Nike Football has unveiled innovative microfiber polyester club kits derived from recycled plastic bottles at a ceremony at the Guangzhou Opera House. The kits are made exclusively for the 2012 season of the 16-team Chinese Super League (CSL) and demonstrate Nike’s commitment to superior athletic performance and lower environmental impact.
The unveiling was attended by Xu Lin, general manager of Nike Football Greater China, and Zhu Qilin, director and deputy general manager of CSL Co.,Ltd. Also in attendance were CSL club stars including Gao Lin and Shao Jiayi who sported their new kits for the media and fans.
“China is the first region in which Nike has lent its name to all clubs belonging to the highest level football league and we will continue providing Chinese athletes with the most innovative performance technology to support that commitment,” Xu remarked at the unveiling. “The 2011 CSL season set a new average attendance record and Nike is honored to have been a part of this achievement.”
“We are very pleased that the CSL teams are equipped with the world’s most advanced technology in competition gear, which also reflects the teams’ commitment to the environment,” said Zhu Qilin, “Moreover, the new kits reflect the individual characteristics of each club, an important factor that players and fans will appreciate.”
In addition to incorporating the latest light-weight and environmentally friendly fabrics, the kits also retain the classic design elements of each club, reflecting the unique geographical and cultural distinctions of each CSL team.
Completing the uniform of sport is Nike Pro Combat base layer in home and away club colors that has
sweat-wicking and quick-drying functions, improving athletic performance by ensuring comfort in all playing conditions.
Innovative Performance Technology Meets Heritage
In line with Nike’s commitment to superior athletic performance and lower environmental impact, the kits are made from 100% recycled polyester, which equates to approximately 13 recycled plastic bottles per kit - eight for the jersey and five for the shorts.
The kit is also lighter and more durable than any previous kit the teams have worn, and is the most environmentally friendly in Nike Football's history. This innovative technology has already been adopted by world-renown clubs such as Manchester United and Barcelona, as well as the national teams of countries including Brazil, France, the Netherlands and Portugal.
The 2012 CSL kits give the athletes an unprecedented edge. Ventilation zones are found along each side of the jersey to enhance breathability, and combined with a fabric that increases air flow. These zones consist of tiny laser cut holes, backed by Nike’s innovative halo application which prevents ripping without reducing air flow.
The new season’s jerseys also demonstrate Nike’s attention to detail. Designers were inspired by the heritage and traditional elements of each club’s home city. At the core of each design was the cultural heritage of each club.
- Guangzhou Evergrande F.C.: The home jersey of Guangzhou Evergrande blends the modern design of the Guangzhou Opera House and the fierce appearance of the team’s mascot, the southern Chinese tiger. Inside the collar of the jersey is printed the team’s motto - “Be the best forever” - communicating the team’s confidence. The primary color of the new away kit is gold - emphasizing the team’s passion and liveliness.
- Beijing Guo’an F.C.: The home jersey continues to use the team’s traditional green, while the weaved pattern on the front drew inspiration from the twirling form of Chinese dragons and showcases the cosmopolitanism of Beijing. The team’s motto - “Guo’an always fights for first” - is emblazoned on the team crest. The away kit incorporates elements of Beijing’s ultra-modern architecture.
- Shandong Luneng Taishan F.C.: The Xianren Bridge at Mount Tai was a source of inspiration for the Shandong Luneng Taishan kit. The team’s jersey is also embroidered with its motto - “Riding the orange wave, starting a frenzy” - reflecting the team’s relentless pursuit of success. The new away kit contains the same distinctive features as the home version but is varsity white with blue collar and sleeves, and matching blue shorts.
- Shanghai Shenhua F.C.: The blue home kits and simple white road kits of Shanghai Shenhua were inspired by Shanghai’s Yangpu Bridge. The kits bear the team’s red sword emblem. And sewn within the collar is the team’s slogan, “Not crazy, not Shenhua.” The away kit for Shenhua is white.