Third Kits Hard to Come By In MLS
Since 2016, Adidas has been the official sponsor of Major League Soccer and the creator of kits for every team.
In the early stages of the partnership, jersey sales were… well… a little stagnant.
That prompted the German clothing manufacturer to decide third kits for MLS clubs would be cost-prohibitive.
If you can’t sell the main kits, you aren’t likely to sell a third, right?
Now, third kits for European clubs are a standard. Just about every top-flight team overseas has a third kit.
And those third kits are random, meaning they don’t usually conform to a team’s base color scheme.
That’s what makes their appeal so great. It’s not the norm.
For example, Ajax of Amsterdam is traditionally red and white in its colors. But, some years ago, Adidas created a third kit inspired by reggae star Bob Marley.
The main color was black with red, yellow and green (colors of the Jamaican flag) mixed about.
It was a rare kit calling to Amsterdam’s legalization of marijuana. It made sense and sold off the rack like gangbusters.
But, in MLS, regular kit sales were poor and it’s likely that because a third kit strays from traditional color schemes, the league may have frowned upon this disruption of tradition.
Hogwash, I say, but that’s just me.
Well, in 2023, as jersey sales have picked up, four sides were picked to don a third kit from Adidas: New York Red Bulls, NYCFC, Atlanta United and Toronto FC.
Those clubs had one thing in common — they were able to sell 100,000 kits during a prescribed timeframe… thus it made sense to make a third kit.
Next season, things will change.
Inter Miami Getting A Third Kit for 2024 Season
Using the same “100,000 jersey sales” guidelines, Adidas added four more teams to the list initially to get third kits in 2024: LAFC, LA Galaxy, Kansas City and Portland Timbers.
Then, July 2023 happened.
Once Lionel Messi signed to play for Inter Miami, Adidas couldn’t keep up with demand for his team shirt… no matter the color.
That helps because part of Messi’s contract provides him with proceeds from shirt sales.
It prompted Adidas to add Inter Miami to the list of teams getting a third kit for the upcoming MLS season.
Popular football kit website FootyHeadlines.com has leaked that Inter Miami’s third kit will be inspired in some form by the Miami Dolphins — Miami’s National Football League franchise.
That will mean a break from the black and pink and a move to aqua, orange and white… if the rumor is true.
The site has also leaked what its main kit might look like: a darker pink with the logo of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in the middle and the Inter Miami crest above it.
The away kit will also feature a deeper pink with black.
Some already don’t like the darker pink, but it’s kind of growing on me. I mean, it’s rare to have a kit in any shade of pink, so does it really matter?
Even though nothing is official and we don’t actually know what the third kit will look like, it’s a safe bet once they are released, I will be making my purchase of all three.
But, that’s just me.