In what has become an event in itself, Team Sky have released their new, Rapha produced and designed, 2013 jersey. This has had people salivating over the prospect of what £150+ concoction those guys at Rapha, with their obsession with black, would produce, and unsurprisingly, they went with black, which is a bit dull to be honest. So I thought it would be nice to have a look back at the impressive number of jersey’s Sky have worn over the last four years (excluding leaders jerseys obviously), which is a total of eight. And you thought football teams were bad…
2010: After many the jersey design competitions in British cycling mags, all that were based on the ‘Britishness’ of the team with swirling union flags and plenty of relegation of Sky’s logo as everyone grumbled about the hated Murdoch, the original design that they produced, supposedly after trialling many colours to see which stood out best, would become the template for future years. All black with a blue slab across the chest emblazoned with the Sky logo, it featured just two other sponsors: Pinarello and adidas. It was clean, corporate and functional, and they even got their little ‘ride the line mantra’ onto the back with the ‘thin blue line’ on a white background, which when revealed answered everyone’s concerns about overheating riders.
2010 Giro d’Italia: Essentially an identical jersey, except that Sky Italia had a slightly different logo to Sky GB, and so the team changed the logo accordingly to keep their parent company happy.
2010 Tour of Britain: To distract everyone from the fact they weren’t going to win their home race for three years (I jest), the team supported the WWF by switching the blue of the jersey to a fetching green, and the ‘thin green line’ a sit now was sported a fetching leaf.
2011: Sky upgraded in 2011, with IG Markets as a sponsor now appearing on the colour which forced the blue up to the very peak, as the jersey became a little more crowded with logos as Adidas moved to the front of the jersey as well. The Sky logo also became noticeable larger.
2011 Giro d’Italia: Branding issues had been sorted since the previous year, but as it was the 150th year of Italian unification, Sky wore a special jersey, which basically just had some Italian written on it. Unfortunately, Sky were so anonymous at the race despite pairing the jerseys with Italian flag marked helmets that there are few pictures of the jersey that are viewable, so I’ve had to make do. Sorry.
2011 Tour de France: Where better to promote your love of Rainforest rescue then through the worlds biggest bike race? So thought Sky’s marketing gurus as they revealed another rainforest based jersey for the 2011 Tour. The Tour was a success when Boassen Hagen won two stages, although Wiggins crashed out in his national champions jersey.
2012: The biggest rebrand since their inception, the main changes were on the back, as the ‘thin’ blue line became somewhat thicker to incorporate the News International Logo as well as a load of marketing guff about ‘riding the line’ that no one would ever read. They also dropped the white down over the pockets, which are never seen anyway when covered with racing numbers, and moved IG markets into the new banner position above the Sky logo as well. Adidas’ stripes seemed to become more prominent as well, plus the Sky shoulder logos grew more then they had the year before.
Sky did also have another rainforest jersey, as well as a jersey with yellow in to celebrate their Tour wins, but seeing as they never wore them, they’re only included here:
2013: Sky dropped Adidas for Rapha and got the Rapha black treatment – the kit is completely black save for the blue wrap around stripes on the arm and one leg of the shorts, as well as the thick blue line on the back again. The old whit patch is completely removed, and they’ve returned to the near logo free design – only Pinarello and Rapha feature along side Sky (IG Markets have stopped sponsoring the team anyway). National champions get one cuff in the colours of their flag, as shown by Wiggins here.