The ultimate marginal gain? Barca’s shirt numbers ‘improve performance’

If you pay to have a name and number printed on the back of your football shirt, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s exactly the same as those on the back of the players’ kits. But actually, that might not be the case.

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to be able to buy two different versions of your football team’s shirt – a match shirt and a stadium shirt.

The match shirts are exact replicas of those worn by the players and are usually lighter, more breathable, stretchier, and retain less moisture than the cheaper stadium alternative.

Well, believe it or not, there is more than one type of shirt number, too.

Avery Dennison are the suppliers of names, numbers, crests, woven labels and speciality trims for a number of clubs across the world, including most in the Premier League and more than 80 per cent of counties at the World Cup in Russia.

And the company has recently signed a four-year deal to be the global licensee supplier of Barcelona’s name and numbers shirt customisation, adding another of La Liga’s biggest clubs to their list of partners.

Although the style of numbers is standardised in La Liga, as it is in the Premier League, clubs are free to use different suppliers – and, always looking to find any marginal gain possible, Barcelona’s names and numbers are different to the majority of their rivals with “an aerated enhancement to ensure they are extra breathable, which can help improve player performance.”

Rubén Benseny, Licensing and Merchandising Director at Barcelona, said: “Avery Dennison has demonstrated their capabilities to cover the market and to create new embellishments with new technologies that afford us to up the partnership to a global level.”

Supporters are now able to buy these same perforated names and numbers in retail stores around the world, with tens of millions set to be produced over the next four years.

And as part of the partnership with Barcelona, Avery Dennison are to further increase their sustainability efforts, with the new products already producing 47% less polyester waste.

Find out more about Avery Dennison, their new F.C. Barcelona products and how they’re leading innovation in green alternatives to production, by visiting sport.averydennison.com.

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