Nike have unveiled their highly anticipated Socceroos Team Kit for this year's World Cup! You may be stumped when we tell you that each jersey is made from up to eight recycled plastic bottles. Yep, that's right, that empty water bottle you chuck out every lunchtime could be rubbing against Socceroo flesh in South Africa!
With team players Craig Moore and Tommy Oar on hand to model the new uniform in front of the Sydney Opera House, the Socceroos will debut the new national team kit in their game against New Zealand's All Whites in Melbourne on May 24. For more information and details on the kit, please read the detailed press release below.
Nike unveiled the new Australian National Team Kit with Socceroos Craig Moore and Tommy Oar at a media event held earlier today. The Socceroos will take to the pitch in South Africa wearing the most environmentally-friendly and technologically-advanced kit in football's history. For the first time, all of Nike's national teams, including Australia and New Zealand, will be wearing jerseys made entirely from recycled polyester, each one produced from up to eight recycled plastic bottles.
"Nike is extremely proud to be sending the Socceroos to South Africa equipped with the newest and most innovative football kit we have ever produced," said Paul Faulkner, Managing Director, Nike Pacific. "The squad has come through the final qualifying group unbeaten and with the experience of reaching the knock-out stages in Germany four years ago, they have a good chance of improving on that performance. They have the energy, the talent and the best that Nike can give them all working in their favour."
To make the 2010 national team kits, Nike's fabric suppliers sourced discarded plastic bottles from Japanese and Taiwanese landfill sites and then melted them down to produce new yarn that was ultimately converted to fabric for the jerseys.
This process saves raw materials and reduces energy consumption by up to 30 percent compared to manufacturing virgin polyester. By using recycled polyester for its new range of national jerseys, Nike prevented nearly 13 million plastic bottles, totaling nearly 254,000 kg of polyester waste, from going into landfill sites. This amount would be enough to cover more than 29 football pitches. If the recycled bottles used to make the jerseys were laid end-to-end they would cover more than 3,000 kilometres, which is more than the entire coastline of South Africa.
"This is an important step by Nike toward making all our products more sustainable," said Mr. Faulkner. "The new uniforms show that it is possible to look great, deliver lightweight performance benefits and, via the use of recyclable materials, create less impact on our environment."
Incorporated into the design of the Socceroos' national team jerseys are the enduring symbols of Australia's culture, identity and pride - the Southern Cross and coat of arms."These symbols of our nation will be seen by millions around the world and we are proud to partner Nike who have produced this innovative new design," said Ben Buckley, Chief Executive Officer of the Football Federation Australia.
The new home jersey has a modern v-neck collar, and consists of three colours; the shoulders, upper torso and sleeves are in dark cypress green, derived from the golden wattle, the floral emblem that features on the national coat of arms, which emphasises the side's unity and national pride, while for the first time, there is a white band across the chest to lend a contemporary feel, and below that the majority of the jersey is in sport gold, also from the golden wattle. On the back of the jersey's neck is a graphic that reads ‘Australia', while inside the neck is a graphic of the Southern Cross, the constellation of stars featured on the Australian flag.
Inside the jersey, on the back of Football Federation Australia's crest, and symbolically above the heart, is the defiant and inspiring message ‘Never Say Never' in a font specially designed by an Australian artist to reflect the country's unique fauna and flora. The numbers on the back of the jersey have been inspired by both local designs and the numerals found on Australian bank notes.
The home shorts are dark cypress green with a gold stripe along each side, while on the back of the waistband is a graphic that reads ‘Socceroos'. The home socks are sport gold with ‘Australia' on the back of each calf and a dark cypress green ergonomic band to emphasise calf and leg muscles. The kits have also been designed to enhance the performance of players by helping to keep them drier, cooler and more comfortable. The Socceroos will debut the new national team kit in their farewell game against New Zealand's All Whites in Melbourne on May 24.
Considering the environment doesn't mean sacrificing the innovative performance elements of Nike's kits. The kits have been designed to keep players drier, cooler and more comfortable, allowing them to maintain an optimum body temperature and perform at their best on the pitch. Improved Nike Dri-Fit fabric, 15 percent lighter than previous Nike kit fabrications, keep players dry by drawing sweat to the outside of the garment where it evaporates. Ventilation zones have been placed on each side of the jersey to enhance breathability, and are combined with a fabric that increases air flow by up to seven percent compared to previous kits. Air can now pass across a player's whole torso, keeping him cooler. These ventilation zones consist of up to 200 tiny laser cut holes backed by Nike's innovative halo application. This treatment prevents ripping without reducing air flow.
The Nike kit shorts also have additional ventilation zones placed below the waistband and near the base of the spine, so this area prone to high sweat levels will now be significantly drier. The jersey's new double knit structure not only gives it a sleeker appearance, while offering 10 percent more stretch than the last Nike national team kit jerseys but also boasts a new dynamic cut to follow the natural contours of the body while still allowing for maximum airflow and movement. Players will also incorporate the unique benefits of Nike Pro Combat into their respective national team kits. Pro Combat includes Slider and Impact shorts for added protection against light impact and abrasion along with a therma Mock that protects players' necks against harsh conditions. The teams wearing Nike's new national team jerseys in South Africa are: Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, The Netherlands, Portugal, USA, South Korea, Serbia, and Slovenia.