Team GB 2012 kit unveiled - three cheers for the, er, turquoise, white and blue

Stella McCartney-designed Adidas kit likely to get a reaction, but perhaps not the one desired

by Simon_MacMichael   March 22, 2012  

Adidas has this morning unveiled the Stella McCartney kit that Britain’s athletes will wear at the London 2012 Olympics, now just over four months away. While the prospect of the first home Olympics since 1948 plus the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations means that the country is likely to become swathed in a sea of red, white and blue over the summer, the likes of Sir Chris Hoy won’t.

If the London 2012 logo provoked controversy when it was launched in 2007 – a selection of comments can be found on the BBC Sport Editors’ blog – we suspect that’s nothing compared to what the public reaction will be when the 2012 kit hits the newspapers.

Cycling and other sports are ones in which there is a balance between progress, on the one hand, and tradition and heritage on the other, with many people feeling that some things just shouldn’t be altered, and that includes the basic colours of national kit.

Those don't necessarily reflect national flag colours - the Netherlands' orange is derived from the colours of the royal house of that name, while Italy’s azzurri wear the blue that was the colour of the House of Savoy under which the country was united; however, Britain’s finest have always tended to chase gold in the red, white and blue of the Union Flag.

Except this year, they’ll be doing so in several shades of blue, including turquoise, with red reserved for the collar. It's not so much the de-emphasising of the red that is likely to cause most comments, however - that's been happening for some time - but rather the toying with the colours of what remains one of the world's most readily identifiable flags.

While reaction to the kit is likely to revolve around its aesthetics, there’s a scientific reason too for ensuring that team kit should contain a healthy splurge of red – a study by sports psychologists in Germany published in 2009 found that athletes and teams wearing red kit were 10 per cent were more successful than those wearing other colours.

Researchers suggested that a combination of the confidence the colour inspires and the feelings of dominance and aggression it provoked might lie behind the findings.

There was evidence, too that it wasn’t just competitors who were influenced by kit colour. As part of the research, Tae-Kwondo judges were shown videos of bouts, and awarded more points to those with red, rather than blue belts; when the images were digitally altered to reverse the colours, those whose blue belts had been manipulated to appear red came out on top.

There’s a bit more red on the tracksuit worn by Victoria Pendleton in this picture, although again the change of colour palette of the flag itself is going to jar with purists, not to mention incorporating the belt into its design.

The kit got its launch this morning at the Tower of London. It’s been a few hundred years since they stuck traitors’ heads on spikes on nearby London Bridge, but we wouldn’t be surprised if some of the newspapers are calling for heads to roll come the morning.

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Looks like Namibia's flag.

posted by localsurfer [169 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 18:55

0 Likes

I really like the kit, with the exception of the pointless tracksuit belt- (thought Victoria Pendleton had taken up Judo in an attempt to outdo Rebecca Romero as a multi sport medallist).

As for sportsmen wearing red winning- I read one critique of the study which claimed the reason football teams in red win more is simply cause they can pick out their team mates better, so we should be ok now the madison's gone.

posted by wild man [286 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 20:04

2 Likes

wild man wrote:
As for sportsmen wearing red winning- I read one critique of the study which claimed the reason football teams in red win more is simply cause they can pick out their team mates better, so we should be ok now the madison's gone.

The one I read about was taekwondo, where the competitors wear either red or blue vests. Judges were shown film of close bouts. What was neat was that they used video processing to swap the colours of the red and blue vests around. The judges were more likely to decide that the red competitor had won.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1370 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 20:21

2 Likes

Could we afford that to happen?

onward ever onward

bikecellar's picture

posted by bikecellar [227 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 21:11

1 Like

"Get rapha to do it" really?

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 22:10

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Gkam84 wrote:
I just read BBC's news about it and saw this

LONDON 2012 TEAM SPONSORS

USA - Nike
Russia - Bosco
Germany - Bogner, Adidas and Sioux
Australia - Adidas
China - Anta for the formal uniform, various sponsors for sports kit

Great for British business then Devil Devil

Please correct me if Ive taken this the wrong way but were you expecting the Olympics to create a boom in the british sports apparel industry due to the supply of national kit to various global national teams?

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
22nd March 2012 - 22:13

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Stella McCartney has really excelled herself with this range. I mean, everything else she has done with Adidas has been utter turd, but to dig so far inside herself to find the inspiration to plumb even greater depths of shitness deserves respect.

