Onward with the football frenzy, Nike has been powering up for 2010 FIFA World Cup fever with a series of back to back releases. First, the ultra-light Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II which promises maximum acceleration and speed in all directions with a special adaptive traction system was released through the WRITE HISTORY summit with Real Madrid’s Portuguese gem, Cristiano Ronaldo. Then, Nike Sportswear remixes the Brazil Team Kit with daring colors, switching out the iconic blue and green for a tough black. Just yesterday, the sportswear giant has unveiled the new national team kits at a global media event at Battersea Power Station in London.
Nike’s national teams including Brazil, Portugal, USA, South Korean, Australia, Serbia, New Zealand, Slovenia and The Netherlands will be going living and playing green this year as the team kit’s jerseys are made entirely from recycled polyester. Each jersey is produced from up to eight recycled plastic bottles sourced from Japanese and Taiwanese landfill sites. The bottles are melted down to produce new yarn for the jerseys.
While the idea may sound like a compromise in technical performance, with Nike, that’s an obsolete concern. For summer finals, the kits were designed with the improved Nike Dri-Fit fabric to keep players drier, cooler and more comfortable to keep their performance at an optimum. The new Dri-Fit is 15% lighter than previous fabric and draws sweat outside the garment where it evaporates. Also, ventilation zones created from 200 tiny laser cuts backed by Nike’s halo application on the side increases airflow to the player’s torso. The ventilation zones are also found on the matching kit shorts.
Other key items include a new double knit structure on jerseys, which keep the tops sleek while giving it 10% more stretch than the previous jerseys. Nike Pro Combat is also incorporated into the team kits’ items such as the Slider and Impact shorts to protect players against impact and abrasion.
An interesting tidbit about the eco-minded jerseys– Nike prevented nearly 13 million plastic bottles (254,000 kg of polyester waste) from going to landfill. This amount is enough to cover more than 29 football pitches, and if jerseys made from this were laid from end to end, it would be enough to cover the entire coastline of South Africa.
Of course, all jerseys were designed with the country’s national and cultural identity in mind with corresponding colors and motifs to showcase each nation’s unique heritage.
Sure the player loyalties lies each to his own, but all Nike players work for the bigger picture of sustainability and the environment this year, while putting their game face on for the world.