It’s been five years since Italy signed up with German sportswear giant Adidas, and in that time you have to say the results have broadly been excellent. However, nothing lasts forever, and upon announcing their massive eight-year tie-up with Macron this week, the FIR also took the wraps off their brand new home and alternate shirts – let’s dive in.
In the press bumph for the new deal, the FIR were keen to stress the fact that Macron are an Italian company with an enthusiasm for Italian sport played a big part in their decision to partner with them, and that understanding certainly comes across in the home design.
It’s every bit the classic Azzuri shirt, with the sky blue design left almost entirely clean asides from the gold accents on the sleeves and hem of the jersey, plus some nice gold strengthening panels around the round-necked collar.
It’s not entirely without ornamentation, however – there’s some heavy stitching across the chest area, and the back of the jersey also features a few nice little touches for the keen-eyed.
In addition to the noticeable form-fitting panels around the sleeves, shoulders and around the bass of he spine, we also have the gold strengthening tape around the back of the collar, where we also have an Italian flag motif, and the word ‘Italia’ sublimated into the design.
At the base of the back, we also have a sublimated tonal FIR badge – the sort of thing that won’t really be visible on the field when the jersey is tucked in, but it’s a nice little touch regardless.
The change shirt is an identical design to the home shirt, with blue swapped for the traditional white alternate colour – it works fabulously with the gold, as these things often do, and the splash of colour from the FIR badge is welcome, too.
Like the home shirt, the away also features all the same little details and ornamentations as the home design, including a message inside the collar tape.
The collar and tag both feature the legend ‘F.I.E.R.O.’ – fiero literally means ‘pride’ in Italian, but it’s an anagram that stands for ‘Fitness Energy Intensity Reaction Objectives’. Honestly, we’ve got no idea why they’re using an Italian anagram for English words… maybe Conor O’Shea hasn’t learned much Italian yet?
Other than that, the other notable thing is the fabric – Macron are trumpeting the use of their new ‘Armevo’ fabric in the design. It’s a mesh-like thing that looks very similar to what Under Armour have been using on their test shirts for a few years now. We’re sure it’s pretty strong!
Macron is rapidly expanding in the rugby world – with Scotland already in the stable they have a third of the Six Nations now on their books, and of course they have Edinburgh, Glasgow, Northampton and newly crowned Pro 12 Champs the Scarlets in the club stable.
This is a really decent first effort for them – they were never going to rip up the rule book with so much emphasis being placed on their understanding of Italian sport, but they’ve added a few nice touches in what are very clean and classy jerseys. Nice.