We’re talking about Nike’s efforts for the full Nigeria National Team’s 2018 World Cup collection – of course. While the sportswear giant has come out with a solid roster of releases for all its sponsored teams for the upcoming global soccer event, it’s safe to say that the buzz surrounding the Super Eagles’ collection is by far Nike’s greatest – the fact that there were three million pre-sale orders for the home kit alone pretty much affirms that. But why is it so great? It’s all about the concept, or rather the ethos behind the campaign. And there’s one word to sum it all up: Naija.
“Naija” is a new term that both Nike and Nigeria’s youth are pushing that represents the spirit of contemporary Nigeria. While the West African country has had its fair share of the negative stigma, it’s often easy to forget the greatness, creativity, passion, and love that comes from its people. Naija is meant to help people see all of that and then some. Spearheaded by the Super Eagle’s young-aged team (the majority of the players are under 25), Naija – or at times referred to as “For Naija” – embodies not only the Nigerian youth’s spirit but also the identities and characters present in the youth-filled team.
This ethos is also pretty evident in the actual design itself, an energy-infused imprint courtesy of Nike Football Design Director Dan Farron and team. “We built this kit and collection based on the players’ full identities. We started to see trends in attitude and energy connecting the athletes to music, fashion and more. They are part of a resoundingly cool culture,” Farron states. But while it’s obvious that Nigerians today understand the new cultural pulse within their country, the same can be felt on a global stand-point, thanks to the diaspora Nigerian communities found the world over. “Naija fashion radiates, and its food is celebrated from Brooklyn, New York, to Peckham, London. In the United States and England, along with other locales with large Nigerian populations, the exuberance of Naija culture is resounding — spurred by family, friends, and football,” Nike explains about the collection.
It’s even felt here in Los Angeles within the Kicks to the Pitch office we call home, where Nike was gracious enough to send us the kits along with the collection’s Superfly and Vapor cleats that continues both the design and Naija concept. From that, we’ve put together an exclusive closer look at the offerings. The collection as a whole actually offers more than that, and actually more than your typical Nike World Cup release. It consists of a home kit, an away version, pre-match and training apparel, jackets and the aforementioned Superfly and Vapor soccer boots, which officially drops today – the only sad thing about the boots is that they won’t be worn be worn by the Super Eagles during the World Cup, but they can be worn by you with them in spirit! Check out our photo shoot throughout, then head over to Nike.com to grab yourself what we consider as Nike’s best campaign for World Cup 2018.