Arsenal's 'Future, Forever, Victorious' story
After much anticipation, the new Arsenal kits for the upcoming 2014-15 season have finally been launched by Puma, who has replaced Nike as the Gunners' new shirt supplier after signing a £30m-a-year deal for five years. To kickstart their new partnership with a bang, Puma has identified the core values of Arsenal Football Club to create the 'Future, Forever, Victorious' story, underpinning their 'Stronger Together' campaign. But what do those three words mean and signify? To find that out, we sit down with Sebastian Thiney, the man behind the scenes...
Hey Sebastian, the new kits look great.
Did you and your team get any inputs from Arsene Wenger or the players before finalising the designs?
Well, the project was kept secret from the manager and players, but we did work with a few people from the club, who briefed us on their vision. That’s how we successfully came out with the ‘Future, Forever, Victorious’ story.
What was the reasoning behind the ‘Future, Forever, Victorious’ concept?
Simple, really. It was important for us to create one concept that can exist now and will continue to exist in the future.
‘Future’ is the Cup kit, which will be worn by Arsenal away from home in cup competitions and symbolises the club’s focus on youth development, and is created based on seasonal colours.
‘Forever’ is the Home shirt, representing the loyal supporters that have been at the heart of the club as it stays true to the traditional red and white Arsenal colours.
The ‘Victorious’ Away shirt is based on the team's past victories. This season it was designed in the iconic yellow and navy blue colours worn by the club during some of their most famous victories away from home such as the title-winning victory at Anfield in 1989.
Very intriguing. Do they have any special features?
They share the same PWR ACTV technology, which combines compression fabric and athletic taping within the shirt to help players maximise their performance. The taping, in particular, is strategically placed near the active muscles to provide micro-massages on the skin, which help supply energy in a faster way.
Besides enhancing an Arsenal player’s performance on the pitch, how will it help him?
I believe the kits will also give a psychological advantage to the Arsenal players during matches. The three designs emphasise on the physique of a wearer, which will make them look very strong and intimidating. So, for instance, when they are walking to the pitch from the tunnel, they will already make a strong impression on their opponents [even before the match starts].
The shirts are clearly tight fit. But what about the fans with less than ideal body shapes…?
[Laughs] Luckily for the fans, we have two versions of the kits. The players will be wearing the performance shirts, but we will be selling the Replica shirts that have a more relaxed fit. The Replica shirts do not have the PWR ACTV technology, though.
The home kit was accidentally leaked nine months ago when Linford Christie [1992 gold medal winner sprinter] tweeted a photo featuring Thierry Henry in the new design. Was it a big concern for Puma?
That is difficult for me to comment, but it is obviously something that we want to prevent from happening again in the future.
Lastly, the dawn of Puma’s collaboration with Arsenal could not have a better start, with them recently ending their long trophy drought with the 2014 FA Cup trophy. But before that, were Puma worried at all about their lack of success in recent years?
Even if Arsenal did not win the trophy last season, we would not be concerned about it because it was clear to us that Arsenal are a club for the future. If we look at the UEFA’s Financial Fair Play, it will show that the club are in line with it and are well-managed. They also have their own stadium and a strategy of building a team around young players. Thus, these factors made Puma believe that Arsenal are a big club and will continue to be in the future.
Arsenal’s Home and Away Replica kits are now for sale at all Puma stores and Puma-authorised outlets, while the Cup kit will be available from August 14 onward.