So Yesterday was the first day of the World Cup and the Croatia Brazil match up was quite a good way to kick it off. There were lots of twists and turns to the match, but here we will be looking at the twists and turns that took place leading up to kick off of World Cup 2014! Richard and I have chosen so see how the football giants adidas and Nike have handled hyping up the World Cup and also how preparations have been handled in this first installment of our Bi-weekly “The Linesmen”.
Nike Lead up
As I’ve already mentioned in Ethan’s World Cup Q&A session I’m not overly impressed with the color option. Though I would be one to argue that the paint of coat isn’t as important as whats under it, nike could have stepped up and put something out that they didn’t just release in March with the summer collection and we have been seeing the Obra for the same amount of time in the one colorway. So it really isn’t anything new and shiny and I nike have really released the most anticlimactic colorway collection. Nike has set the bar for themselves especially after releasing such an iconic colorway collection with last years World Cup colorway and they have clipped that bar and fallen flat on their faces with this years attempt at creativity.
Other than that Nike have churned out two brand new boots for the collection, the Obra, Superfly and all the boots within the silos. So overall I can almost forgive nike for colorway laziness. Then they have had some pretty rocking advertisements namely their “Winner Stays.” and “The Last Game” commercials in their risk everything campaign. They really did a good job ramping up the World Cup hype in this regard. So nike haven’t overall failed to create hype for the World Cup. Where they have failed in the colorways they have succeeded in other areas. But seeing the boots on the pitch the nike collection has the most pop and it is hard to keep your eyes off them especially in the sea of black and white which brings me too.
Adidas’ lead up
When I saw the Battle Pack my initial thoughts were “Wow, I hope this isn’t what they are going to the World Cup with.” then after finding out they were going to be using the Battle Pack in the World Cup “Now they couldn’t have used any of the other Brazil inspired packs, are they looking to drive people to nike and puma?” I still regard it as a joke especially after seeing the adverts for the collection. Just take a gander at Luis Suarez in all of his toothy glory (I wonder if he is going to bring them to bare on any opponents this World Cup).
Adidas have used the logic that they will stand out by not standing out, but realistically they stand out by looking god awful. I would rather them do what they usually do and dazzle with colors and throw around some aesthetically pleasing patterns instead of this safari-esque debaucheries. But adidas have, like nike, switched things up with their boots a bit like revamping the LZ and tweaking the Nitrocharge. While being visually disappointing, the battle pack is by no means unoriginal like nikes line up. On the advert front, adidas has been no where to be found really. They have blended into the background. However they do virtually have a monopoly on the World Cup as they are suppliers of merch and equipment. Having said that the World Cup ball is pretty rocking visually and performance wise. They did build up by releasing those many Brasil inspired colorways they kept churning out to Richards delight. Adidas have really trudged into this World Cup, I’m much more excited by what nike is offering up.
General Preparations in Brazil
I’m pretty anxious about whether or not they will have to use CGI to give the Stadiums the impression of being completed. It is quite apparent that Brazil will outdo Sochi in terms of unpreparedness for such a large fixture. Personally I believe that if there is an event where the cost is in the billions then corruption and unrest will be right there with it and the news coming out of Brazil finds this to be true. As pumped as I am for the World Cup, I feel like the residents of Brazil want it elsewhere. This is one area where I don’t have all the details but I am seriously miffed as someone who takes human rights seriously. The whole affair is being mishandled and Brazilian civilians are the ones really paying the price. This of course will probably have absolutely no effect on the proceedings of the World Cup. Of course the riot police have had plenty of practice beating back the riff raff since this whole thing has started, so they will have no problem keeping the masses outside the stadiums in check. I say this with heavy sarcasm as the cost has been heavy for Brazil. Too many lives have been lost in preparation for the cup, and the stadium wasn’t ready at the beginning of world kick off day. The whole lead up has been heinous for the country, it really casts a pall over all proceedings. #notgoingtobrazil is the tag to search on twitter.
I’m half way bothered when it comes to the Nike Summer Pack. I mean for the most part it reeks of laziness, the Magista Obra was released to public eyes on March 6th sporting the Volt/Metallic Gold Coin (Yeah, alright there Super Mario Brothers)/Black/Hyper Punch colour, which surprise surprise is one of 2 colourways chosen for the Nike Summer (World Cup) Collection. I’m sorry summer in March? It’s like Christmas in July, and I’m just not ‘avin it. So Magista and Tiempo fans enjoy your boots which have been quasi-available in those colours since March! Although Tiempo fans I recommend getting the boots (if you haven’t already) in the thoroughly excellent Black/White/White colour which harkens back to the days of the thoroughly excellent Clash Collection from Euro 2012!
