Many have often stated the difference between American Football and Soccer is rather profound with there being little evidence, at least on the pitch, to suggest that statement is untrue. However, a website by the name of Football as Football has rather ingeniously found a way to fuse both sports and produce completely original items of clothing.
In the simplest terms, the concept is a complete redesign of the 32 NFL teams’ logos in the perceived style of soccer logos. For example, the logo selected for the Green Bay Packers has striking similarities to that of Schalke 04 of the German Bundesliga, only with the green and gold color scheme replacing the blue and white synonymous with the Gelsenkirchen giants.
One of the beauties of the Football As Football designs are that supporters can purchase merchandise relating to their team without it costing the exorbitant amount officially licensed gear does. In Europe the history of ‘replica’ soccer merchandise goes back a long way, however, this is really the first foray into the equivalent business for the National Football League.
Football As Football has been created by a small team of six designers in Minneapolis Minnesota and through their hard work there is now a huge number of varying products available from their online store, ranging from t-shirts right through to iPhone cases and Onsides.
As reported by Rolling Stone reporter James Montgomery, one of the designers, Garrick Willhite said that the idea was born out of the increasing crossover in interest between supporters of the NFL and European Soccer, mainly the English Premier League, “We knew that audience existed, just because we are that audience. We love the NFL and the Premier League, we talk about sports in the office and there’s a lot of crossover.”
What is fantastic about this product are the actual designs themselves, for example the logo designed for the Baltimore Ravens is remarkably similar to that of English Premier League champions, Manchester City. City’s badge includes an eagle whilst the Ravens design simply replaces that with a raven.
Another fine example of the perfect crossover between the two sports within this project is illustrated in one design for the New Orleans Saints.
The Fleur-de-lis emblem is found present in both the logos of Italian Serie A side Fiorentina and the New Orleans Saints. Football as Football has astutely edited the colour scheme of the Fiorentina logo to black and gold to create a neat hybrid logo for Saints fans to wear on their shirts.
With talk of a London franchise within the NFL increasing all the time there could well be a perfect opportunity for Football As Football to work with a potential franchise on an official logo for the team.
This is obviously a long way off but the work Football as Football are doing was given a huge boost in notoriety earlier this year when during Fox’s broadcast of the Detroit Lions-Atlanta Falcons game played at Wembley, the respective Football as Football logos for each team were shown as part of the station’s coverage.
After years of both sports being polar opposites of each other, we may now be entering a time where there will be more similarities than differences between the NFL and European soccer and the already booming sales figures for this crossover merchandise are only likely to increase, thus placing soccer and the NFL as close as they’ve ever been.
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