Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Football Culture - Ukrainian shirts


Now don't get me wrong, but I'm against the callous marketing of football shirts that goes on, such as Man United bringing out a new shirt for Christmas (as they have in the past) or Borussia Dortmund's ridiculous number of shirts that they brought out last season, but Ukraine perhaps represents the other extreme.


The new Premier League is supposedly being started up in order for the clubs to make more of marketing opportunities, well that is one of the aims. In the past the only place to buy a Dynamo shirt was a fake one off Petrivka market, for example. Some of the clubs were even kitting out their players in fake shirts. I know for a fact that when Obolon were in the premier their Nike shirts were actually fakes too. At the same time about 6 or 7 years ago nearly every club had a bog standard adidas kit, so any derivation was interesting.


If we fast forward to 2008 it still seems that most of the clubs are lingering in their chances to catch up on the marketing front. Dynamo shirts are now available from the Adidas shop on Kreschatik, but the club shop still resembles that of a Northern Premier Club and amongst the Dynamo stuff you can still get Man United and Real Madrid stuff, if you so require.


Another problem has been the lack of variety in kits, Dynamo and Shakhtar for years have had variations on the theme of the old Adidas kits and most of the other clubs, even in the Vishe Liha (oops ,Premier League) have the sort of kits that sunday league teams play in without the badge. These shirts invariably are of an old Adidas template (Metalist, Karpaty), the same Lotto shirt, as the national team wear in a variety of colours (Arsenal, Knyazha - and disappointingly FK Lviv, who despite their claret and blue badge wear the same white and blue lotto shirt as Knyazha) with the occassional Puma shirt for good measure. One club who have bucked the trend recently are Dnipro who have had pretty flashy Umbro and Nike shirts, but do you think that they are available in their club shop? Think again!


Therefore, I was a little bit surprised to see on http://www.footballshirtculture.com/ that Shaktar had switched to a very flash Nike shirt (pictured) and even more surprised that they were selling it on their own website. Is this the brave new world of the new Premier League? Let's just hope that they don't start wanting Premier League prices to watch the clubs!

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