Back in 1978, before Paul Young made it big as a solo artist, he enjoyed a novelty hit with Streetband with a song called Toast.
It only reached number 18 in the Top 40 but it had one stand out moment, a little phrase that went!..There’s brown bread, white bread, all sorts of wholemeal bread; It comes in funny packages with writing on the side.
Thirty years on and you could very easily substitute the word toast for boots. There are red boots, blue boots, all kinds of yellow boots; They come in funny boxes with logos on the side.
Coloured football boots are the thing right now, or at least they were until Nike announced that all their endorsed players at Euro 2008 will wear brown football boots (other than Ronaldo of course), taking the market full circle so to speak.
Nike say they’ve been inspired by the venue of the tournament (Austria and Switzerland) and in particular, the shaky TV footage of the 1954 World Cup, held in Switzerland, where players such as Sandor Kocsis (leading scorer with 11 goals) Ferenc Puskas and Nat Lofthouse did their thing wearing basic football boots in basic colours.
And so, in a couple of weeks time, the likes of Franck Ribery, Fernando Torres and Cesc Fabregas will take to the field in their Mercurial Vapors, T90 Laser II’s and Tiempo’s not in the usual rainbow collection of colours but in brown. (Read the original Footy Boots report Brown Football Boots.)
It’s a step back in time and yes, while it is a marketing ploy aimed at generating maximum publicity and increased football boot sales, it will be interesting to watch the Nike players expressing individuality with their on the pitch exploits as opposed to their choice of coloured boot.
Nike are not the first manufacturer to announce a Euro 2008 football boot strategy.
Adidas revealed recently a new tournament colourway for the adiPURE, F50 and Predator and Puma are using the event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the King XL.
More announcements are expected over the next few weeks.