In Depth

Chelsea kit: Diego Costa leads 'nonsensical' launch campaign

'If it's not blue, it will be', say Chelsea as they unveil a new home kit… and a white away shirt

Chelsea have unveiled their new kit for the coming season, with a bewildering launch video and some marketing flourishes that have left observers baffled.

Diego Costa leads the line in the promotional video for the new royal blue kit, the first to bear the logo of new sponsors Yokohama Tyres.

The Adidas design "incorporates red trim for the first time in five years and takes inspiration from the extremely popular Le Coq Sportif kits of the 1980s", says The Independent. "Not only does the red trim bear similarities, there is a return to the pinstripe look that made that shirt a fans' favourite."

However, the new sponsor has sparked debate among fans, with some complaining that the Yokohama Tyres logo is too big and does not compare favourable with that of former sponsor, Samsung. However, the Japanese tyre company is paying £40m a year for the privilege of advertising on the shirts, in a deal that is second only to Manchester United's tie-up with Chevrolet.

Aside from the kit design, what is perplexing many is the launch slogan: "If it's not blue it will be".

"What does that even mean?" asks the We Ain't Got No History blog on SB Nation, which calls the tagline "nonsensical". It's a question that was rendered even more relevent after the launch of Chelsea's new away kit... which is white.

However, manufacturer Adidas explains that the slogan highlights the "players' determination to dominate domestic and European football".

Adding to the marketing confusion is a "unique fingerprint" on each shirt, which, says Adidas, provides fans with a connection to "the club's unique identity". Not everyone is convinced.

One final marketing manouevre is a tie-up with online cab firm Uber, which comes laced with caveats. Fans who buy a new top and download the Uber app will be able to have the kit delivered to their door. The offer is not available in London, but will apply to fans in cities including Mumbai, Shanghai and Los Angeles, although the club warns that demand will be "very high" and availability will be "limited".

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