From One-of-Kind to Totally Generic - The Pyramid Of Football Kit Designs

In a perfect kit world, every club would receive a bespoke jerseys from its supplier that are well received by all supporters. However, the second thing is actually impossible, and it would be possible but not actually actionable to have only unique kits. We take a look at the different levels of football kit designs that therefore exist.

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The History Of Football Kit Templates

    Different design levels were introduced by the dedicated sport brands like Admiral, Adidas and Puma decades ago. How did it happen? Let us start with a brief history.

    In the 1950s and 1960s, they started to create bespoke kits for their most important teams, while they at the same time offered a range of basic sport uniforms for amateur teams - two levels of football kit designs.

    Brands started to release teamwear kits with the design of the brand's best team's jerseyIn the 1970s / 1980s, marketing became more and more important and brands came up with the clever idea of releasing teamwear kits with the graphics of the best team's jersey. A third level of design was born.

    There are today not only three types of football kit designs (bespoke, teamwear based on actual kits & basic) but a range of different design levels, with some just introduced in recent years.

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    Sports brands have at least two levels of football kit designsEvery serious sports brand has at least two levels of football kit designs - bespoke and teamwear. Most middle-sized brands have a third level like custom colors or graphics, while only the world's biggest brands have all the different levels featured below.

    The Different Levels Of Football Kit Designs

    For us, there are currently three main levels (custom, partly custom, teamwear templates) and seven sub-levels of football kit designs. Completely Bespoke As Part Of Brand's Global Campaign, Bespoke, Custom With Designs Borrowed From Old Kits / Other Clubs, Customization Service, Teamwear With Custom Colors, Teamwear With Custom Elements & Teamwear.

    Completely Bespoke As Part Of Brand's Global Campaign

    Those are the kits that only the Elite clubs of each top brand get - the biggest teams of Adidas, Nike and Puma receive streamlined but custom looks that follow a global design guideline, often created as part of a special project (10 Nike teams, 5 Adidas team, 3? Puma teams).

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    Examples for these kits are the global Nike third kits, the Adidas Humanrace jerseys as well as the Puma BALR kits.

    Completely Bespoke

    Every brand designs completely bespoke jerseys for their best teams. The designs, colors and possible graphics have been uniquely created for the team - they are one-of-a-kind (even though not all elements like collars are unique, but that is another story and only quite logical).

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    Generally, it can be said that the big brands create completely custom kits only for the teams on the "two top levels of their pyramid". Smaller brands create custom kits also for smaller teams, but that is often just because they are their biggest.

    Custom With Designs Borrowed From Old Kits / Other Clubs

    In recent years, Adidas ans Nike started to use the same design for different clubs. In Adidas' case, those designs are borrowed from the old kits of their biggest clubs, while Nike started to give non-related teams the same graphics if they think the design fits both clubs.

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    Customization Service - Nike Team & miadidas

    Another thing that is only possible since a few years is that teams create their kits via brand's customization services (in example Adidas [miadidas] and Nike [Nike Team]). The brands also use it as marketing for those services - This is actually open for all teams, including amateur clubs.

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    Teamwear With Custom Colors

    Standard template teamwear kits with custom colors and without other remarkable custom elements from the brand. Sevilla might be the biggest team on the planet that gets such kits.

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    Teamwear With Custom Elements

    Teams who do not get custom jerseys from their supplier often try to refresh / better the teamwear kits. They add custom elements, graphics and other elements that hide they are wearing teamwear.

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    Teamwear (Template Without any Customization)

    Teamwear is as standard as standard can be. The kits are just taken from the catalog, and finished with sponsors and the club logo.

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    Which Teams Get Which Jerseys?

    That depends on the importance of a team for the brand and a few other things. In general, it can be said that the more important a club is for a brand the more likely the team will get a more customized jersey.

    Have we forgotten a level? Which treatment does your favorite team gets? Comment below.