It’s been a rough couple of years for the Southern Kings since the last time we saw them in Super Rugby in 2013. Since they lost the relegation playoff to the Lions at the end of that season, the Kings have faced huge obstacles to reattaining their Super Rugby status, but finally the expansion to 18 teams has finally given them back a seat at the top table.
Not that it’s been easy for the Kings even with their Super Rugby status confirmed. Beset by huge financial problems, rumours abounded that the Kings would be unable to take their place in the tournament.
With all the negativity, it’s not exactly the best environment to launch a jersey in, but BLK have taken this as an opportunity to try to create a positive moment to boost morale of the Kings fans, staff and players, and they’ve done so with one of the most striking jerseys we’ve seen all season.
Kings jerseys past have been, well, boring… this one? Not so much. The regular Kings black jersey has been elevated by a hugely original abstract interpretation of a traditional beaded pattern that’s symbolic of the Eastern Cape, rendered here in red, black, yellow and grey.
While from a distance it has the look of a Pringle Jumper about it, there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s an incredibly distinctive design, that gives the Kings an identity that they’ve lacked in seasons past.
The alternate shirt echoes the pattern of the home shirt, but without the grey accents, leaving the striking black, red and yellow pattern to stand out even more than it did on the home.
If anything, the white might be even more eye-catching than the home design, but there’s no danger of you not recognising either shirt from a distance.
If you didn’t already know, BLK actually stands for ‘Beyond Limits Known’, and that’s what the designers were thinking when they created these shirts – where expectations of the team are so low people are wondering if they’ll even exist at the start of the season, it gives you the freedom to push the boundaries and go beyond the limits of what you’d normally consider a Kings design.
Yes, that sounds like a pack of very clever marketing talk, because it is, but it’s hard to deny that the Kings’ incredibly unique and boundary pushing designs created a real buzz upon their launch, and created a welcome bit of positive, exciting news to boost the confidence of the fans and staff.
Is a striking and original jersey going to turn around the fortunes of a team in very choppy waters? Of course not, but in its own little way, maybe it can help…