Yesterday, the Portland Thorns FC unveiled their inaugural team kits and club presenting sponsor, Providence Health and Services, with a video featuring star forwards Christine Sinclair and Alex Morgan.
The video was great. The sponsor is awesome. The jerseys were a flop.
With Nike as the league’s partner, I was expecting something more exciting than a plain red jersey with a white stripe. I mean, Nike is behind the countless number of Oregon Duck football uniforms. And that is for one season! You would think that some people over at Nike could put their heads together and come up with a more compelling jersey design.
I get that the league has been thrown together haphazardly from its start in November, but that is no excuse for a corporation as large as Nike, who prides itself on innovation and aesthetic athletic wear, to flop on these women’s jerseys. If nothing else, I’m sure a team of eager interns could have taken the project on.
They did have 5 months. And in Nike time, that’s like a year.
So what happened? Did the women’s league get put on the back burner? Did Nike feel that the teams weren’t a top priority?
Maybe I’m being too harsh on Nike. Perhaps it was the league itself that wanted boring jerseys, or couldn’t afford snazzier designs. But why would a brand new league want a lack-luster jersey? Currently available to pre-order at $70 for an adult, who’s going to buy something that isn’t that cool? This league needs money, and gear sales are a big deal, especially for a league in its third attempt.
Luckily, it’s not the jerseys that will make or break this team. The players wearing them are top notch, and will perform well regardless of their attire. It would just be nice to see them wearing something that reflected how great they are.