Wednesday, August 1, 2012

When Manchester United comes to town

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The launch of the new Manchester United away kit in the Castle in Cape Town provided a glimpse into the superstar life of the richest soccer club with arguably one of the highest followings of any club in SA.

Drummed in by the Cape Town Highlanders, Rio Ferdinand (captain for their world tour), Spanish-only speaking Antonio Valencia and young Frederico Machedo were so swamped by media cameras that their new kit could only be seen during individual interviews, carefully orchestrated by beefy bouncers.

Antonio Valencia, Rio Ferdinand and Frederico Machedo wearing the Nike Man U away kit

Outside, soldiers stood guard to protect the Man U and Nike flags announcing the visit of the iconic team members to the iconic SA landmark from keen autograph and souvenir hunters. Cape Town loves Man United — as was obvious from the streams of red on the fanwalk to the stadium the following day when they played against local team Ajax.

Rio Ferdinand in the Nike Man U away kit
 “The shirt feels good, and it looks good,” Ferdinand said amidst the camera flashes. “When you feel good, you play good.”

The Nike Man U training kit
The shirts are made from fully recycled plastic bottles, which is more environmentally friendly and 23% lighter than previous Nike fabric, explained Niall Bruton, Nike’s Manchester United business club manager.

The knit structure is 20% stronger than before and feature Nike Dri-FIT technology to wick moisture away from athletes to help keep them cool and dry on-pitch.

Nike Man U away kit
The Henley Crew collar with a red detail and a button closure bridge the gap between the heritage of the club and the current youth style in Manchester.  The shirt’s outer back neck and the shorts feature the club’s signature devil graphic.

Seruscka Naidoo from Nike SA is pictured here with Rio Ferdinand (right)
The shorts are a in a black Gingham print, commemorating Manchester as the cotton city.
The white socks, featuring the devil graphic, offer a new and innovative design, featuring an updated cotton footbed offering the support and comfort.

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