Nike Recycles European Football Shirts For Their 3 Japanese Outlets

Update: Since Nike has launched all 3 home jerseys for their Japanese football teams it is now certain what everybody was already able to observe. Previously, our leaks indicated that this was bound to happen again. Nike's 3rd Japanese team, Kashima Antlers, received a mainly red home jersey with blue accents and white sponsor logos that features a subtle 'X' on the front.

Kashima Antlers 2021 Home & Away Kits Revealed

Although it might not seem familiar at first glance because of the subtle application this graphic was recycled and previously used for Wolfsburg's 2020-21 home jersey. Wolfsburg is experimenting with a striking 'X' on the front of their home shirts since a few years, while this is a first for Kashima Antlers.

The Japanese club claims that "the novel front graphic expresses the moment when the deer horns and swords meet with an "X", and the dots arranged so that the "X" stands out create a sense of dynamism.

Original European Looks vs Recycled J League Jerseys

Having recently launched their new 2021 home kit, which we first showed you all the way back in March, Urawa Red Diamonds have stated that the patterend design draws inspiration from the roof of the Saitama Stadium.

Urawa Red Diamonds 2021 Home Kit Revealed & Away Shirt Leaked

Curiously, the exact same style of pattern also appeared on the Spartak Moscow 20-21 home kit, which was released back in August. The Russian club stated in the press release that the design was based on the shape of the Spartak crest, while the diamond shape also reflected the "brilliant history" of the club.

While all of this of course makes sense and a certain similarity exists between the "inspiration" and design, it would be better if Nike actually designed bespoke graphics for these teams - they have millions of supporters combined, after all.

In the case of Spartak, the club use a similar but bespoke pattern as the background for their website - surely Nike could have created something along those lines for the kit.

It's not the first time that Nike has "recycled" templates or graphics for its "second-tier" clubs. Something similar has happened with Eintracht Frankfurt and Sanfrecce Hiroshima, whose home kits also share the same graphic.

Nike Will "Just" Have 9 Elite Teams In 2021-22 Season

Frankfurt stated that the design was inspired by the historic Römer (city hall), where the club traditionally celeberate title wins with the supporters.

As for Sanfrecce...

"The 2021 season uniform is inspired by the triangle associated with Hiroshima and expresses Sanfrecce Hiroshima's powerful football style with the concept of a dynamic triangle. In addition, the dynamic feeling and speed of the three arrows, which is the identity of the club, are designed with digital graphics and purple gradation."

Let's just say that the inspiration appears to derive mostly from the Frankfurt city hall.

In any case, while none of these kits look bad, we would love to see Nike take a more unique approach for its "smaller" teams - similar to what Macron or Umbro are doing for example. It would certainly lend further credibility to the brand's claims about creating more unique designs and relying less on templates.

No More Templates? What Nike's Big Announcement For Kits Really Means

What are your thoughts on this situation? Comment below!