Diversity of the Football Shirt Market

The football shirt market has exploded over the past few months as the world prepares for the FIFA World Cup football tournament this summer. Fans are snapping up new designs as quickly as the teams can release them, and there is a booming online industry devoted to tracking down the newest designs and providing sneak peeks for fans who can’t wait for the official release. The availability and relatively inexpensive nature of replica football shirts makes them highly popular among the hard core fans – and those fans who only seem to watch during the important games.

World Cup 2010
One of the biggest forces driving the football shirt market right now is the upcoming World Cup tournament. The teams that have qualified for this premiere football event are all sporting new uniform shirts, and fans are anxious to represent their teams by purchasing the new World Cup designs. From kids to grandparents, the World Cup brings out the football fan in everyone, and has an added element of national pride as the football team represents the entire country. Wearing your team’s World Cup shirt shows that you’re a fan and a patriot.

European Teams
Even in non-World Cup years, the football shirt market remains relatively brisk. Football fans in Europe have several teams to choose from, and their loyalties to their favorite teams are legendary. Whether you are from Manchester or Barcelona, you’ll want to show off your team pride with a team jersey. From France to Italy to Germany, there are several team designs to choose from, and each carries its own particular reputation. Teams have a specific character, and the fans of those teams represent the character of their favorite clubs when they wear their shirts.

International Teams
Of course, Europe is not the only part of the world where the football shirt market thrives. Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, and the sales of football shirts is representative of that popularity. There are football shirts available from teams in Japan, South Africa, and Cameroon to name just a few. Even the United States has its own national football team and sells replica shirts to the fans, though the fans of football in the United States are traditionally less passionate about the game than other countries around the world.

Sponsorships Cash In
One of the main reasons that football teams like to be part of the football shirt market is because it allows them to make more money from sponsorships. Each team shirt proudly displays the logo of the company that manufactured it, which means that the fans walking around in the team’s shirts are walking billboards for the shirt company. Advertising on sporting apparel has become normal and expected, and it provides a little extra revenue for the team as well as some extra exposure for the team’s sponsor. With the widely televised nature of today’s sports, commercialization of sporting events has spread across every professional sport, and football is no different.

Football Fans Get Disruptive

Let’s face it; football is one of the most adored games in the world. It is played in nearly every country, and there are representatives from far and wide who qualify for the FIFA World Cup every four years. Some fans take this game very seriously, and they use the international matches as symbolic ways to express the dominance of their country over other countries in the world. When this intensity is focused on a single game, things are bound to eventually get out of hand. The good news is that the game continues to grow and change and the fans have begun to realize that their actions could have negative affects for the teams they love.

Passionate Fans
Football fans have always been a little more passionate than fans of most other games. Fans have verbally abused referees and other figures of authority since long before the game became officially organized. The fact that there are teams that represent entire nations means that almost every match carries symbolic national implications. Fans feel more connected to teams that represent them on a national level, and the games take on special importance.

Politicizing the Game
Football matches sometimes exacerbate political issues. If there is national tension between two countries, a match between those two countries carries far more intensity than it would otherwise. Fans can become overwrought during the matches, and violence has been known to occur between opposing fans in some high profile games. If two countries have traditionally been political rivals, like Scotland versus England, the game carries several centuries’ worth of disdain for one another from the fans in the stands. Any perceived slight by officials or one of the teams can ignite a passionate response from the fans, which sometimes spills over into the streets.

Orchestrated Chaos
Hooligan support by football fans was begun in Italy in the 1980s. These fans will organize very dramatic ways of showing support for their national teams, often without regard for the legality of their actions. They will set off fireworks, create bonfires, break seats, and even cause small explosions during pivotal moments of the game. The hooliganism invariably degenerates into a wider violence, and several teams have experienced damage to their stadiums and tour buses. The motives of these hooligan fans are usually nothing more complicated than a desire to disrupt the game and give their team an advantage.

Limited Response
Larger European nations have made some inroads in curbing the hooligan behavior. Football coverage in the media focuses on the game and ignores the outrageous behavior as much as possible in the hopes that the hooligans will be discouraged at the lack of attention they receive. Police have also begun to patrol stadiums more diligently, concentrating especially on areas that may provide an opportunity for hooligan behavior. Unfortunately these steps have not curbed the general rise in violence at football games around the world. Much stricter measures may have to be instituted across the game to eradicate this violent trend.

Football Freestyle In Japan

Football Freestyle + Japan… well, it’s quite a big hit over there. Japan has a love to a lot of things that is different. As far as I know there is no real magazine which is dedicated to football freestyle… in the whole world! But in Japan they have it, already in 2005 they had a magazine all about football freestyle. The directors of the magazine went all over the world to record crazy freestylers. This magazine were sold in stories as Seven eleven and so on.

Back then they also had competitions on a regular basis and people just seemed to love freestyle! Japan also have some great freestylers as well, some top class. The Japanese style is different to the European style though. In Europe it’s this crazy “lowerbody” era that rules, it’s all about crazy leg tricks. In Japan it’s more about style, creativity and being unique.

In Japan they have also been doing shows that is very rare in the rest of the world. Synchronized shows, to have one or more freestylers doing the same moves to a beat. This kind of show is very hard! The Japanese are also very dedicated to football freestyle so they just keep getting better and better all the time, they seem to be unstoppable.

I’ve seen young kids, 9-10 years old doing crazy things with the football. They start at a very young age and they just stay dedicated, that’s very amazing! How the freestyle fever is at this moment in Japan I don’t really know since I haven’t been over there for some time now. I would guess it’s growing more and more for every day that passes by in Japan. The pros over there are doing a lot of performances and different events etc.

When this sports gets big, Japan will always be in the top in the international competitions!