Football. The beautiful game. Adored by millions across the globe, football's positioning as a cultural powerhouse has been ever-increasing over the past few years, with the celebrity status of its athletes growing exponentially and its American rise bringing waves of new eyes to the sport.

It's an exciting time to be a fan; global leagues are more competitive than ever while powerhouse teams are entering their prime. For the fashion-savvy, football's new era is one laced with gold, thanks to brands from all over the map tapping into the sport.

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On the street level, we've witnessed the likes of Drama Call snatch opportunities to represent their home grounds alongside Manchester United, while Off-White has become AC Milan's official partner for pre-game gear. Now? It's Balencaiaga's turn.

As the French League 1 team Stade Rennais F.C. stepped out onto the pitch last weekend against Troyes in what would be a massive 4-0 win, there was something different about their 2022/23 home season kit.

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For the game, the team sported a special Balenciaga-designed iteration. Overall, the kit retained its original DNA but with a few tweaks.

At the rear, Balenciaga's spellout sat proudly above the players' names. Below, their numbers were updated, taking on a rainbow motif inspired by the Pride Flag's colors, in an effort to combat hate toward the LGBTQ+ community on International Day Against Homophobia on May 17.

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While the brand continues to take steps forward in repairing its reputation following child exploitation conspiracies that saw Balenciaga partner with the National Children's Alliance, it's yet to be seen just how deep this partnership Stade Rennais F.C. runs – but one thing is clear; Balenciaga has entered its football era.

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