On Wednesday, Nike released the World Cup kits of their sponsored countries and most were pretty simple designs… but the Nigeria collection is maybe the hardest look to ever hit the World Cup.
Nigeria have the best kit at this year's World Cup, pass it on. pic.twitter.com/bFtG3meVxc
— Tobi (@TefTobz) February 7, 2018
At a star-studded launch, Nike brought out Nigerian singer Wizkid and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi, whose goal against Zambia clinched World Cup qualification for Nigeria in October.
The jerseys are fire. The track jackets are wild. The bucket hat is iconic.
Realistically, the WHOLE DAMN COLLECTION IS A COP.
Alex Iwobi, who was born in Lagos but grew up in London and chose to represent Nigeria over England on the international level, spoke about what it means to play for Nigeria.
“I grew up in England, but Nigeria is my homeland. When I scored that goal, the players were dancing, the fans were playing trumpets and bringing drums…there was just so much passion and energy. It is always an honor to wear the white and green. To compete this summer is not just our dream, it is also the dream of our fans. Together, we all represent Naija.”
Nike explained the idea behind the designs in a statement:
“The word Naija has many uses. As a descriptor, it defines a certain future-focused optimism — one that has catalyzed a new generation of Nigerians to celebrate the nation’s vibrant culture. Use of the word requires attitude, even panache. It isn’t simply a stand-in for Nigeria; instead, Naija reflects a youthful exuberance, pride and fresh perspective on patriotism.”
And how the Nike Nigeria collection depicts “the new Nigeria”:
“To some, Naija translates directly to ‘the new Nigeria.’ With boundless potential and an undoubtedly infectious palpable charisma, the squad begs fandom from anyone — interest in football notwithstanding. Nike’s energetic collection for the Nigeria Football Federation is imbued with the Naija spirit.”
Dan Farron, Nike Football Design Director, explained the process of designing the collection, which included studying Nigerian players and culture and designing a kit to match both the attitude of the players and the nation itself.
“With Nigeria, we wanted to tap into the attitude of the nation. We built this kit and collection based on the players’ full identities. We started to see trends in attitude and energy connecting the athletes to music, fashion, and more. They are part of a resoundingly cool culture.”
I have no connection to the country of Nigeria but they are officially my World Cup team this summer.
Besides releasing the new World Cup kits, Nike London also dropped the wildest star-studded advertisement featuring Skepta, Giggs, J Hus, Jorja Smith, Big Shaq, Santan Dave, Alex Iwobi, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, Ryan Sessegnon, and more. The advert spans the entire cultural landscape of London, I can’t stop watching it.
There’s always a lot of chat about who is leading the sneaker wars.
Nike has clearly put an intense emphasis on international outreach and the results are extremely fire.