The 2016 season was a case of close by no cigar for the Melbourne Storm – they reached their sixth Grand Final in 10 years, but lost out to the Sharks in a rematch of the 2008 Final (but with a level financial playing field, ahem) and they’ll be looking to go one better again in 2017.
2016 was a bit of a notable one on the jersey front, too – the Storm left the loving bosom of BLK (pour one out for the stunning purple hooped 2015 away shirt) and spent the year with Aussie brand, Star Athletic. That was one and done however, as they’re now on more familiar ground with ISC Sport.
And familiar is the right word to describe this year’s home shirt, as it’s very, very similar to last season’s Star shirt, with many common elements.
So once again we have a mixed blue and purple design that gradually fades from one to the other, and again we have a hatched, diamond-lattice effect to the lower part of the jersey, just like last year.
What’s different is the amount of purple used – there’s a lot more purple on the front of the jersey this year, with more of a definitive break with the blue whereas last year it was more of a fade.
Other than that it’s all pretty similar really – right down to the purple stripes along the shoulders. No lightning strikes to be seen this year, however!
That sense of familiarity doesn’t subside when it comes to the away shirt either – in fact it grows dramatically. If the home shirt is very similar to last year, this is pretty much identical to the 2016 version.
So we have the same twin-striped flat-bottomed chevron, the same large purple side panel, even the same blue shoulder panels with purple stripe as last year. If not for the ISC collar and the logo on the right breast, we’d swear we were looking at last year’s effort.
Helpfully, it’s actually a really, really lovely design, and maybe they just thought ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ – but that’s not really the point here is it?
As nice as both of these shirts are, when a team switches suppliers, the last thing we expect is to see the new brand basically slapping their logo on the old design and sending it out for fans to spend their hard-earned on.
When a manufacturer takes on a new contract, surely they should be brimming with ideas of how to put their unique spin on a team’s aesthetic, but clearly ISC didn’t get the memo. While both of these designs look good, they feel very phoned in, and make us miss the days of BLK’s creative approach.