Team India: Bleed Blue… and Orange!

Caption: Team India Jersey
Credit: insidesport

Team India will ‘Bleed Blue and Orange’  when they take on England in the ICC World Cup this afternoon. 

The original slogan, ‘Bleed Blue’, was made famous by an advertising campaign. This will have to be switched up because the team will wear a new uniform with more orange in it rather than their trademark all-blue outfit. Nike unveiled the new orange ‘away ODI kit’ on Friday. 

Why this change? Because an ICC rule says that ‘all participating teams will be required to provide for two different coloured kits, except for the host country who has preference in the choice of colour and may, if it chooses to do so, provide only one coloured kit to be worn in all matches throughout the event. In advance of the event, the teams will be notified which coloured kit will be worn in each match.” Since England are the host country, they get to keep their blues and India have to switch it up with orange. 

The new kit has become a point of controversy though. Opposition parties say it is the ‘saffronisation of cricket’ because saffron is the colour of the ruling political party in India. However, other teams have changed their colours too. South Africa reversed their green and yellow jerseys for their match against Bangladesh. Afghanistan wore a jersey with more red than blue for some games. Australia (all yellow), New Zealand (all black) and West Indies (complete maroon) have ‘unique’ jerseys and therefore can wear their colours throughout the tournament. 

Sports and Fashion collaborate: While Nike has in-house designers who style the Indian team, sports and fashion have had several high-profile collaborations. Some of these are:  

  • Adidas, who worked with Kanye West, Pharell Williams and Stella McCartney 
  • Givenchy and Nike.
  • Fila and Karolina Pliskova 

Caption: Team UK and Stella McCartney

Designing for the Olympics: Many fashion designers have taken special pride in designing their teams’ outfits for the Olympics. Ralph Lauren created a very red-blue-white look for Team USA in 2008. Stella McCartney made some bold designs for Team UK using the Union Jack as inspiration. Cedalla Marley, daughter of Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley, designed the uniform for the Jamaican team for the 2012 Summer Olympics. This was the one that Usain Bolt wore when he won. Italian designer Armani made outfits for the team in 2012, but its stark, dark blue look was not appreciated, and people wondered why the traditional orange and white were missing from the sports line. 

Athletes and Fashion: Alternatively, some athletes have also tried their hand at fashion. Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have all had runway hits! We guess style and substance do go hand in hand after all!

Written by: Pereena Lamba. Pereena is a freelance writer, editor and creative consultant. She is also co-author of Totally Mumbai.

The Winners of the French Open!

Roger Federer: The Business of a Brand

Roger Federer is a tennis legend and his on-court rivalry with Rafael Nadal has made watching tennis on television supremely exciting! He is the most popular tennis player the world has ever seen and this great fame has brought large endorsement opportunities.

What are endorsements? They are a form of advertising, usually made by famous people like sports or TV personalities, who hold a certain level of trust and respect with the public. They lend their names to a product or brand they are ‘endorsing’ (saying it’s totally awesome!) in exchange for a sum of money. If Roger Federer uses a particular brand of gear, then that must be the brand to have, right?!

Nike RF logo.

Federer and Nike: Federer endorsed Nike for 24 years. In exchange, he was paid $7.5 million annually. In 2010, Nike created a personalised logo “RF”, which became world famous and earned both Nike and Federer a lot of money. Nike owns the logo.

As a brand Nike made sense for Federer’s image when he was an upcoming star and in his prime.

Federer and Uniqlo: A few weeks ago, Federer left sports giant Nike, and cut a deal with a Japanese clothing brand called Uniqlo. They are not as well known for their sportswear. They will pay him $30 million annually for the next ten years — amounting to $300 million. Woah! That’s a lot of money! This is more than triple what he earned with Nike. The high price tag has definitely grabbed the world’s attention and spurred some debate.

OK let’s put this in perspective: How much does Federer make by playing tennis?  CNBC reports that he has made $118 million in prize money in his career. They also say that he made $58 million in 2016 off-court – in appearances at events, and endorsements, and such. That’s a lot of money that is made off-court, and that’s the strength of the brand that he has built!

Why did he switch? In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Federer said: “What really resonated with me when we were speaking to Uniqlo was that they respected me not just as an athlete but also as a person with interests and passions beyond the sport. I have to eventually think about life after tennis and Uniqlo was a great match for that.”

So what’s the debate? For one, Uniqlo is not known as a sports brand, and two, it’s a pretty hefty sum to pay for a sports personality who is fairly close to retirement. Federer is still winning grand slams and made quite the come back after his back injury last year, when he beat Nadal at the 2017 Australian Open. It was truly a remarkable achievement and that too at the age of 36, as the average age of retirement in tennis is 30. However he has now lost Wimbledon and the US Open. As much as it breaks our hearts to say this, he is aging, and thus the debate.

What’s the value of a brand? Well, it’s what we perceive it to be. Federer stands for reliability, perfection, dedication, good humour, effortless talent, determination, and he is just so very likeable! Let’s see what he is able to do for Uniqlo.

Ownership: Nike however, still owns the rights to the “RF” logo, which Federer hopes he can get back by working out a deal with them. There has been no comment from Nike about the matter. Federer made his Uniqlo debut at Wimbledon 2018 in July. What did he wear? Uniqlo clothing, however since the Japanese brand does not make shoes, he wore his personalized Nike shoes with the “RF” brand. How will they work it out? We will just have to wait and see.

Written by Tanika Thacker and Sunaina Murthy. Tanika is a writer by day and a foodie by night. She lives in San Francisco and nothing makes her happier than ice-cream on a cold, rainy afternoon. You can follow her meanderings on @tanikathacker and @boozefoodlatitude