Bristol Rugby’s dramatic rebrand to the Bristol Bears has been one of the stories of this rugby offseason, and perhaps the most visible and eye-catching example of that drastic change is the club’s brand new jerseys – once again produced in-house under the Bristol Sport banner.
The last time Bristol were in the Premiership, they introduced red to their home jersey, while keeping things traditional on the blue and white hoops front. But the Bears are a whole new ballgame, and red is clearly much more of a facet here.
It’s been executed in a really nice and unique way, however – the hashed red lines turning into a lattice of diamonds as it fades into the blue is really sharp and original, while it’s nice to see the classic Bristol hoops remain on the sleeves.
The away shirt is a good deal more simply compared to the undeniably intricate and modern home design – the plain white shirt with black hooped sleeves is also very sharp looking, feeling a good deal more retro and old-school, but in a very good way.
The new Bears branding has got some peoples’ backs up, inevitably, and the new home shirt surely won’t help matters – especially given the amount of red involved and that colour’s association with the football club who share the Bears’ stadium, owner and everything else…
But it’s a bold new era for Bristol, and drastic change on the shirt front was always going to be a part of that. For us, however, these inaugural Bears jerseys hit just the right balance between trying something bold and different, while also paying tribute to the long history of Bristol Rugby – and they look very sharp with it.