Charleston’s front office invited its Carolina Challenge Cup guests and media to the Three Lions Club Friday for the unveiling of Battery’s new kit, and the initial reviews were uniformly glowing. The pun is there, but not intended.
Designed to club specs on Nike construction and fabric, the new shirt with the SPARCET logo on it follows the same classic striped pattern Battery fans associate with the team, but the consensus among Battery staff and players seemed to be that the new version looks like sleek upgrade to the 2012 model.
In: A sublimation printing process that puts the graphics into the technical fabric rather than heat-treating them to the surface. Out: That traditional, brighter Battery yellow, replaced by an updated shade that looks like it has a bit more of a golden tint.
The good news for fans: The new jerseys go on sale to the public Saturday, and they’re priced at $60, up just $5 from the cost of last year’s Umbro jersey. Fans had been speculated this week that the switch to Nike would bring a hefty price-hike at the Pro Shop.
Not that the Nike/Umbro switch the club is now trying to manage is as easy as inviting in the media and holding up a shirt. After years as the Battery’s kit provider, Umbros signs remain on display in Blackbaud Stadium, and they’ll remain there until next week, Bell said. The club is still waiting for Nike to provide the new kit sponsorship signs, and it will be a while before all old Umbro training uniforms gets cycled out.
“(The transition) is quite challenging because you accumulate a lot of gear over the years,” Bell said. “So it’s a little tricky, but it’s worth it.”
Players and coaches from the Vancouver Whitecaps and Chicago Fire attended the 1 p.m. unveiling, plowing through a buffet of barbecued pork, chicken and vegetarian lasagna.