Nike tried to do their Nike thing but Sweden wasn’t having any part of it as the Swedish Ice Hockey Association unveiled their new team uniforms for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi earlier today.
Yes, like every other country to participate in the Olympic hockey tournament, Sweden’s uniforms were designed by Nike; unlike every other country Sweden made it quite clear they didn’t want to mess around with their design.
According to an article in the Swedish publication Aftonbladet, Nike tried to get Team Sweden to change things up a bit:
“Of course we wanted to retain the three crowns. Pressure from Nike was that they wanted to change a lot, but we were not as complaisant. We wanted to keep it traditional.” – Tomas Bjernudd, Head of Marketing at Swedish Ice Hockey Association
While Sweden got their way by keeping their traditional “Tre Kronor” logo on the chest and traditional-style jersey striping (around the waist at least), Nike did get a few of their 2014 trademark items on there. That ridiculous faux-sublimated lacing is back, right under the collar, and a viking ship is sublimated on the shoulders.
Also, for some reason, they’ve omitted the striping on the sleeves… there’s no reason given for this, of course. Fits in with Nike’s apparent design philosophy of “has it been done like this yet? No? Okay, do it”
Sweden has been one of the few hockey teams to keep the same basic look throughout the entire Nike era of the Olympic games, making only minor changes such as collar style (2006, 2010), number placement (2010), or adding an outline to their chest logo (2010).
See for yourself here:
While not shown, as with past Olympic tournaments Sweden will also have a blue version of this uniform. The design is identical, just the blues and yellows are swapped.
Fan reaction has been fairly positive so far, a poll on the Aftonbladet website shows 34% of respondents give it a 5 out of 5, with 74% ranking it 3 stars or higher. Good luck finding similar high marks on the other Nike Olympic hockey jerseys released so far.