Back to black for Bayer Leverkusen

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Bayer Leverkusen are maintaining a recent tradition with the launch of their new home strip by Jako for 2020-21.

All-black with red trim and jacquard striping (each ‘stripe’ is made up of eleven smaller stripes – the club’s nickname is die Werkself, or ‘factory eleven’), the kit also features a monochrome crest.

For 2019-20, the club had marked their return to the Champions League by reinstating red as the first-choice colour:

The new home jersey is more than just than a match kit! It is also a sign of our fans’ identification with the Werkself. For our return to the Champions League, our players wanted a classic home jersey in the club colours: Our new home jersey is therefore designed in diagonal stripes of two light shades of red.

However, the change in home colour allows the 2019-20 kit to be repurposed as the away, just as the 2018-19 first kit became the 2019-20 second strip.

Having moved from adidas to Jako in 2016-17, Leverkusen had mainly had black home strips, but the alternating approach has allowed them to re-engage what happened from 2013-16. This approach seems novel, but it in fact a re-engaging of something Leverkusen did from 2013-16. The strip on the right was the home kit in 2012-13.

In 2012-13, the home kit was red shirts with black shorts, but, after the launch of a new black outfit in 2013, coinciding with the introduction of LG as new sponsors, the red continued as second choice, with the new logo and red shorts.

Then, 2014 saw red return and the black follow its predecessor in being the alternative during its second season.

And the same thing happened in 2015, though the white third kit was also called upon quite a bit, given the amount of red on the first and second strips.

Whether or not the hooped kit would have been a suitable back-up to another red kit for 2015-16 was made moot by the swapping of adidas for Jako. While it took them a while to return to the old system, it now looks to be firmly back in force.

2 comments on “Back to black for Bayer Leverkusen

  1. Louis Ostrowski (@ostrl)

    One interesting side note: quite a few German clubs use the same designs for away kits and goalkeeper kits. At times this season Leverkusen’s keeper Lukas Hradecky has worn the black and red kit, last year’s home. Something I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere else.


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