Adidas and Manchester United Under Scrutiny After Releasing Revealing Female Jersey
It was announced in July 2014 that Manchester United would not be renewing any contract with Nike, with whom they previously had a 13-season contract. Instead MU locked into a sponsorship deal with Adidas for approximately $117 million a year.
With a new sponsorship company comes new uniforms designs for the team, and a new set of fan ones as well. This is the first time Adidas has made MU uniforms in 24 years, according to CNN.
So this summer, when Adidas and Manchester United released the fan kits (uniforms), people looked forward to the potential refreshing designs for the team. However, instead of a warm welcome, Adidas and MU were immediately overtaken by the negative online response of both MU fans, and female soccer fans in general.
This is due to the fact that there is a considerable difference between the male MU jersey and the female jersey. While the male jersey looks like the exact replica of the jersey that the soccer players themselves wear, the female jersey has a considerably lower neckline.
Fans have called the female jersey “sexist,” and “horrendous.” According to the Daily Mail, one fan stated, “This is a disgrace. Women can’t even wear normal looking football shirts these days?”
Unlike other Premier League teams, Manchester United does not have a women’s team. This was also mentioned in Twitter reviews, attacking them for not bothering to have a women’s team and “now the sexist women’s shirt.” Others stated that not every woman wants to show their cleavage, and that wearing something that revealing would make them uncomfortable at a game.
The jersey did receive some positive feedback, with one woman stating, “It’s not like they don’t have the choice of buying the men’s one instead.”
In response to the fans claims that the new jerseys are inappropriate, Adidas stands firm in defending the design.
“Adidas provides an adult shirt which is a replica of what the players wear…Based on research from fans, we also offer a women’s shirt as a part of our lifestyle range of products. This range has a slightly different design and fit to give fans a choice.”
The company points out that it makes women’s jerseys for all of the other teams they have deals with, such as Chelsea and Real Madrid.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: AMY VAUGHN
As a Montclair State University graduate with a BA in English, my first love is writing, specifically nonfiction and short stories. International human rights and women’s rights are also strong passions of mine. I hope to someday be able to call myself Chief Editor, human rights advocate, and jewelry designer. I can’t live without Mad Men (er, Netflix), soy chai lattes, or my adorable Wheaten terrier, Pippin.