OpinionMonday, January 20, 2014
Keep to your true colours, not marketing
Marketing is important for sports clubs to gain revenue which has not been too well exploited in Argentina, but one of the worst aspects is the continual changing of jerseys by soccer clubs from their original ones — some even change colours, which is a raid on the fans’ pockets. Fans identify themselves with their clubs’ original colours and many fanatically buy the latest shirt every time if they can afford it. Latest jersey prices checked — Independiente 850 pesos, Boca Juniors 699, River Plate 545, San Lorenzo 499 and Racing Club 449. Copies of illegal manufactured jerseys of lesser quality are cheaper, so the advantage is obtained by many sources, but not the fans.
The national team changes its shirt almost annually. These are hardly noticeable, but many fans must have the latest. Racing Club’s similar sky blue and white has just been altered on their shield with the former white spaces now sky blue and vice-versa. Vélez Sarsfield do occasionally change their blue and white colours to red and green stripes, but it should be remembered that these were their original colours many years ago when their founders went to buy the cheapest jerseys and found a shop which had a set of green and red ones which a previous client never retrieved.
Boca Juniors is another frequent jersey changer with hardly any alterations, yet the fans snap them up happily, but their latest to all-pink is ridiculous which has nothing to do with the club’s traditional blue and yellow and which, by the way, was worn by the Argentine team in a Gay World Cup here some years ago and is not likely to sell much as the fans despise it. Some fans however say the present team should wear them as they shame the Boca colours.
Independiente, likewise, wore yellow jerseys in friendlies this summer — which the club said it already wore during a Far East tour in 1975 — and they are not likely to sell much to fans who want the traditional red.
Last year, the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) also joined this circus and presented a red and white jersey for its national teams, while also changing its traditional shield. Now the letters UAR are a bit bigger and the puma has turned round to look to the right. Will the fans fall for this one?