Monday, July 23, 2007

The Soccer Jersey - A Matter Of Identity

Nothing identifies the game as much as the soccer jerseys. The jersey is probably the most important part of the uniform. It doesn’t matter if it's a club or national team; the soccer jersey is typical and unique of the game. One can tell if a person is using a soccer jersey from miles away, and it is used not only by soccer fans but also because a lot of the jerseys have nice designs and lines to them, which allows people to wear them in practically any occasion.

The soccer jersey has suffered a lot of changes over the years. In the beginning, the jerseys were made mostly out of cotton and were relatively thick in comparison to the modern ones. This was a disadvantage because when the players used to sweat the shirt would get heavier and stick to the body.

Old day soccer jerseys were quite simple as far as design goes, usually white or dark and had polo like collars to them with laces or buttons. Some people don’t know this, but the famous Brazilian yellow shirt we see today wasn’t always yellow. In fact, it was white with blue collars. This uniform was used until the famous defeat to Uruguay in 1950.

As the years went by, the soccer uniform developed together with the textile industry. Another reason is because the game became more and more popular and more and more competitive.

There was a point where the soccer jersey wasn't cotton anymore and started to be made with synthetic material. This made the jersey much lighter than the cotton ones and doesn't stick to the body as much as the cotton ones. Together with the material change, design changes were being made, especially the colors. Most jerseys still had polo like collars. The more modern soccer jerseys are made with special dry technology material that doesn’t get wet and doesn't stick to the player's body.

Nowadays, clubs and National teams use the soccer jersey for marketing strategies, with the name or logo of big companies on the shirt. Soccer fans in general buy a lot of soccer jerseys, especially the jersey with the club they support and their national team. Selling jerseys with the name of famous soccer players brings the sales up quite a lot, especially when these players are well wanted by the fans. It is very common to see jerseys with names like Ronaldinho, Beckham, Zidane, Ronaldo, Henry, Deco, Kak√° and so many other famous players who are popular with the fans who support the teams they play for but also by soccer fans in general. The national soccer teams are also quite responsible for the selling of jerseys, especially the Brazilian, Argentine, German, Italian, English and French jerseys.

The soccer jersey manufacturers use a lot of marketing to sell their products and even come out with special edition jerseys and other marketing campaigns.

A soccer jersey isn't only a jersey, but it's an identity. It's the love of a fan towards the team he supports, it's like a second skin to some people.

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