And to think, some people think she is only famous because of her dad.

posted by farrell [1560 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 0:54

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Jon Burrage wrote:

Please correct me if Ive taken this the wrong way but were you expecting the Olympics to create a boom in the british sports apparel industry due to the supply of national kit to various global national teams?

Well it would have been a start, just off the top of my head

Umbro - Tracksuits, Luggage
Impsport - Cycling, Triathlon, BMX
Vandanel - Football
Milano - Gymnastics
Viga - Athletics

That would have been a good move to kit out UK guys and girls in UK brand kit?

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9007 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 2:07

1 Like

Personally, I don't like it, but when they are stood on the top step of the podium will we care? Why do some kits have Great Britain wriiten on & others don't?

Currently going slower than I'd like...

posted by stealth [198 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 5:24

1 Like

They'll win a ton of medals wearing that kit. Their competitors will be too busy puking or laughing to mount a challenge. Laughing
What's even more humorous is that they actually expect to sell replicas of these 'fashion statements' and fund the games.
They were joking? Weren't they? I mean, really... Confused

posted by Sven Nijs [20 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 8:14

1 Like

It's actually Stella just looking ahead, and she has designed an outfit for Scotland's first post-independence Olympics in Rio 2016.

No, strike that.

What an utter, utter embarrassment.

Crying

neildmoss's picture

posted by neildmoss [203 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 9:22

2 Likes

Gkam84 wrote:
Jon Burrage wrote:

Please correct me if Ive taken this the wrong way but were you expecting the Olympics to create a boom in the british sports apparel industry due to the supply of national kit to various global national teams?

Well it would have been a start, just off the top of my head

Umbro - Tracksuits, Luggage
Impsport - Cycling, Triathlon, BMX
Vandanel - Football
Milano - Gymnastics
Viga - Athletics

That would have been a good move to kit out UK guys and girls in UK brand kit?

Yes, I understand that these companies produce 'sports' kit but there has to be a level of quality and performance for olympic level athletes too. Impsport, in my opinion, is a long way short of the requirement (just to pick on one brand). You also mentioned a variety of foreign teams suggesting they should wear british made kit, why? Busineses in London will do well, businesses involved in sports that we are successful in and get coverage will do well (cycling will be one) and in that respect it is very good for UK business.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 9:51

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I actually quite like it, aesthetically. Staying with blues just about manages to avoid it looking like a British Airways tailfin or, as noted, Geri Halliwell.

Surely a study of Tae Kwondo isn't representative of other sports, since (as far as I can see) red represents a higher ability than blue - so the a contestant in red would be of a greater ability. It seems at worst eminently plausible that it's the advertised status which is influencing judgment rather than the colour itself. Would be interesting to see a similar test with figure skating or boxing.

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [426 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 9:58

1 Like

Jon Burrage wrote:

Yes, I understand that these companies produce 'sports' kit but there has to be a level of quality and performance for olympic level athletes too. Impsport, in my opinion, is a long way short of the requirement (just to pick on one brand). You also mentioned a variety of foreign teams suggesting they should wear british made kit, why? Busineses in London will do well, businesses involved in sports that we are successful in and get coverage will do well (cycling will be one) and in that respect it is very good for UK business.

Sorry, I seem to have missed something, maybe, I don't know, not clued up on Olympic's in's and out's, are there only certain brands that all countries competing have to wear?? Thinking If thats the case, then i'm a bit off the mark.

But i didn't mention any foreign teams and what they should wear Surprise

EDIT: I shall leave what i've written above so everyone can see my foolish mistake

I am WAY wrong, the way i read it, i thought sponsors related to the GB team kit and now after going back and reading it again, four times, it's only just sunk in, those are the kit sponsors for the countries as they are listed Silly Silly Loser Dont Tell Anyone

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9007 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 10:13

1 Like

there seems to be this big emphasis on there not being that much red and lots of blue and white...the gb kits have been all blue and white with a small amount of red since 96 in atlanta! i like it!

posted by chrisgnewman [3 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 10:26

1 Like

wild man wrote:
thought Victoria Pendleton had taken up Judo in an attempt to outdo Rebecca Romero as a multi sport medallist

How many people do you know that would put up a fight if VP tried to wrestle them to the ground?

