing. Now, it may be a bit harsh to look at someone’s work in such a subjective field and rip it to shreds, but sometimes you run into something that’s just so heavily disappointing that it seems to push the boundaries between opinion and what’s right or wrong.

That’s exactly how I felt when I came across the jerseys of Liverpool Football Club, an elite team playing in England. Designed by Warrior (they make soccer uniforms??? Exactly), these jerseys have been bad for many years, now, and have touched every aspect of uniform error. They’ve been boring, they’ve been hideous, they’ve been confusing, and with each new installment they leave the team with less and less of an on-field identity, making me far less likely to wear a shirt if I was given one for FREE, let alone BUY one.

So, at this point, I should probably show you what has me so riled up. But first, I have to give Warrior some credit. The red, first-choice Liverpool jerseys are excellent this season.

Liverpool red jersey

I have to say it would be pretty hard to mess up this jersey. Liverpool always wear a classic, all-red uniform with little design. However, I have seen it done poorly in the past when overcomplicated. The white piping along with the white lettering is very simple, which is good because the focus should be on the red color, which is very vibrant (they are nicknamed the “Reds,” after all). All in all, I like it, which gives me a positive note to introduce a new aspect of my critiques: grades for all jerseys! For this one:

GRADE: A-

So hats off to you, Warrior, you got one of the jerseys right. But now let’s take a look at the second-choice yellow and third-choice black jerseys.

Liverpool yellow jerseyLiverpool black jersey

Three problems with the yellow jersey:

1) It looks like Ronald McDonald’s jumpsuit

2) I’m not entirely sure why, but it looks like a warmup shirt rather than a game jersey. Teams generally wear warmup shirts that are a barely-related, solid color with minimal design, and this one fits the bill. Yellow is only ever used as a complementary color in Liverpool shirts, making this adaptation feel unwelcome.

3) It’s booooooooring. Yellow, when complemented by a very dark color, can be eye-catching. But with the red it just looks dull. Also, there’s hardly any design! Not much on the front, nothing on the sleeves. Just a big, thick, awkward, wavy red line going across the top.

GRADE: D

You already have a simple jersey, guys! Make something different!

Well, they tried to do just that with the black, third-choice jersey, and, to be honest, this one isn’t THAT bad. It’s just the sash. I could really do without it. It doesn’t mean or signify anything and the placement is just very awkward. Without it, the jersey wouldn’t be half bad. But, it’s there, and it’s ugly. I have to deduct points.

GRADE: C

Now would usually be the time for my big reveal. I feel the need, however, to go back to last season’s jerseys just so you can get an idea of how truly incompetent these designers are. I present to you the white, second-choice and multicolored, third-choice jerseys for the 2013/2014 Liverpool season.

Liverpool white jerseyLiverpool purple jersey

I have to laugh because the bottom of that white jersey looks like an upside-down version of the arcade game Galaga…

liverpool galaga

…and that’s enough to make it one of the most hideous and hilarious jerseys ever seen on a soccer field. Put this next to that train wreck of bizarre colors and random shapes that they tried to pass off as a third-choice jersey and you’ve got yourself one of the worst jersey combinations in history. I’ve seen worse, however, so I’ll have to be generous.

COMBINED GRADE: D-

Now it’s officially time to reveal what I believe to be much better alternatives to the jerseys of the past couple of years. I won’t be grading my own designs because, well, that would be a little weird. So, I’ll just let you be the judge…Liverpool jersey

The decision to go with white on the first jersey was simply because I felt as though opposing the first, red jersey with a white jersey with red accents would be a good idea. So I went with the white jersey and decided that spread-out, thin, red stripes would be a good touch. But, I didn’t want to make the jersey entirely striped and decided to go with solid white arms with very close, thin red stripes towards the ends of the sleeves. The close stripes are an aesthetically pleasing feature that few teams have capitalized on. To me, it looks interesting and fresh on a jersey that has an otherwise classic look. Another new feature. is the off-center collar which has a black and red lining. Again, that is a stylistic choice that I think helps balance the new with the old.

As for the second jersey, I wanted to pick a color that I have never seen Liverpool wear before. A vibrant, exotic color that would excite people but still have some relevance to the club. That was when I noticed the light greenish-teal color in the team’s badge. It’s perfect. It jumps out at you and is definitely different, but it’s not random considering it’s been on the club’s logo for years. The thick, white line serves as a platform to keep the same logo without having to change any of the colors against the green back-drop. Additionally, the red lettering complements the jersey color and I think the way the sponsor name intersects the white line actually looks kind of cool. To finish it off, I felt as though this would be an appropriate place for a collar. The uniform needed just one more thing so it wouldn’t be lacking in design and Liverpool is looked at as a classic club with rich history, giving the collar a “classy” vibe.

