As if the months and months of leaks and mock-ups weren’t spoilers enough, Chelsea managed to spoil their own unveiling of the 2018-19 third kit by hitting the send button a bit prematurely on the announcement. But no matter, it’s all officially official now. The “teal” blue third kit is here, and it’s pretty cool.
Style meets technology. Introducing our 2018/19 @nikefootball third kit, featuring NikeConnect!⚡️— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 5, 2018
Shop now: https://t.co/kqmJ28W1Z5
*NikeConnect available in selected countries only. pic.twitter.com/3roSSupg7m
As the hipster beard on Eden Hazard will tell you, this newfangled shirt has a couple gimmicks up its sleeve, so to speak.
First, the design on the front is a semi-abstract map of West London, with the Chelsea badge showing where Stamford Bridge is located. This is a design idea that Nike has incorporated into several of their third kits this season, including Atlético Madrid, AS Roma, and a few others.
The other gimmick is what Nike are calling “NikeConnect”, and it’s the first time this technology has been included in a football jersey. (They already have it in their NBA jerseys, for example.) Basically, you download the app, scan the little logo/QR code on the hem of the shirt, and you unlock “exclusive” content like videos, products, and unspecified fan experiences. Sounds painful, but maybe this is what the kids like these days.
Gimmicks aside, the shirt itself looks interesting, semi-unique, and perhaps more wearable as a fashion item than most football shirts.
The shirt will be worn with matching teal shorts, and, what is most exciting for me personally, orange socks (though Nike are calling them “crimson”), but considering that the neck tape accent on the shirt looks orange, one would have to assume the socks are more orange than red as well.
Basically, we’re one step closer to the long-awaited 1994-96 away kit tribute, and when that happens, it’s going to be glorious.