Now to the other half of the Summer Collection. It’s okay, I mean really all Nike have done when it comes to the Vapor, Superfly, and Hypervenom is take the aforementioned Volt/Metallic Gold Coin/Black/Hyper Punch colour way and flip the Volt sections to Hyper Punch and the Hyper Punch sections to Volt. Also for the record I enjoy saying Hyper Punch, I’m half expecting the Kool-Aid Man to come blasting through a wall screaming “OHH YEAHHHHHHH!” Having seen a pair of the World Cup Hypervenom’s I can say that they’re aren’t unappealing, in fact personally I think they suit the boot to the ground, but it’s a colourway which I think would get more play as a boot specific colourway as opposed to a World Cup colourway.Also an aside, I am a bit worried about what Nike can do with the colourways for future Magistra Obra and Mercurial Superfly releases given the materials used in the boots construction.
World Cup Preparation Thoughts
Did anyone really think Brasil was going to be 100% ready for the World Cup? They’ve had seven years, but there’s just so much work which had to be done, it’ll be a push for them to be ready for the 2016 Summer Olympics. There’s been issues in stadium construct from delays to unfortunately deaths. The less I say about Manaus probably the better, I mean they’ve practically rebuilt the entire infrastructure in the city including an international airport to bring the city up to code. They’ve also spent over $200 million on a new stadium which won’t have a club able to fill it after the World Cup. It’s also probably best if we don’t mention that Manaus is so remote it’s really only accessible by plane or boat, so apologies American tourista but your rented Opel just isn’t going to be able to make the drive in time for the match versus Portugal.
Brasil might well be the wealthiest country in South America, but it’s certainly not rich by Western standards, and $11.5 billion to stage the World Cup is money which while not Sochi-money is definitely not doing it on the cheap (Germany spent $2 billion upgrading for 2006). Despite being arguably the wealthiest South American country, Brasil still has a massive number of people living well below the poverty line in favelas, which has led the police to issuing a guide on what to do if you get robbed. Brasil is an incredible country (on my top 5 of places to visit) but I can’t help but think that the $11.5 billion could have been better spent on helping those who aren’t well off, as opposed to making the good people (read: corrupt people) who run FIFA literal boat loads of money.
Adidas and their World Cup Packs
So lets review, the World Cup is in Brasil, Brasil is the country of glorious colour, which is why I like many of you were SHOCKED to see that the actual World Cup colourway was going to be black and white spots! Football is vibrant, football is colourful, football is fun! This isn’t fun, this is an homage to 101 Dalmatians, and last time I checked Cruella de Vil wasn’t a sponsored Adidas athlete. But the shocking design isn’t the biggest crime here, although it is a pretty big one! Sadly it seems Adidas have gone down the FIFA route for this World Cup, intent on making as much money as humanly possible. This is easily evidenced by the releases of the Samba, Earth, and ‘limited edition’ Carnaval packs. In Ethan’s Q and A session I did some mathematics on the 11Pro and found that if you bought at pair of boots in the Samba, Earth, Carnaval, and now Battle Packs you’d have spent over $650 since January of this year.
Since then I’ve done some more math and the numbers are even more eye watering. If you were a Nitrocharge loyalist and had to purchase a pair in each of the Brasil-themed packs you’d have spent about $850 on four pairs of boots. The F50’s would have set you back over $900, and if you happened to think that the F50 Crazylight wasn’t a gimmick (I know I was shocked it was a one time thing) and had to buy those too, it’d have run you up over $1200. Buying a pair of Predators in each of the four colourways would have set you back about $1000, but at least you get the new Instinct boot with the Battle Pack, I suppose. I mean I love Adidas and they make fantastic boots but this is borderline gangsterism, one or two World Cup styles I could live with but FOUR, and only 1 terrible colourway actually in use during the World Cup, it just begs belief! I’m just hopeful that the Adidas athletes in Brasil will put up performances which will look better than the boots that they’ll be wearing (Toni Kroos excluded as he’s sticking to his adipures!).
Now it is your turn to pipe in with your own personal opinion on the road to the World Cup, just hop on down to the comments section!