The "Definitive" Ranking of Nike Elite Teams
Nike's 23-24 Third Kits have been released, shedding light on how the company views their top teams.
There is not a official ranking, but the positions are pretty clear
First and foremost, it is important to note that there is no official ranking of Nike's Elite Teams. However, there are many hints that allow the creation of a ranking of Nike's best teams.
Nike Ranking of European Elite Football Teams
In total, Nike have 10 top Men's Elite teams. Seven of them are from Europe, while three of them are based in Middle/South America (Corinthians, Club America, Pumas). All these teams probably have direct contact with Nike's HQ.
Nike do Not Sell Vaporknit Versions for Inter Milan, Galatasaray (Likely) & Atletico Madrid
Tottenham did not get a custom pre-match, but their third is available as authentic version
The Vaporknit Match versions of the third kits are only available for five teams: Barcelona, PSG, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham. Those of Atlético Madrid and Inter Milan are only available as stadium versions.
Meanwhile, Tottenham also seem to be below Nike's absolute top teams - Spurs did not receive a custom pre-match shirt this season but has to share their design with Inter and Leipzig.
Barcelona, Liverpool, and PSG are even higher up the hierarchy
Three teams, Barcelona, Liverpool, and PSG, are even higher up the hierarchy, enjoying special crests (FC Barcelona), fourth kits (Barcelona and PSG), collabs with Jordan (PSG)/LeBron (Liverpool) and unique knitted kits (FC Barcelona).
Meanwhile, teams like Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray are below Tottenham. The players still get the authentic Nike Vaporknit jerseys, but their fans can not buy them (Galatasaray even use last season's knit technology, oddly).
it is not possible to buy the kits of Nike's American top teams in Europe this season
Nike's Elite teams outside Europe have the privilege to get the brand's best technology for their kits - Nike sell the Vaporknit jerseys for Corinthians, Pumas, and Club America. However, these teams are not as important globally. This season, in contrast to last season, it is not possible to buy the kits of Corinthians, Pumas, and Club America in Europe.
Both Galatasaray and Leipzig do not get one of Nike's streamlined 23-24 third kits - they are below the global teams Corinthians, Pumas, and Club America.
All in all, the Nike hierarchy is based on sales and revenue and is certainly defined in each team's contract. Barcelona seem to have the best deal of all teams, with the club receiving next season's templates already six months in advance - our number 1.
Nike Elite Teams Europe - Ranking
- FC Barcelona
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Inter Milan
- Atlético Madrid
- Leipzig (half-Elite team since 21-22)
- Galatasaray (were downgraded several times, new contract may give a better status)
Do you think Nike will further diversify how they treat their best teams? Let us know in the comments below.