Stockholm-based football club AIK and Nikes relationship has sparked some of the game's best kits and collaborations since their partnership began in 2018. But kit fatigue well and truly hit us this season with a multitude of limited releases. Looking to cash in on the hype and the fan's appetite to own everything their beloved club puts out, clubs have been dropping new releases for sometimes no apparent reason at all. But against the grain, AIK and Nike have just released a pre-season limited edition jersey full of meaningful storytelling, all wrapped in a layer of elegant drip.
In 1891 AIK was formed with a manifesto that sport is a human right all people should have access to. In today's climate, that is unfortunately not true. To be able to play football at any kind of level, parents need to save up for boots, balls, kit, and registration fees before their kids can even set foot on a pitch. For lower-income families, access to competitive football is just not an option. A sad reality that AIK realizes is true of their own fans. So all the proceeds from the AIK Royal Edition pre-season jersey are being donated to Stadium Sports Camp a non-profit organization that helps give kids the opportunity to play sports.
That's the cause. Now for the kit. At first glance, the jersey showcases a royal theme. Deep navy, a color not usually associated with AIK kits (but actually taken from the club badge) is accented with prestigious touches of gold. In place of the sponsor is AIK in bold gold lettering, and in a tonal print across the chest is a map of the club's Stockholm home. They royal inspiration as a purely top-level piece of storytelling works. AIK is a club under royal protection and supported by several members of the Swedish Royal Family. But beyond lies a more profound message that ties the kit's charitable proceeds and the importance of the club's fans. "To be king or queen is less about position and more about attitude. Every AIK fan is royal in their way of being. From players in the A-league to the kid's teams, volunteers, leaders, and supporters. Regardless of who you are or where you come from. Everyone has a black and yellow heart that pumps royal blue blood." says Fredrik Söderberg, acting Club Director at AIK football.
And that football kit designers is how you make a limited edition kit mean something. Put the fans on a pedestal, create a great story, and have a meaningful (and, where possible charitable) reason for its release.
You can buy the AIK Royal Edition jersey here from March 1st.