There may be a few other kit manufacturers on the battlefield-like Puma or the newly involved New Balance-but for the most part, Adidas and Nike are the rulers of the football kit market. Ahead of the 2015/16 season, these two sporting gear companies held nine of the 11 most valuable kit manufacturing contracts in all of soccer. Judging just on contract price, Adidas was winning the battle at the start of the season, holding all four of the most valuable kit deals (Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, and Real Madrid). Nike's top soccer properties, meanwhile-Barcelona, Manchester City, and Paris Saint Germain-aren't quite as high-grossing, since those deals were all signed two or more years ago.
But what about aesthetic and performance? Whose jerseys look better this season and whose kits have been worn by the better-performing football clubs? Read on for Soccer Box's rundown of who made the better football kits for the 2015/16 campaign.
Football Kit Aesthetic
Unlike contract value and club performance, the aesthetics of soccer kits really can't be compared subjectively. Which colors and jerseys you prefer will depend on personal preference, and frankly, club allegiance can play a role as well. When was the last time you hated a color combination because of the team those colors represent?
With that said, plenty of fans and pundits have dissected the 2015/16 crop of soccer jerseys and come up with consensus decisions for which ones are attractive and which ones are ugly.
Take Bleacher Report's ranking of the "20 Best Kits of the 2015/16 Season." That article gave top marks to the West Ham United home shirt-a kit not made by either Adidas or Nike, but by Umbro. The highest-ranked Adidas shirt was the red and white Ajax home jersey, which came in at fourth. The top-ranked Nike shirt, meanwhile, was the Internazionale home jersey 2015/16, a gorgeous blue and white-striped kit that ranked sixth. Adidas put one other shirt in the top 10 (the radiant red Bayern Munich home jersey, at eighth place), while Nike grabbed the ninth and 10th spots, with the white AS Roma away kit and the black and red Eintracht Frankfurt away strip, respectively.
Bottom line, both brands created some stunning football kits for the 2015/16 season. We'd give the edge to Nike, and those Inter and Frankfurt jerseys are a big part of the reason why. Still, though, both brands clearly know how to capture the essence of their clubs while also creating stunning new products.
The next question is which brand, between Nike and Adidas, sponsors the better clubs for the 2015/16 season. Adidas takes a hit here right away, considering that two of the company's four highest profile teams (Manchester United and Chelsea) are currently underperforming in the Premier League. Add a disappointing start to the 2015/16 campaign for Real Madrid, and the flagship Adidas teams aren't exactly having their best seasons in terms of pure performance.
Nike's top soccer clubs, meanwhile, are all doing well. There's a reasonably good chance that we'll see the sky blue hues of the Manchester City home jersey 2015/16 atop the Premier League podium come springtime. Barcelona, meanwhile, are shooting for a second consecutive treble, and Paris Saint Germain continue to dominate French soccer handily. Add Inter, who have spent a bit of time at the top of the Italian Serie A this season, and Nike teams could win four of the five major football leagues this season.
The fifth, of course, will likely go in favor of Bayern Munich. Adidas is also the kit manufacturer for Juventus, who, after a sloppy start to the 2015/16 campaign, have wormed their way back into Serie A title contention. Still, there's little doubt that Nike's clubs are performing a bit better than those wearing Adidas kits this season.
Stop by Soccer Box today to pick up your favorite current football shirt, be it a Bayern Munich kit 2015/16 from Adidas or an Inter Milan jersey from Nike!