Worst Sponsor-Free Kits Ever? Nike J League Shirts Look Awful Without Logos

Nike are selling sponsorless versions of J League sides Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Uruawa Red Diamonds' kits, but the extremely low Swoosh and badge placement makes for a very jarring look.

Worst Sponsorless Kits Ever? J League Shirts Stand Out for the Wrong Reasons

Most football shirt fans and collectors would argue that kits look better without a logo (or logos) splashed all over them, while others say that sponsors can provide balance to a jersey and compliment the design. The latter group will therefore feel somewhat vindicated by the latest sponsor-free shirts on sale from Nike's Japanese website.

Among the regular J League kits there are sponsorless versions of Urawa Red Diamonds and Sanfrecce Hiroshima's home shirts. At the time of their release, the unusually low placement of the Swoosh and badge caught our eye, but on the sponsor-free version it's even more apparent.

The reason for applying the crest and Nike logo so low was to accomodate the sponsor logos which are placed towards the shoulders of each team's match kits. Applying logos on top of the curved seam that runs along the top of the chest of Nike's ADV Dri-Fit template would not work very well for aesthetic and functional reasons, so Nike shifted everything downwards by a few centimetres.

When the sponsor logos are removed - or rather not applied in the first place - the low placement of the Swoosh and the club crest no longer serves a purpose, and results in a decidedly bizarre look. Their positioning is somewhat balanced out on the sponsored version of the shirts, but in the absence of those logos, the balance is thrown way off by the excess blank space on the top half of the shirt. Proof that no sponsor doesn't always look better?

What do you think of this unusual look? Comment below.