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The colour of success?

March 8, 2018

  

Imagine if Brazil didn't play in yellow.

 

Colour is a vital part of any brand. And some brands become so strongly identified with their colour that changing becomes impossible. But what about the connection between the national team of Brazil and their iconic shirts. They didn't always play in yellow...

 

In 1950, Brazil hosted the world cup for the first time and it was a moment of national pride. A time when they planned to declare their arrival on the world stage having emerged from their mainly agricultrural economy into an industrialised, urbanised modern country.

 

The world cup was their chance to shine. The tournament was well organised. The team played brilliantly. People started to take notice of the team and the sporting prowess of the country for the first time.

 

Things were going to plan. They got to the final. 

 

But they were beaten by former colony, Uraguay. It was devastating and things had to change. It was seen as a national tragedy. 

 

One of the things that was considered a jinx was their kit. It wasn’t the iconic kit of today. They played in plain white shirts. For a country like Brazil, famous for colour, exhuberance and parades, it seems odd to think of Brazil playing in plain white. 

So they decided to hold a nationwide design competition for the new kit. There was just rule – the kit had to use all the colours of their national flag. Yellow, green, blue.

 

A designer won the competition; Aldyr Garcia Schlee - a 19 year old who had grown up on the Brazil / Uraguay border. Ironically, he was a Uraguay fan. 

 

Eight years later, along with the continued outstanding Brazilian football, the world saw the emergence of Pele and the team won the world cup for the first time.

 

Four years later in 1962, they once again won the world cup – and this was one of the first world cups in history to be filmed in colour.

 

By the time we get to Brazil’s fourth world cup victory in 1970, colour TV was common around the world and that shirt became etched in the public conscience forever. 

 

Brazil. Success. Flair. Skill. Yellow.

 

As you can see from the pictures, the kit has barely changed in 60 years.

 

   

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