On the World Cup Daily podcast, a senior design director from Nike delivers the story behind Nigeria's vibrant World Cup kits.
With one of the most popular World Cup kits in recent memory, Nigeria has grabbed plenty of eyeballs in Russia with its stylish zigzag jerseys. The uniforms are the result of years of work from Nike's design team, which spends years developing its kit concepts.
Pete Hoppins, Nike's Senior Design Director of Fútbol Apparel joined Grant Wahl on the World Cup Daily podcast to deliver the story behind Nigeria's flashy unis. His portion of the podcast begins at the 12-minute mark.
"This has kind of taken us all by surprise—the popularity of this jersey," Hobbins said. "It started about two years ago, the design process. If you think about it now, as the World Cup's going on we're actually in the middle of designing the Euro Champs 2020. So that's how far out we're designing.
"It kind of started with a small group of the design team wanting to do something different outside of our usual constraints that we put on ourselves. We were looking for a team really that we could take some risk with. Really kind of change the aesthetic and kind of cultural reference point for futbol. We ended up choosing Nigeria to do that with."
A mind-boggling three million preorders reportedly came in for the jerseys. Nike sold out in minutes as the uniforms have transcended the world of soccer and into fashion.
"We kind of went down this rabbit hole of inspiration and design and found out about this whole amazing culture that's happening (in Nigeria), and that's what we wanted to bring to life. It wasn't just on the jersey, we wanted to put it onto the full collection.
"So this is the first time that we've really dug super deep and then tried to encapsulate that vibe through a full collection. Then it was about getting it in front of some of these players and cultural influencers. As soon as we started showing the designs and the product to the players, we knew we were onto something."