How Nike Designed The U.S. World Cup Jerseys

How Nike Designed The U.S. World Cup Jerseys

High-tech tools combined with old-school research helped create the high-performance collection.

Lara Piras
  • 20 june 2014

The World Cup is the most important football event on the calendar and ensuring that players around the world have the best kits possible is one of Nike’s latest missions.

The temperatures in Brazil sometimes reach the mid-80s during the games and humidity levels are high. However due to the fluctuation in temperatures in different regions of Brazil, where one area can feel warm and sticky and the next cool and crisp, the top designers at Nike had unique challenges to overcome when designing the U.S. jerseys.


The Nike design team did thorough research backed up by lots of data to ensure the players could adapt from one temperature to another. They worked closely with the athletes during training, asking them what they thought were the most important elements in a jersey for the upcoming games.

“A good designer is a good listener, a good observer,” Martin Lotti, Nike’s creative director for football, explained to WIRED. “So before you put pen to paper you step back and say how has the game changed what are some data points that we can draw from?”

Maintaing a constant temperature was one of the key findings from the players’ input so Lotti and his team put the prototypes in a simulated climate chamber, making a sweat map of the human body. The data collected revealed that air flow was a key factor regulating temperature so the team introduced laser-cut ventilation holes into the left and right sides of the jersey and a new weave of cotton and polyester (made from recycled plastic bottles) gave an added breathability.

The end products were 16 percent lighter and have 66 percent more ventilation than the previous versions. Lotti’s overall aim was to make players feel like they’re almost wearing nothing at all. “It becomes more like a second skin than a jersey,” he proudly says.



Volvo's Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

Automotive Yesterday

Toyota Is Using Sewage To Power Its New Electric Car

A new hydrogen-fueled vehicle is driven by what we flush away

Culture Yesterday

Catch A Concert On This Small Floating Island

A man-made archipelago in Italy is hosting music and art performances


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Design & Architecture Yesterday

DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Woodenwidget says its detailed guides are suitable for beginners and experienced woodworkers alike

Related Expert

Lonneke Verbiezen

Social Media & Air Travel

Design Yesterday

Crash-Friendly Drone Made From LEGOs Is Completely Rebuildable

The clever device offers games, education and the uniquely rewarding experience of destroying your high-flying airship

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Free Sneakers Given Out To Motivated Marathon Runners

Strava will give the shoes to athletes who run the second half of their race faster than the first

Culture Yesterday

Someone Invented A Robot Just To Serve Trays Of Beef Jerky

Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, in partnership with Chef's Cut Real Jerky, creates an automated snack delivery system


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 27, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Yesterday

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Millennials Yesterday

Why A Social Networking Site Decided To Rebrand

Meetup, a platform that connects like-minded individuals, has taken steps to stay relevant amongst millennials

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: The People-First Workplace Should Borrow From Tradition

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX underline the old-fashioned ideas that deserve a place in the Future of Work

Op-Ed Yesterday

Digital Design Expert: Mobile First Is Dead, Think Mobile Native

Brian Cooper, chief creative officer of OLIVER Group UK, explains how some brands are still playing catch-up to new technology

Fashion Yesterday

Handbags Crafted From An Old NFL Stadium

People for Urban Progress is an up-cycling program that tackles the waste problem of big demolitions

Work Yesterday

Tech Job Site Created Just For Those Who Are Older Than 30

A new occupational job board presents a creative solution to age discrimination in the tech world


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Europe Yesterday

Architect Turns A Giant Smile Into A Public Exhibition

The structure offers visitors a new perspective of London and creates an immersive environment that integrates structure, surface, space and light

Children Yesterday

Norwegian Kids Are Using Their Phones To Log Unsafe Street Conditions

Travel Agent is an app that gamifies the reporting of hazardous conditions to improve the safety of children's commute to school

Travel Yesterday

Google Wants To Help You Plan Your Next Trip

A new app curates vacation itineraries and organizes reservation emails to take the work out of planning a getaway

No search results found.