With 12 contracts across the Premier League, Championship and League 1, it shouldn’t be a surprise that some of adidas’s clubs have the same colours.
While Chelsea swapped the three stripes for Nike in 2017, in the same way that a jilted lover quickly develops a ‘type’ which resembles their former paramour, adidas have tried to move on by keeping their blue-and-white design skills sharp.
Having joined with Leicester City this season, adidas have four clubs in the top two tiers in English football which have blue as a primary colour with white trim. Obviously, they can’t give them all identical strips, so a comparison of their outfits shows how a designer has to vary things.
Leicester are differentiated by the inclusion of gold, on the wrapover v-neck and the cuffs. The Foxes’ design is the same as that used by Sweden at last year’s World Cup, which itself references a 1980s style.
Another unique element is the fact that Leicester have white stocking tops with blue adidas stripes.
Cardiff are in their fourth year with adidas and their kit is quite similar to Leicester, but white is the only additional colour and the neck style also differs.
They too have a fabric pattern like that originally seen in the 1980s, with shadow hoops.
In the Championship, adidas’s two clubs are Birmingham City and Ipswich Town.
Birmingham first joined with adidas in 2016 and each of their three seasons have seen them with white stripes down the body of the blue shirts. For 2018-19, they have the Regista template.
Incidentally, Leicester’s third shirt is the same design but the opposite colours.
White panel aside, Birmingham’s kit is very similar to that used by Ipswich last season, but to provide differentiation the Suffolk side have been given white sleeves for the first time since 2013-14 and only the second time this century.
Theirs is a modified Condivo template, but without the rectangle shadow pattern used by so many sides. The addition of red trim also sets the Tractor Boys apart and ensures their socks differ from those of Cardiff and Brimingham.
Red and white stripes are another common design among adidas’s English clubs and soon we will cover how they have had to vary things in that regard over the past number of years.