Nike x Bumpy Pitch

June 13th, 2011

We’ve been hinting at it for a minute now, and we are excited to officially release the first two graphics from our collaboration with Nike. As we have teased in previous posts, these shirts and graphics are inspired by one of the great rivalries in international soccer – USA v Mexico.

The idea behind this rivalry pack has always been about exploring the rich rivalry between the US and Mexico. The shirts feature elements of domination over one another, but also touch on the element of respect for the rivalry and an understanding that we need our fiercest rivals to always inspire us to be greater.

More images and a deeper breakdown after the jump.

One of the elements that we wanted to play off from a design point of view is that of the eagle. It’s a symbol of strength and pride for both countries and there was always something very interesting about two great rivals sharing a symbol that has so much meaning to both sides.

It’s impossible to do anything rivalry related and not have a focus be on dominating your rival. It’s what it’s all about. I can’t think of any game involving the US National Team that gets fans more hyped up than when we play Mexico. And I think this feeling is mutual amongst Mexican fans. I don’t think there is anything the fans and players like more than to dominate their rival. So we had to put our own twist on that idea and notion.

The US graphic features an eagle that many of us are quite familiar with, clutching a prickly pear and crushing an el tri pendant. The prickly pear is famously seen on the Mexican flag with their eagle sitting above it. So we took that concept and came up with the idea that the US eagle has taken ownership of the prickly pear as a sign of it’s dominance over its rival. Add the eagle crushing an el tri pendant and the concept of dominance seems fairly straight forward now.

Just as with the US graphic, we chose the eagle as the symbol of strength and pride. Here we went with the eagle holding a broken US crest (the same crest from the US graphic) while eating the “don’t tread on me” snake. The el tri pendant that is seen in the US graphic makes a cameo here as well, placed firmly back around the neck of the Mexican eagle. Color wise we went with a pink eagle in part to contrast sharply with the black shirt. And in part based off a lucha libre mask that we found while doing some research that helped inspire the tone of this graphic.

With the domination part squarely taken care of via the graphics, we had to figure out how to make sure that these shirts also paid respect to the idea of rivalries. It was extremely important that we got this point across as well. We decided to go with a print on the inside of the shirt, placed squarely above the heart that talks about the importance of a great rivalry. The story is the same on both, but not the call to action at the end.

And lastly, a co-branding hit that is placed at the opposite corner to the graphic to help balance the look and feel.

The shirts are available in the Bumpy Pitch online store, Nike.com, select Nike Towns and soccer stores across the US.

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