Borussia Dortmund Breaks Out Unconventional Puma Cup Kit with Little Fanfare

German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund (BVB) broke out their new Puma cup kit for 2021-22 on Wednesday, wearing the jerseys in their UEFA Champions League match against Besiktas. There was little fanfare about the new kits on the club’s social media accounts before kickoff.

The new BVB kit follows the same template as third jerseys unveiled for other Puma-sponsored clubs in mid-August. The template features the club name spelled out across the chest between two stripes, with the Puma logo above and the shirt sponsor below. The club crest does not appear in full colour on the front of the jerseys; instead, it is embossed in a pattern down the front.

Photo courtesy BVB.de

BVB’s version employs black stripes and lettering on a base of the same neon yellow shade that the club used for a ’90s throwback jersey near the end of the 2020-21 Bundesliga season. It’s brighter and has more of a green tinge than the yellow BVB uses for their home kits. It also has a club crest embossed on the chest.

The sleeve cuffs are black, as are stripes that run over the shoulders. The club crest appears in full colour on the back collar.

Photo courtesy @bvb09 / Instagram

A leaked image of the cup kit that circulated earlier this year showed “DORTMUND” spelled out across the chest instead of “BVB 09”. That image garnered negative feedback from supporters, though, and the club said on its German-language Twitter account in May that “[fans’] criticism of the cup jersey for the new season has been received. The leaked jersey doesn’t look what it will look like. So please be patient.” (Translated to English by Twitter.) BVB’s exclusion from Puma’s unveiling video in August led some to believe that a last-minute overhaul was in the cards, but it appears that was not the case.

The design of the kit was more or less confirmed on Tuesday when training photos were posted to BVB’s English-language Twitter account. They showed players wearing neon yellow training gear with the “BVB 09” wordmark on the chest. The jersey also popped up for sale on JD Sports and Puma’s UK website on Tuesday before quickly being taken down.

Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland in training on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy @BlackYellow / Twitter)
A screenshot of the BVB cup kit on sale on JD Sports’ website early Tuesday, before it was taken down. (Photo courtesy @TheKitsbaia / Twitter)

Unlike the other clubs for which Puma released third kits in August, Borussia Dortmund can point to something of a precedent for this design. As Footy Headlines notes, during the 1975-76 season, the club wore jerseys made by adidas with “BVB 09” spelled out across the front (pictured below). In fact, the wordmark on the new Puma jersey is set in the same font as the 1975-76 jersey.

Photo courtesy RetroFootball.eu

Feature photo courtesy BVB.de


UPDATE (Sept. 17, 2021): After much criticism and anger on social media following the Borussia Dortmund-Besiktas match, the CEO of Puma has reportedly apologized to BVB fans over the lack of a visible club crest on the front of the shirt.

Fansided’s BVB Buzz and German football magazine Kicker are both reporting that Puma CEO Bjørn Gulden told German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur:

“We regret the fans’ anger and would like to apologise to them. The fans’ criticism relates to the fact that the BVB logo is merely incorporated into the material tone-on-tone several times, as well as embossed on the chest of the jersey in a larger size, but is just not clearly highlighted as the club crest.”

“We have really taken the feedback to heart and will take it into account for future jerseys – just as we have done in the past.”

BVB managing director and head of marketing Carsten Cramer also told German TV channel Sport1 Thursday that “[a] jersey can always polarize people. Nevertheless, we took the initial criticism from the fans seriously.”