Guest Post – Team GB Model The New Olympic 2012 Kit

Guest Post – Team GB Model The New Olympic 2012 Kit

Here is another Olympic uniform guest post by Christina Appleworth, focusing this time on the Great Britain uniforms. Check back for a write-up of many of the countries’ uniforms here by the end of the week.

If you are interested in writing a guest post about whatever sports design topic is on your mind, send me an email at steven@thesportsdesignblog.com.

The Stella McCartney designed Team GB Olympic kit made its debut in March at the Tower of London, and has received some mixed responses. The kit is indigo blue, with a union flag incorporating a blue and white colour scheme, and has red shoes. The kit is a joint project between fashion designer McCartney and Adidas, with the designer also working a range of opening and closing ceremony outfits, and a more relaxed ‘Village Wear’ collection. In total, the McCartney and Adidas uniform range will include 590 individual pieces.

The uniform is designed to combine functionality with style, and will be proved to the 500 Olympic and 350 Paralympic athletes who will be competing at the Games from July 27th. 38 different types of footwear are also set to be included with the tri colour kit. The design features cutting edge fabrics that provide heat ventilation, and reduce the amount of moisture built up by athletes through a cooling system. An X shaped support suit is also woven into the mid section of some of the suits, with the aim of making gymnasts and other athletes more flexible, and less likely to suffer injuries. The shoes for the uniform are 25% lighter than the ones used in Beijing, and should enhance Team GB’s performance across the board.

McCartney’s design has received praise from athletes, with Jessica Ennis and Ellie Simmonds helping to model the uniform at the March launch. However, there has been some backlash in the press over the reduction of the colour red in the uniform, and particularly for the Union Jack. McCartney’s decision to focus on updating the Union Jack for an indigo blue design has been criticised for not making enough of the Union Jack. However, it was unlikely that everyone was going to be happy with the kit, with these debates being the sort that are forgotten as soon as athletes start winning medals.

Specific designs are also being produced for the Team GB football shirt, which like the main kit is predominantly blue, and will have an all white away kit. The Team GB football side, a controversial idea since its creation, will likely become a collectors’ item if the same side isn’t put together for the next Olympics. Most of the kits will be placed on sale by Adidas in the UK, and are being manufactured in Turkey, Portugal, the Far East and the UK. Six sports will primarily be covered by the retail launch, and include basketball, football, athletics, swimming, cycling and tennis.

There have been some controversies, however, beyond the colour of the kit. The Olympic Organising Committee don’t actually stand to make much money of retail sales, as they exchanged these for a £30 million marketing rights contract. The only items that they will be officially allowed to merchandise will be an Olympic scarf. Moreover, athletes that have sponsorship deals with other brands than Adidas will have to cover up, or even remove their branded items for medal ceremonies. This may mean that Mark Cavendish, who has an exclusive deal with Nike, will have to go barefoot at a medal ceremony. Other major uniform sponsors at the Games include Nike, Antra in China, and a number of individual sponsors.

Author Bio

Christina Appleworth is a freelance copywriter currently writing on behalf of Matrix Uniforms, a UK based manufacturer and supplier of professional uniform.