Angel

posted by Matt_S [188 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 10:50

1 Like

BTW:

This guy would look good in it.

And check his quads Devil Devil Devil

AMS.PNG

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 11:09

2 Likes

chrisgnewman wrote:
there seems to be this big emphasis on there not being that much red and lots of blue and white...the gb kits have been all blue and white with a small amount of red since 96 in atlanta! i like it!

As I mentioned in the article, yes, the red has been de-emphasised in the kit for a long time. But one of the issues people have with the 2012 kit is that elements of the flag has been introduced as a central design feature, but with the colours altered.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8396 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 11:46

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chrisgnewman wrote:
there seems to be this big emphasis on there not being that much red and lots of blue and white...the gb kits have been all blue and white with a small amount of red since 96 in atlanta! i like it!

Yeah, but this is the wrong blue - the dark blue just isnt very distinctive.

Having seem the other kits, the flag design makes more sense, but it just doesn't work on the cycling kit - just looks like a random logo/design. Oh well.

posted by step-hent [697 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 12:00

0 Likes

Christ on a bike! What a mess. It's the old fashion adage 'What is familiar is trite so let's change the colours and make it new!' I would be squirming having to wear this as I'm sure plenty of athletes are. You can almost see Sir Chris's eyes rolling. As for Lord Sugar: if this was an Apprentice task Stella would be straight into the cab. The last kit was iconic and should have been lightly tinkered with. Reminds me of the BA tail fin fiasco, the first and last time I agreed with Thatcher on anything.

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1084 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 15:03

2 Likes

I like it – looks great – there's a war on.... Yawn

Large_Pista's picture

posted by Large_Pista [48 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 17:24

1 Like

After looking at it again big screen I can see it could be worse. Aqua and red just don't work well. Compare the way the Italians dress their train staff and Police in red,black,silver and white with our bobbies in baggy woolly jumpers and Underground staff in aqua and you'll see how the Italians understand colour psychology better than Stella does. We keep dragging out pale blue and pastels and expect them to garner respect.

We have Macca show boating at the opening ceremony as well so it's a McCartney 1-2. Surprise

I would have had Paul Smith design the outfits and David Bowie descending on a crane in his Ziggy suit singing Heroes for the opening. Class all the way. Big Grin

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1084 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 18:19

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No sorry stella but dosen't do it for me.. Sad

lesliejames's picture

posted by lesliejames [44 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 18:21

2 Likes

I like VP's jacket (apart from the belt) but the cycling gear is dull and boring!

posted by Footpather [38 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 19:35

3 Likes

what a disaster ,awful.Chris Hoy looks like his shirt has been patched up with a tea towel and VP'S tracksuit looks like a reject outfit from a crap sci fi film .
Just because your dad was famous does not mean you should get the right to shove your crap ideas on the rest of us.lets be honest shes a rubbish designer.
Paul smith should have designed the cycling clothes

posted by rayjay [40 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 20:10

1 Like

You've got a famous name. We have the second most famous flag in the world (after USA). We want to take advantage of this global opportunity to promote our country. We'll pay you a fortune to do what you want. We'll take whatever you produce over your lunch hour even if it looks sh*t.

Oh how I love the British way of doing business!

posted by jamesxyz [20 posts]
23rd March 2012 - 23:15

0 Likes

I like the new design. But the only reason they used Stella (and Adidas to a certain extent) is because they're 'down with the kids' and they'll sell more replicas.
Are you a Chav if you wear the Team GB cycling kit for your weekend ride? Thinking

Get off the computer and onto the bike.

boywoolner's picture

posted by boywoolner [20 posts]
24th March 2012 - 8:26

1 Like

boywoolner wrote:
I like the new design. But the only reason they used Stella (and Adidas to a certain extent) is because they're 'down with the kids' and they'll sell more replicas.
Are you a Chav if you wear the Team GB cycling kit for your weekend ride? Thinking

Nah, all the chavs are wearing Rapha these days, only people who can afford it are the dole bums Devil Devil

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9007 posts]
24th March 2012 - 8:51

2 Likes

I prefer Stella in liquid form, straight from the fridge, real cool.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [986 posts]
24th March 2012 - 20:05

3 Likes

B O B B I N S Laughing

I'm always in two minds
Then I go and pick the wrong one Sad

posted by fluffchucker [284 posts]
4th May 2012 - 15:05

1 Like