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 Champions League Jersey of FC Bayern: End of the “Bestia Negra”
Textiles | 29.08.2016

Why the Bavarians now play in white

Champions League Jersey of FC Bayern: Adidas Designer Explains the End of the “Bestia Negra”

Champions League Jersey of FC Bayern: End of the “Bestia Negra”. An exuberant mood prevails before the FC Bayern photoshoot.
An exuberant mood prevails before the FC Bayern photoshoot.
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It’ll be two years until the latest jersey for FC Bayern is available in sports shops and online shops for fans to purchase: that’s how long outfitter Adidas needs for all of its processes, from the first design up to roll-out. Jürgen Rank, Head Jersey Designer at Adidas Football, gave some details on the new Bavarian look for the 2016/2017 Champions League season.

Each year, FC Bayern presents three new designs by outfitter Adidas: the home jersey, the away jersey, and a “kit” for the Champions League. Each jersey has a regular price of €89.95. 

The new home jerseys were available for purchase as early as the last home game of the previous season. The presentation of the away and Champions League jerseys, by contrast, traditionally takes place first in the summer break.

For the new 2016/2017 season, that means: FC Bayern will play in red at home, in black away, and in white in the Champions League.

Design process lasts two years

But it’s a long way from the first sketches by Adidas designers to the roll-out into Bayern fan shops. “The design process lasts roughly two years,” says Jürgen Rank, Head Jersey Designer at Adidas, to

La bestia negra only in away games in the Bundesliga 2016/2017 season.
La bestia negra only in away games in the Bundesliga 2016/2017 season.

“Leading up to the events, we usually sit down together with the clubs and talk about ideas and the positioning of the respective club. We ask ourselves what points the club wants to make, and what else is important to them.”

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UEFA allows a maximum of four colors

What many people do not know: the international soccer associations also have an influence on jersey design. “What’s important is that we take consider the UEFA and FIFA regulations. There are rules for colors, color contrasts, the positioning of logos, and much more,” says Rank.

Thus, for example, a maximum of four colors may be used per jersey; a fifth color can only appear in the lettering. Starting at three colors used, according to UEFA equipment regulations, “one [color] must be clearly dominant on the surface of the shirt, shorts and socks.”

UEFA is even more specific when it comes to the lettering. Player numbers must be 25 to 35 centimeters tall and have a stitch width of two to five centimeters. Player names may only be up to 7.5 centimeters tall.

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FC Bayern playing in white in the Champions League

If the Adidas designers have noted all standards and finished designing the jerseys, “we then first present the jerseys internally to our bosses, and then they make it to the clubs,” explains Rank. “After that follows the model production, the samples for the players, and finally the presentation to the public.”

There’s something new for Bayern fans in the 2016/2017 season: Adidas has swapped the typical colors of the away and Champions League jerseys. Now, the stars under Captain Philipp Lahm will take to the Champions League field in white (with dark red accents), whereas the away jerseys will be kept black.

But in the Champions League, FC Bayern is known as the “bestia negra,” as the Spanish media once dubbed the German record champions.

Heads up: what’s behind FC Bayern’s Champions League jerseys.
Heads up: what’s behind FC Bayern’s Champions League jerseys.

Behind the Champions League jersey is a message

But why did Adidas and FC Bayern choose the white design for the Champions League? “The main reason is that, with this jersey, we want to carry the history and identity of FC Bayern out into world, internationally as well,” says Rank.

Rhombuses are sewn into the sleeves, said to “allude to the Bavarian background.” The white and dark red coloring is said to be “an homage to the jerseys in the days of the legendary President Kurt Landauer,” that “is to evoke the colorful history of the club.” 

The three Adidas strips were subtly designed in silver. They “stand for the won Champions League title,” explains Rank. Silver like the Champions League cup.

Read more here: Why FC Bayern is cooperating with video game producer EA Sports.

The outfitters of the 18 Bundesliga clubs:

Bundesliga club:Outfitter
1. FC KölnErima
1. FSV Mainz 05Lotto
Bayer 04 LeverkusenJako
Borussia DortmundPuma
Borussia MönchengladbachKappa
Eintracht FrankfurtNike
FC AugsburgNike
FC Bayern MünchenAdidas
FC Ingolstadt 04Adidas
FC Schalke 04Adidas
Hamburger SVAdidas
Hertha BSCNike
RB LeipzigNike
Sport-Club FreiburgHummel
SV Darmstadt 98Jako
SV Werder BremenNike
TSG 1899 HoffenheimLotto
VfL WolfsburgNike

Gregor Röslmaier schreibt für (Quelle: ISPO)
Article by Gregor Röslmaier, author
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