Manchester City Kit: Brand Awareness vs Club Tradition

Updated: July 4, 2016

As the new Premier League season draws ever closer, let’s take a look at Manchester City, a club that looks to be entering a new era.


Manchester City. Younger football fans may be forgiven for thinking that ‘City’ were always one of the biggest teams in the top flight. Let me tell you, that was not always the case! In 2008 City got a huge cash injection when they were bought by a certain Sheikh Mansour, an oil baron from the United Arab Emirates. This granted the lesser Manchester team (compared to a certain team in red, white and black) near unlimited money, which properly allowed them to regularly compete for the title of the Premier League.


But I digress, I should really get to the point of this article. ‘Brand Awareness’ is part and parcel of modern football. Selling shirts in Asia and America is almost more important to a lot of big clubs than selling them over here. But to that end, I feel like the traditional aspect of some clubs is lost. The reason why I decided to focus on Manchester City is because right now they are stuck trying to be both. Modern and traditional, or sell-out and old fashioned if you’re a little more cynical.


Take their new crest for example;


Spot the odd one out


It quite clearly and evidently harks back to crests of old, whilst still looking modern. The previous crest was a good looking crest in my opinion, but most people would be hard pressed to tell you what the eagle was there for, and even the most die-hard City fans couldn’t tell you what the stars meant. It was a crest for a team finding its feet in the modern world of football. A ‘cool’ crest if you will.


That brings me onto their new kit for this season. If you consider the crest the traditional bit, then the kit is the brand awareness bit.




That right there, is more or less Manchester City’s home kit for this season. They, like other clubs, have a massive deal with a kit manufacturer. In this case that’s Nike. Now Nike like a good template, as do Adidas, but Nike do not have a noticeable trademark. Adidas have the three stripes, whereas Nike has no equivalent. So they have to make something different to the competition somehow right? But how?


Throwing tradition right out of the window is how. What you see above is Nike’s ‘Vapor’ template. Note it’s spelled without a ‘u’, aka incorrectly.


If you have been watching the European Championship in France this past month, you will have seen this design on a few teams. England, France and Portugal all wear variations of this ‘Vapor’ design. It is, quite frankly horrendous and offensive to anyone that likes tradition. But it is quite awesome to those who like modern or even futuristic looking kits. I for one am torn.


The design itself is rather cool. I like the fact that Nike have mixed things up a bit. The colours and design are certainly unique in the Premier League this season. But the thing that bothers me is the template factor. Yes this kit will be unique in the league, but that’s only because no one else uses Nike.


This kit, whilst it looks nice, is an insult to City and and insult to traditional kits everywhere. It’s a sad state of affairs when a team as big as, and with such a storied history as Manchester City should have to wear a boring off the shelf templated kit. It’s especially sad when on the face of things, we’ve got quite a few interesting a good looking designs in the Premier League this season. Even though it is a template, Nike still could have done something a bit different. Nike seems to be far too interested in making clubs wear their designs, when in reality it should be the other way round. A top flight team should have a bespoke kit, and this just isn’t that.


Even chronic Adidas template users Chelsea have little lions printed onto the fabric. Just something to set it apart from the others.


Over all I give this kit a 6/10. Nike, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.



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