With less than three months left until the start of the 2022 World Cup, fans are eagerly waiting to see what kind of jersey their favourite team will be playing in.
These jerseys are particularly lucrative for sportswear manufacturers, with Adidas, Nike and Puma raking in money every time new kits are launched. Not just manufacturers, but clubs and countries too make a fortune from shirt sales.
Needless to say, there is a lot at stake when it comes to designing jerseys, not just economically but emotionally as well, and it is imperative to put thought, effort, and character into jerseys.
After all, the eleven players on the pitch during a World Cup game will be representing a country and the clothes they wear need to reflect the culture and the passion of their fans.
On Monday, Puma released away kits for 13 countries: Senegal, Morocco, Serbia, Switzerland, Ghana, Uruguay, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Iceland, Egypt, Ivory Coast and Paraguay. Six of these will be playing in the World Cup come November.
All kits have a similar central skeleton structure, the Puma logo and national team crest, followed by a shape of some sort.
Adding to this, some kits have flags while some have team nicknames, like “Lions” for Ghana.
A press release for the sportswear giant said, “The bold new design language reinterprets national motifs from football, culture, and nature, bringing them together in ways that turn each jersey into a statement piece for the nation and the national team.”
Unfortunately for Puma, the fans did not see it that way. The kits have received widespread criticism for a lack of creativity and thought –
Contrast these with the jerseys released by Adidas and you can see why people are hating on these Puma kits.
Puma kits have been branded as dull, unimaginative, templatized and something that can be made of MS PowerPoint.
And this is not the first time Puma has delivered such unimaginative “bold” kits. Last season, the company came up with a third-kit concept that divided fans.
And just like this time, the reception was negative. One would think the company would pay heed to the fans and not go for a copycat approach again, but hey, what do we know about design?
Nike is yet to release their kits for the year. Thanks to Puma, the bar is set so low that they don’t have to work very hard to avoid the “worst kit” prize. That accolade, unfortunately, belongs to every Puma kit released on Monday.