The new Adidas made kit was unveiled today and I have to say it doesn't surprise me at all. Adidas tends to use templates for all of their kits. You can find the generic versions and see how little they change to make the team kits. For example, the Fulham shirt is the Campeon and the shorts are the Trio. This same shirt template is used for the Spain shirt and the Portland Timbers home and away shirt. I'm sure with a little browsing I could find even more examples of that template being used.
One of the things that has set recent Adidas kits apart have been small color details in the design and the use of embossing. The two Portland shirts feature a faux stitch chevron design that is at least interesting (I personally don't like it, but it is unique). The home kit features a patch of the Portland City Flag and has a rising sun motif on the rear collar. The away kit features text saying "You cannot stop us" on the inside of the neck and "We are the Rose City" on the outside. It also features a Rose City patch instead of the Portland City Flag. The Spain shirt also has at least one unique design detail. The V neck on it resembles a hanging medal. Again, it's not something I like, but it is unique.
Two more examples of how Adidas can liven up the generic templates are the shirts for the Seattle Sounders and Colorado Rapids. They both start with generic templates (Toque for Colorado and Squadra for Seattle) but add some unique elements. The Sounders shirt has a embossed, stylized picture of the Space Needle on the front, and a small Space Needle logo on the back collar. The Colorado shirt has embossed stripes, but on closer inspection the stripes are made up of the names of all the season ticket holders.
Unfortunately, I'm not seeing any of the kind details which makes those other kits unique on the new Fulham kit. To my eyes; it looks as if they took the standard black Campeon shirt, inverted the colors , and then slapped the sponsor name and Fulham badge on it. They could have livened it up some with some text on the collar or playing with an extra color on the sleeve cuff. Just putting something like "London's Oldest Club", "Craven Cottage", or "Take Me Home" on the neck would have at least made in unique to the club.
I wasn't a huge fan of last years Kappa kits, but with the pin stripes, the orange, and the sash; I thought the designs actually took a few chances. My biggest problem was the fit. I'm not built like John Arne Riise, so they tend to look ridiculous on me. I'm sure the Adidas kits will fit me much better. I also don't hate the design. There's nothing particularly offensive about it and I think it will age well. I just wish there was something to make it slightly unique. I'm not ordering one for myself at this time. I'm holding out hope that the away or possible third shirt will be a bit more interesting.
Along with the new kits, the team unveiled a new sponsor as well. Marathonbet is now the main team sponsor. This is another thing that doesn't really shock me. The Marathonbet twitter account has recently started following a bunch of Fulham related accounts, so you had to believe there was going to be some kind of link. As an American who's not allowed to actually use the service, I really can't say much about them. From the American perspective it's very odd to have a sports book sponsor a team. For the longest time Nevada was the only place in the USA you could legally gamble on sports, and this fact is the main reason Las Vegas has no professional sports teams. The major sports leagues fought tooth and nail to keep sports betting from starting in Delaware. That being said, I don't really have a problem with it. If Madrid (arguably the biggest club in the world) can have a gambling company as their sponsor, Fulham having one is fine with me.
I've had my say, what does everyone else think?