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Saints Launch New 3rd Kit For 2022/23 Season
Thursday, 4th Aug 2022 11:23

Now I have to say I quite like the design and colour scheme for the new Saints 3rd kit, however I am a little confused by the accompanying PR blurb that suggests it harks back to our connections with aviation & the RAF.

The new 3rd kit should be an essential buy for anyone who is concerned about the escalating conflicts around the world, its dark green pattern could almost be described as camouflage in it's design and certainly would be a lot better to wear when hiding in a hedge from enemy troops than either the home kit or the 2nd kit, although perhaps the latter would be useful if being chased down the Solent by an enemy submarine.

The dark green and black shirt features a subtle detail design, taking reference from propeller blades, launched again under the campaign, Bold is Brave.

The shirt also features four stripes on either side of the shirt, in yellow, white, red and blue, apparently taking inspiration from the RAF Roundel.

The kit is matched with dark green shorts and green and black socks, while the socks also feature the four stripes inspired by the RAF Roundel.

I have to say I find the colour scheme quite fetching and although I am a traditionalist with the home kit in that the most iconic clubs are the ones that see the value of their traditions and that includes shirt design, I do accept that with the 2nd and 3rd team kits you have to let the shirt designers have a bit of fun.

The club's Director of Marketing & Partnerships Sarah Batters had this to say:

“We’re delighted to launch our third kit, with this shirt, we wanted to give a nod to our city’s connections to the RAF. Working with hummel has allowed us to be creative and celebrate that in the design of the shirt”

Now I like most people in this City know the history of the Spitfire from World War 2, that is was designed and tested locally by RJ Mitchell and was also in mass production at Supermarine's factory in Woolston, just across the River Itchen barely half a mile away from St Mary's Stadium itself. But the factory and much of it's surrounding area then called Itchen Ferry was flattened by German Bombing raids and from then on most of the production was dispersed to other sites so that it was not in one place.

But although we have connections to the Spitfire, that plane was designed and built by Supermarine a private company independent of the RAF, we have little connection to the RAF as a city, the nearest operational RAF base in World War 2 would have been at Stoney Cross in the New Forest around 12 miles from Southampton itself and from this respect.

So like the waves on the 2nd team shirt representing the Solent a body of water likewise 12 miles away, it is not really a local connection.

I am all for our football club engaging with the City it stands in and recognising it's culture and history, but let's do so using what we have such as our rich shipping connections, or vibrant ethnic communities and our medieval city walls to name but a few, or even celebrating the Father of Brazilian football Charles William Miller who was schooled in Southampton by perhaps having a 2nd kit based on the Brazillian national side, something we can genuinely be proud of, rather than using tenuous links that don't really have any relevance.

Sadly the launch of all three kits this season have been accompanied by pr campaigns that seem to indicate that either hummel or our own marketing department, indeed perhaps both have done little research before launching these kits, they have tried to build a story around the design, rather than the other way round.

Photo: Action Images

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WestSussexSaint added 12:05 - Aug 4
This is the best of a bad lot. I like the green and black but the kit designers have still managed to find a way to spoil it with the multi coloured stripes under each arm. It’s as if someone forgot to remove the colour test palate from the design drawings.

I suppose we had 3 good designs last season and are paying for it this season. It might have been better for Saints to do what Brentford have and just retain the strip for 2 seasons.

highfield49 added 12:39 - Aug 4
My understanding is that the first production Spitfire flew from Eastleigh airport in 1938 Nick. Although I have to agree that the kit marketing has been a bit iffy this year I still think it reasonable to celebrate our city connection to the designer and production of an iconic fighter aircraft.
I'm now awaiting Sarah Batters taking on a marketing job at Leicester and subsequently promoting a new kit featuring Melton Mowbray pork pies.

SaintNick added 12:57 - Aug 4
highfield49, Read what i say, it is not celebrating the Spitfire or its connection to the City, at least not directly, it is celebrating the city's connection to the RAF, no mention of the spitfire, RJ Mitchell or the Supermarine test flights, just the RAF

ItchenNorth added 13:27 - Aug 4
If it's RAF inspired, why is the kit dark green? Have I missed something. The RAF colours are red white and blue. The RAF personal uniform is a dark grey/blue colour. Even the aircraft are generally grey. Where does green come in?

saintmark1976 added 13:52 - Aug 4
Oh well, if it’s camouflage then it will give Ralph yet another excuse when the defence goes missing.

highfield49 added 15:46 - Aug 4
Nick, I've always had difficulty reading what people say, I do slightly better at reading what people write. I know what you wrote and don't disagree that Southampton doesn't have too much connection with the RAF. My only contribution to the debate was that I felt Mr Mitchell and his aircraft design were a worthy choice for the shirt design. However, I accept total responsibility for missing the point you were making and will avoid making any connection between Spitfire's, Southampton and the RAF in future.

PeterL22 added 17:32 - Aug 4
Best of the three kits. But can anyone tell me when there will be a clash with both first & second kits so that we actually NEED it.

EarlsCourtSaint added 19:01 - Aug 4
The Royal Air Force appear to like it 😇


Block8 added 20:04 - Aug 4
How can our IT department be so good and our marketing department so bad?
Perhaps we should, like the coaching staff, have an overhaul!
Saying that I quite like this kit, although I'm in agreement with you Nick that perhaps we should design a kit based on our city's history and not try to fit history into a design already done!

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