Written by Michael Carter, Hull KR Shirts.
I need to start by saying how awesome the promo video is for this shirt. I don’t know if this is down to Hull KR or Oxen but I think they deserve equal credit for giving both our 2020 shirts a really good launch. I know some clubs have done a physical reveal for fans in a club area or shopping centre but for me, I love the way the club connects with its fans on social media. Not everyone lives in Hull. Not everyone can make a kit launch. By having an online reveal this connects with far more of the fan base allowing everyone to connect digitally sharing their opinions and thoughts. I have added the link to the video HERE.
Now onto the real stuff, the polyester! I have seen multiple comments on social media, I always take the time to read things over and think before I make a comment to try and best see it from a large scale perspective. I have seen comments from “It’s awesome” to “Boring” with some very creative things in between. I have seen comparisons to training shirts and previous shirts, but does that really matter? It doesn’t to me.
The shirt is very reminiscent to me of the 2003 away shirt, so like the home shirt, it’s a design we have seen in the past. This was the first thing which struck in my mind when I saw the shirt, and I wasn’t the only one. Hull KR legend Paul Fletcher even tweeted the club and Jelf to make the comparison.
The shirt is an all-over Navy with a Red band. The Jelf sponsor on the front looks massive, especially if you compare it with that of The Drain Company on the home shirt. Once again Jelf have colour coordinated their branding with the shirt which gives us that sleeker look, unlike Warrington for example, who have a large Red Hoover logo on a Primrose and Blue shirt, which looks horrendously out of place (you can see a picture of that HERE.) The band is only on the front of the shirt this time rather than continuing all the way around like the home shirt.
The club crest once again appears in an inverted colourway but this time a matching navy. We have made a point over the last few years having a crest match the colourway of the shirt and I don’t have any major issues with it as long as we retain our identity.
This has been done mostly on training wear, with the introduction of a pink crest on our 2018 away training gear. This then transitioned into our 2019 away shirt which was blue, as well as the away coloured training gear in 2019.
The neckline on the away shirt has been seen before on a Hull KR shirt, most recently on our 2019 home and poppy shirts. The finish looks a lot nicer than the other style we use which is on our 2020 home and 2019 away shirts most recently. The style used on the home shirt always leaves a bunch of fabric below on almost every shirt produced. You can see this in the below image.
The main shirt sponsor for the away shirt is Jelf. Jelf is a company that deals in insurance and risk management and is part of a brand evolution into Marsh Commercial in 2020. I assume plans to sponsor Hull KR came to fruition before they planned to rebrand as it seems a strange move to plaster your old brand over a sports shirt knowing you’ll be trading under a new name within the same calendar year. Plans can be up to, if not over 12 months in front when it comes to preparing match shirts for clubs, so it’s understandable how things like this can happen.
We have now seen both home and away shirts for the 2020 Super League season. A complete carbon copy of our 2003 combination, but I’m really happy with the route we have taken. The home shirt is a throwback to one of the greatest, most traditional Hull KR looks and the away shirt is an inverted look of another traditional home shirt. I know not everyone will love both, but I would be surprised if someone hated both. I’m not totally convinced by the away shirt myself, but I’m hoping it wins me over when I see it in action.
Who knows when we will see the third/charity shirt but what we do know is it will carry the Harrison Solway logo as main shirt sponsor. We have two excellent shirts to see us through until that launch though.