The Football Season couldn’t have a better start than this for the football fans of India. After a long time, Nike officially released the Indian Team Jersey for the fans and is available to almost all Nike stores.
Indeed a great way to celebrate the TRI-SERIES Victory. The news surely got Indian football fanatics excited and some of them even flocked to their nearest Nike factory outlets to grab the blue shirt with the Indian Team logo stitched on it. Only for them to notice that the price printed on it is Rs. 4695 only. Yes you read it right! One jersey for a whopping 4695 Rupees.
(Based on the well-documented Nike template, the new India kit is turquoise with orange accents in the form of a stripe along each side and around the back of the collar, as well as the Swoosh on the right chest.)
Some fans are okay with the digits on the price tag, but the majority was surely in for some disappointment. Window shopping seemed to be more convenient for the fans at large. But going to the stadiums donning the Indian team jersey still remains a distant dream even though commercial sales have already begun.
In a country where Football is yet to reach its height people will think twice or even thrice before spending that amount on a single jersey. Well, most of us (football lovers in India) will prefer to save the money and buy tickets for another couple of game, rather wearing a Blue Jersey in one.
So, there are two sections of fans now: One section is willing to buy the original Indian Team jersey as they do for clubs like Arsenal/Chelsea or Real/Barca. Spending more than four and a half thousand to buy the national team jersey should not be a problem for them. Cause they have the capital to afford this price tag. On the other hand there are people who want to have that jersey badly but do not have enough money to buy the original one. The passion for football and the emotion attached with the National team is the same for both the sections. So, basically its heart breaking when your financial status becomes a judging factor when it comes to Sporting Patriotism.
This feeling is currently experienced by the majority of Indian football fan community. The only solution would have been if AIFF would negotiate a bit more with Nike to bring down the asking rate and make the jersey more accessible for the commoners. Now, the only thing that can be done is compromising the quality. It can take a bit of time, but we would recommend you to wait patiently for the first and second print copies of the jersey to come out in the market. Now that is a thing which most of us are used to doing when it comes to Jersey shopping. The first copy jersey generally costs around 600-700 bucks; fulfills our wish and saves money at the same time.
Many Indian Super League teams sell jerseys in affordable rates. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal club jerseys are hot favourites among the Indian football fans. To put things in perspective, the most professional and successful club (probably) in recent times, Bengaluru FC, was offering their replica kit at a bearable cost of 1099 INR last season. One great example to AIFF, on how to bring fans to the stands with the team kit on their skin!
Bengaluru FC fans showing their support for the team!
Why Nike hasn’t thought of a similar solution for the Indian football jersey, only the company itself can answer. But this isn’t the first time Nike has been lethargic about its commercialization strategy when it comes to Indian market. With World Cup U-17 approaching close where India is an integral part, the only way the fans can BLEED BLUE is, if both NIKE and AIFF look into this matter and find an effective solution soon.
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