It’s common knowledge that football clubs have three jerseys in their warehouse. One is the identity-defining home kit, next the away kit and the last is the third kit.
The use of third kits in football has been evident for a long time but in the world of sports, the NFL was the last of the major professional sports leagues to adopt the third jersey rule in 2002.
But have you ever wondered why football teams have a 3rd kit in their inventory? – Well, there are several reasons behind the response to that question.
Let’s find them out!
1] The logical reason:
Home kits are used for the home games and the away kits are used for the away game. Now the third kit is supposed to be used in two situations.
First, when the matches are hosted on a neutral venue, and second when there is a clash of colors.
Suppose two teams meet and coincidently, both the teams have similar kits, then a third kit is used by the away team to prevent color confusion. This becomes a massive plus for players and cameras alike to differentiate between the two team’s players.
So, these were the two reasons, but assuming, you who is reading this is a football fanatic, already knew this!
2] The commercial reason:
With this day and age of football, where the salaries of players are always rising, the clubs need as much as additional revenue they can garner. The third kit provides substantial help in that.
By providing the customer an additional option to choose from, the third kit becomes an alternate revenue for the clubs.
In some cases, however, the third kit can also amount to a huge generation of revenue.
For example, when Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Juventus in the summer of 2018, a club executive claimed that they had sold more jerseys in the summer of his arrival than in the entirety of the previous season!
So, a third kit if it strikes right with a club’s fanbase can generate millions in revenue.
3] The creative reason:
Now chances are the home kit and the away kit of a club will remain the same for an eternity. Both these kits define the identity of the club on a global level. Manchester United will be Red, Real Madrid will be white. The home jersey is part of the age-old heritage which you cannot alter.
But the third kit is an exception and that is the reason why a new third kit is launched every season – it allows the club to be creative and innovative as much as possible.
Clubs can take a risk with their third kits; they get total freedom when it comes to designing the kit. They are not restricted by the bounds of the heritage and traditions of the club.
That is the reason why most of the third kits are causal in their personality.
With freedom on design aspects, comes a high risk of appeal.
That’s why certain third kits are either absolute masterpieces or complete crap at times.
This season’s third kit of Ajax is a work of art. The Bob Marley-inspired kit is meticulously crafted and delivered!
We, on the other hand, are not fans of Adidas’ third kit for Juventus. It’s yellow, it’s blue, it’s white – it’s an absolute mess!
Even with Ronaldo in it, it looks dreadful.
But it doesn’t matter! Because you can always have the choice to change the third kit when the next season rolls around. That is the beauty of a third kit.
It allows creative freedom and it allows room for mistakes!
So there you have it, three explanations that pretty much encompass the entire concept of third kits in football!
What are your thoughts on third-kits, and which are your all-time favorites? Let us know in the comments!