All-in-all it’s a tricky business, designing and critiquing soccer jerseys. So, maybe Warrior could use a little help every now and then. I’d be happy to offer up my ideas. And hey, even if Liverpool don’t take to my ideas, maybe their owner, John Henry, could send them over to the Sox for a look.Red Sox jersey

…although I don’t think the Yankees would be too happy about the pinstripes!

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Marketing 301H Submission 1: United States Men’s National Team

For my Marketing 301 Honors project I will be critiquing the uniforms of soccer teams. I enjoy looking at colors schemes and designs and deciding what works and what does not work as well as developing my own ideas for what might work better. This can be done for any sport at any level of competition, but, at least for now, I will be examining the uniforms of professional teams. It is important to remember that these are just my personal opinions. Some people would disagree with my stylistic choices and that’s fine. My goal is simply to provide analysis and express my own ideas. Having said that, let’s get this show on the road.

The team whose jerseys I have chosen to critique for my first submission is the United States Men’s National Team. Why this team? Two reasons: 1) of all the teams in all the sports that I love so much, this one is my favorite, and 2) their jerseys for the 2014 World Cup were disappointing at best. I won’t go as far as to say they were ugly, I just feel as though they are riddled with glaring problems and missed opportunities.

Here you can see the white, first-choice jersey, and the multi-colored, second choice jersey.

usmnt home jerseyusmnt away jersey

Let’s first take a look at the white jersey because I’m not even sure who should be wearing it: a professional soccer player or Bubba Watson walking up to the 18th hole at The Masters. The design is incredibly boring. While one can see that Nike was going for a sleek and classy look with the thin, horizontal lines, it comes off as lazy and resembles hardly more than a white t-shirt. Ironically, the only thing keeping that thought at bay is the collar which makes the jersey look more like a cheap polo shirt that any average golfer would wear out on the course, and less like like a soccer uniform.

Now onto the second-choice kit. While not terrible, it just opens the door for jokes.

My personal favorite:

usmnt bomb pop

But then again, who doesn’t love a good bomb pop?

In all seriousness, though, my biggest problem with this jersey is that it looks like we’re wearing the flag of another country. Why would we want to rep the Netherlands or France on a stage of international competition? I looked it up and this exact color scheme actually appears on the flag of a German state called Schleswig-Holstein, which might even be worse now that I think about it, but I digress. The bottom line is that I don’t want to be thinking about another country when I’m trying to watch my team play, which is why I felt the need to revamp these uniforms to give them a more American touch.

*Drumroll*…

Marketing USA Uniform

There was one driving motivation behind the design for the striped jersey. The United States has such a distinct, recognizable flag and it’s time we used that as a basis for the design of our international soccer jerseys. They’ve experimented with red and white stripes before but the design has never stuck, probably because of the manufacturer’s desire to produce different products that will force people to buy the latest model. I believe, however, that essentially wearing the flag is an excellent image and could be maintained with a few modifications. The sash, for example, is reminiscent of one of the USA’s first ever soccer jerseys, another feature that many fans like. In addition, the outlining of the stripes gives the jersey the sharp look that was originally sought after with the white jersey, and the blue in the collar and markings complements the red and white well and really pulls together the image of the flag.

Now, if you’re going to have a red and white striped jersey then it’s only logical to make the other jersey blue. The dark, grayish blue serves to differentiate us from the myriad of blue-jerseyed teams in the world and while the simplicity of the jersey may seem boring, it’s that color that really makes it pop. Additionally, there are some interesting features to note. Like the striped jersey, this one sports the sash, but in a more refined way by changing the shade of blue and outlining it in white. Also, this jersey has a raised collar which, in my opinion, makes a  monochromatic jersey look better. It is important to note that there is no red in this jersey because it would create a focal point instead of complementing the jersey. By keeping it all blue, it creates the sleek look that the manufacturers tried to obtain with the white jersey.

Unfortunately, my opinion carries no weight and, as a result, there are plenty of people who would have to be persuaded to accept the uniforms I’ve proposed. To those people I would say that when evaluating a jersey, much like evaluating a player, you can’t ignore the intangibles, and you have to admit, when wearing our stripes, we’d be a nightmare to have to find in a crowd…

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