This year's host of football’s greatest tournament, the Brasil national team, pays tribute to the previous host by giving fans in South Africa a special look at its 2014 kit.
On March 5, Brasil will play the first half of a friendly in Johannesburg vs. South Africa wearing its new home kit. In the second half, the Seleção is surprising the crowd with the first on-pitch appearance of the new Brasil away kit, completing the national team 2014 wardrobe composed of home, away and third kits.
Designers drew inspiration for the away kit from the energy and movement Brasilian people bring to sport, dance and life.
The traditional away blue jersey features tonal stripes that celebrate the country’s national pride through a series of tiny geometric circles and diamonds taken from the Brasilian flag. Blue gradients of the stripes add to the jersey’s dynamic style.
The blue background also reflects the beauty of the ocean on Brasil’s coastline and the nation’s renowned surf culture. The jersey boasts an enlarged Brasilian crest, imbued with a gold metallic weave to produce a bright, shimmering effect.
Behind this crest, on the inside of the jersey, a circular design features the diamond from the Brasilian flag, which is surrounded by the phrase, "Nascido para jogar futebol," Brasilian Portuguese for "Born to Play Football."
Nike worked with acclaimed Brasilian designer Bruno Big to create the pennant tab inside the back of the neck that shows the Southern Cross, the constellation of stars on the nation’s flag. These stars shined over Rio de Janeiro when the Brasilian republic was proclaimed in 1889.
The names and numbers on the back of the jerseys and on the front of the shorts have a unique font inspired by the hand-printed posters seen on streets across Brasil.
Simple and iconic, the white away shorts have a slimmer fit that is more tailored to the body. This is based on fit research, producing a cut specifically designed to aid movement and comfort. The center back of the shorts features Nike’s signature laser vents to promote cooling and moisture management.
Blue away socks complete the classic Brasilian look.
ULTIMATE IN COOLING AND COMFORT
The kit aids performance by regulating player body temperature over the course of match. By using a combination of Nike Dri-FIT Technology, “burnout” mesh and laser-cut ventilation holes, designers are able to localize cooling where players need it most.
Nike Dri-FIT technology pulls moisture away from the skin to the outside of the garment where it evaporates more quickly. Laser-cut ventilation holes and engineered mesh in key areas where heat is generated allow for increased breathability and airflow across the skin.
“By managing sweat and keeping the body cooler longer, players feel more comfortable, sweat less, and perform better,” said Martin Lotti, Global Creative Director for Nike Football.
In addition to keeping players cool, the kit is made with a new dual-knit fabrication that incorporates cotton and recycled polyester for the best in moisture wicking properties, while adding a softer feel and more flattering shape.
In line with Nike’s commitment to superior performance with lower environmental impact, the shirt, short — and for the first time in a national team kit, the socks — all feature fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. (100 percent recycled polyester in the shorts, 96 percent recycled polyester in the shirt and 78 percent in the socks). Each kit is made using an average of 18 recycled plastic bottles. Since 2010, Nike has diverted almost two billion bottles from landfills, enough to cover more than 2,800 full-sized football pitches.
“Incorporating environmental sustainability is a key part of the design and development process for us,” said Lotti. “Our aim is to create a kit that performs for players and is good to the planet.”
Designers utilized three dimensional body scans of the entire Brasilian National Team to collect data on the form of today’s players and identify an updated fit, improving comfort and allowing the body to move more naturally within the kit.
While looking at every element of the modern football kit, Nike designers even paid special attention to the kits’ socks. Combining athlete insight and research with new materials and fabrications, the Nike Elite Match Fit sock for 2014 features a sleeker fit specific to football. Strategically cushioned zones provide comfort and protection at the big toe and anklebones where the majority of impact occurs, while arch support locks down the foot to prevent slipping. Material was also eliminated to enhance touch and decrease bulk, and flex grooves were added to the ankle and the top of the foot to prevent any bunching.
NIKE PRO BASELAYER
The new Nike Pro baselayer is the lightest ever from Nike and features increased venting and breathability.
Players have a variety of Nike Pro baselayer styles for players to choose from. These are designed for the varying temperatures and conditions athletes will encounter in Brasil, which are expected to vary from high heat during mid-day matches, to much colder temperatures in the southern match locations during evening games.
Nike has redesigned its baselayer short for 2014 taking insights directly from some of the best players in the world.
“When we asked players to talk about the kind of protection they need during a match, they showed us scars and abrasions on their upper-back hip area from sliding,” recalled Lotti. “Several players showed us these same injuries so we set-out to add more protection, while balancing the need for lightweight and breathability.”
The result is the Nike Pro Combat Ultralight Slider Short. Featuring increased and adjusted protection to match the athlete’s sliding pattern, the short is also 20 percent lighter than previous versions and made with 87 percent recycled polyester. Weight was eliminated through the addition of mesh for increased breathability and cooling where the athlete generates heat.
The Brasil away kit will be available for pre-sale on nike.com from March 19 and available in Nike stores from April 3.