The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Thursday, February 8, 2020, presented the new Super Eagles Nike jerseys to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Nike had on Wednesday, February, 5 unveiled new home and away jerseys for the Super Eagles ahead of the qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
As part of the launch, top officials of the NFF and sports minister Sunday Dare presented the new jerseys to President Buhari.
The home kit as expected comes in traditional green and white national colours. The white runs down the middle from top to bottom while the pitch green and white patterns hang on the shoulders just like an Agbada, a four-piece attire found among the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria which Nike draws inspiration from.
The away kit is all-grey with the pitch green and white patterns in the V-shaped collar and sleeves.
Nike returned as the kit sponsors of the NFF in a deal signed in April 2015 and extended in 2018.
These new kits are the latest offering from the sportswear giant following the previous release of the designs which were well received in 2018 just before the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
For the new kits, Nike continued to impress, this time fusing the traditional aesthetic of an Agbada robe with modern football jersey design for the home kit.
The shirt’s pattern was hand-drawn and is highly symbolic of Nigerian heritage with nods to nobility and family. Nigeria’s crest is placed centrally on the chest with a Nike Swoosh underneath.
The player names and numbers integrate the eagle feather into the application. The word ‘Naija’ appears inside the neck of jersey and on the back of the socks in a new typeface.
The away kit is inspired by Onaism, a traditional artistic movement central to Nigerian design and craft, which is represented in the trim details. An eagle feather aesthetic, creatively distorted, continuously repeats in ascending size to create a visual impact.
The broader Naija collection, meanwhile, features an extensive array of Super Eagles apparel, including a poncho, vest, dress and more.
In addition to the art of designing kits, science is always at the forefront of the process. It started in the lab, where Nike captured data from over 300 players, including football-specific movements. Everything from where they sweat to how the fabric stretches over muscles was recorded.
Utilising a reaction-diffusion algorithm and generative design, Nike knitted kits that are 55% faster wicking, 13% more breathable, with 10% more stretch. Applying the same principles used in Nike Flyknit footwear, precision knitting is reinforced where needed but heavily vented in areas prone to heat. The results, upon close inspection, reveal a highly intricate knitting structure, yet this does not diminish the national pride artistry from afar.