On 25 February 2010, Nike launched its new football kits for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Nike put together a brilliant concept: SUSTAINABILITY.
Nike’s national team kits are the most environmentally-friendly and technologically-advanced in football’s history. BOOM there you go. Nike is setting another benchmark in football by emphasisng on sustainability, a word well known worldwide.
But let’s have a look at the kits. The design is clean, simple and obviously, the technological aspect is also a key factor. Moisture management is taken care of to offer players the most comfortable kit to match the weather conditions in South Africa. The jerseys are also 15% lighter to allow Pato and Cristiano Ronaldo to go faster…..Simple, but great looking kits. But the emphasis is somewhere else. Delivering a powerful message: Environmentally friendly and sustainable football products.
In a previous article, I pointed out that adidas, Nike and Puma will be the 3 most powerful players and will have the strongest exposure in South Africa. What did I say again about Nike?: “The answer from Nike will for sure be there [...] the message will be big, powerful, inspirational and we can expect a kick ass marketing campaign from the Swoosh.”
So the message is out there. It’s big, powerful inspirational, and on top of that, the marketing platform is immense. Tackling the sustainability aspect in football is now owned by Nike as Charlie Denson (President Nike Brand) stressed that “We are equipping athletes with newly designed uniforms that not only look great and deliver performance benefits, but are also made with recycled materials, creating less impact on our environment.”
To make the 2010 national team kits, Nike’s fabric suppliers sourced discarded plastic bottles from Japanese and Taiwanese landfill sites and then melted them down to produce new yarn that was ultimately converted to fabric for the jerseys. This process saves raw materials and reduces energy consumption by up to 30 percent compared to manufacturing virgin polyester. By using recycled polyester for its new range of national jerseys, Nike prevented nearly 13 million plastic bottles, totaling nearly 254,000 kg of polyester waste, from going into landfill sites. This amount would be enough to cover more than 29 football pitches. If the recycled bottles used to make the jerseys were laid end-to-end they would cover more than 3,000 kilometres, which is more than the entire coastline of South Africa.
So what is the bottom line here? Nike is setting a benchmark in the industry by taking ownership of sustainability in football. Their football kits are “green” and the buzz will be high. Well, they just did it….again.
What do you think? What is your take on this?