May 8, 2021

Barcelona’s new away jersey took Kaizer Chiefs by surprise – Jessica Motaung

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The Barca shirt is similar to the one Amakhosi use for their 50th-anniversary and this hasn’t sat well with the club bosses at Naturena

Kaizer Chiefs were very surprised and disappointed when they saw Barcelona‘s new away jersey for the 2020-21 season, according to marketing director Jessica Motaung.

The Barca shirt is similar to the black and gold design Amakhosi used for their 50th-anniversary celebrations, and Motaung said she has already had discussions with Nike about the decision.   

According to Motaung, the design was inspired from within the club, recalling how Kaizer Motaung used to wear a similar black jersey with gold numbers at the back.

She added that Amakhosi were very specific on what they wanted when they asked Nike to make the jersey for them earlier this year.   

“I’ve had several discussions with Nike about it,” Motaung told TimesLIVE. “Look, we were actually very instrumental in the design of our 50th-anniversary jersey.

“The chairman [Kaizer Motaung] was very clear about the colours because if you remember, the chairman had a black jersey with gold that he wore many years ago.”

“They had the gold numbers and things like that,” continued Motaung, “and that design was extremely club-inspired, and we were very specific.

“Some of the designs that we received were not quite there, and we were clear on the heritage and what we wanted,” she explained. “We were very clear about the importance and magnitude of it, and that it wasn’t a small milestone for us, and we loved what we arrived at, and I appreciate the work that Nike has done.

“I was made aware of the new Barcelona design before it hit the market, and I have to be honest we were surprised. Also because of the major outcry for stock that we had [for the 50th jersey]. It should have been produced for a market that was very excited for a 50th [anniversary] jersey.”

Motaung understands the dynamics of the business as well as the things Nike look at when coming up with ideas to make new shirts for the clubs they sponsor.

However, she insists that Chiefs were left surprised, more so because the manufacturer said they didn’t have enough material to make more shirts for their 50th-anniversary celebrations.     

“I understand that Nike does projections and they look at past things, but this was a significant milestone that we knew would catapult demand,” she said, “and we were advised about the lack of material that we used for our jersey. So, we were surprised when we saw the Barcelona jersey.

“I do know that certain designs will be used again but the timing was also very soon.”

Nonetheless, Motaung hopes the new black and gold shirt will inspire the Spanish giants the same way it inspired Amakhosi.   

“With that [being] said, it’s a beautiful jersey and I hope that the gold and black does for Barcelona what it’s done for us.

“We have a wonderful partnership with Nike but in this instance, we’re slightly disappointed that we missed the opportunity to really take it further with our supporters for our 50th [anniversary] at the level that we anticipated, and also to leverage revenue,” concluded Motaung.