Given their penchant for neon coloured football boots like the Mercurial Vapor IV Citron & Berry and the Blaze Orange T-90 Laser II, it was something of a surprise to hear Nike announce that their intention was to have all their players playing in black football boots for the first couple of months of the new season.
Nike’s ‘Back to Black’ range
Back when Footy Boots first broke this story in July there was a massive difference of opinion – some seemed to disagree with the move, and were obviously looking forward to seeing Nike’s newest models in glorious techinolour; whereas others welcomed the nod to the old-school, grateful for giving their tired eyes a rest.
From an analytic point of view; this was always going to happen. One of the big manufacturers was going to hit a point where there they couldn’t do anything more with the colouring on boots until the introduction of new models – a colourway critical mass if you like. This has probably come sooner than expected as with the advent of services like NikeiD, many people can just go out and buy the boots in the colours they want.
Nike Mercurial Vapor Superfly
But have Nike made a bad move in terms of timing by launching their ‘Back to Black’ campaign?
The dawn of a new season is one of the key times in the football equipment market – with players of all levels and ages making their mind up and taking the plunge on a new pair of boots for the next 9 months, so surely as a company you’d want your product to be as obvious and bold as possible?
Looking at some of the prominent goal scorers from this weekend’s EPL action, Jermain Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor ‘ and Wade Elliott were all playing in a blistering blue adidas combo- Defoe & Adebayor in the f50i’s and Elliott in adiPure.
The striking adidas f50i
Other brands are going against Nike and moving away from black boots in a bid for getting noticed. Umbro are pushing the new White/Red Speciali (being sported by the rejuvenated Darren Bent), Under Armour are being represented by Danny Murphy’s White Dominate Pro’s and Peter Crouch is giving Puma plenty of camera-time in gold v1.08’s.
Umbro’s latest Speciali
Interestingly, from a scientific point of view the most ‘apparent’ colour to the human eye on the visible light spectrum is Green; however given the contrast to the grass that the beautiful game is played on very few green boots make it to market (only the ‘Unseen Green’ Puma v1.06 and f50.8’s in ‘Slime Green’ spring to mind)!
So, while Drogba, Rooney and Robinho were honouring their sponsor’s wishes by lacing up in Nike’s darkest, perhaps it players like Keane, Torres, Bendtner and Carlton Cole who opted for the more vibrant shades who’ll be doing them the biggest favour!
What’s your opinion? No-one’s going to think Nike are going to be in financial trouble over this move, but do you think they’ve made their football boots a little less attractive to buyers? Or, do you think that as long as Rooney, Drogba & co keep bagging goals that’s all the motivation people need to buy Nike boots? Let us know.