Close readers will have noticed that A) I write quite a bit about soccer+technology but B) never about Team USA. Messi this, Cristiano Ronaldo that. Well that ends today! Nike recently unveiled the kit that Landon Donovan & Co. will use to get second place in Group C this World Cup. USA, USA!
The funny thing is we don’t even know who will be on the team. As I write this (2:00pm ET), the team’s manager, Bob Bradley, should be on ESPN News announcing the 30-man squad.
So, the kit. There it is! Nike has probably the most distinctive product shots of any company I deal with.
Now, what makes the kit special, and should should you, dear technology fans, give a damn? Well, the kit is green, being made entirely of recycled material, and lots of it. Nike says it was able to prevent a whopping 254,000 kilograms (~560,000 pounds) of polyester and 13 million plastic bottle from winding up in landfills. So if you’re a big bottled water drinker, congrats, you’ve just outfitted Landon Donovan.
The kits are also 13 percent lighter than previous Nike kits. Better for America in an environmental sense and better for America in a sporting sense.
That makes the fancy, light and green kits and the new Elite Series boots (again, lighter than any other boot produced by Nike) that the company is rolling out the tournament. My sleuthing has turned up this handy little video that explains what the Elite Series is all about. (These boots don’t start shipping till May 22.)
Basically, the World Cup this year will be a battle not between Brazil and Argentina and Spain and the U.S., but a battle between the world’s top sports engineers.
Forget the World Cup, let’s just break out our T-Squares and protractors!