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Crocs, ripped jeans: Harambee Stars’ ‘uniforms’ as they arrive for Four Nations Tournament camp

A team with an international reputation is expected to maintain a good brand and image on and off the pitch.

This is important because it helps the team establish its unique identity and distinguish it from other teams, create a sense of pride and loyalty among fans, attract sponsorship and revenue generation, give the team a competitive advantage by attracting top talent and coaching staff and expand its fanbase across the world.

One of the ways this good brand and imaging can be done is ensuring the team is kitted out in sports uniforms including jerseys, track suits, duffel bags and shoes.

Visual identity allows fans, sponsors and viewers to easily identify and associate with a team. Uniforms also contribute to the unity and team spirit by creating a sense of belonging. Additionally, well designed and professionally crafted uniforms convey a sense of professionalism and credibility for the team.

Sports teams with great uniforms can also emotionally connect with fans through selling their team uniforms which brings them income and allows fans to demonstrate their support and affiliation with the team’s image.

Finally, sports uniforms receive significant media exposure during games, broadcasts and press conferences. A well-branded uniform featuring logos and sponsorships creates valuable visibility for sponsors and partners. This exposure attracts potential sponsors and generates revenue opportunities for the team, strengthening its brand and financial stability.

This is why many teams across the world invest in crafting the best looking team uniforms across various sports and why they charge top dollar for fans to buy them. You will never miss teams exiting their team buses in matching uniforms, bags and sometimes shoes when they are away from their home bases or on international tours. They all look “well put.”

However, in Kenya, the same could not be said for the national football team, Harambee Stars.

On Tuesday, June 6, 2023, the team arrived at the Kasarani annex for camp ahead of their upcoming four-nations tournament in Mauritius looking disheveled. Every player was dressed as they pleased and in all manner of dress.

Some players wore crocs with socks, several others wore ripped, faded jeans, others wore hoodies with varying types of art work on them, random jersey shorts; and tie and dye tshirt.

There was no uniform to show someone was a Harambee Stars player and they all arrived at camp either separately or in groups. Their arrival elicited mixed reactions as sampled below:

“Hehe nani amekuja na hoodie ya (Who comes with a hoodie belonging to) Governor Wavinya camp surely? Are we even professionals,” asked Aredi Van Okush.

“What shows they are the national team player’s hakuna (there is no) merchandise,” said Eshallah De Wololo.

“They never look like professional players or even motivated  when you look at other teams out there you just Wonder where did we go wrong in this sport,” added Rachel Njambi.

“Even the mode of dressing is poor as soccer celebrities. Kenya  KWISHA,” opined Ndombi Morphat.

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