Behind-the-scenes with artist Carlos Regazzoni on a project that combines sport and art
The distinctive blue and yellow jerseys of Argentinian football club Boca Juniors have had something of a makeover, thanks to Nike’s latest campaign for the club. The new shirts are loud, two-tone purple numbers and to celebrate their launch Nike worked with artist Carlos Regazzoni, to create a mural decked-out with 306 unique boxes, each containing one of the new Boca shirts. The Boca fans are renowned for being a proud bunch, so Addison Capper caught up with Regazzoni and Diana Schenone, Communications Manager, Nike South Cone, to see how the extreme colour change has gone down in Buenos Aires.
LBB> What was the reasoning behind the dramatic colour change from the iconic blue and yellow to purple?
DS> Loyal to its style, Nike has always been a synonym for design and innovation and, every summer, we present a disruptive proposal for Boca Juniors fans. This year, and for the very first time in the history of Boca Juniors, we surprised them with a purple colour palette. It is an exclusive jersey with two different purple shades. The design features the same technology innovations that are applied to the jerseys usually worn by the riverside soccer team.
LBB> Nike has something of a track record when it comes to bright, eye-catching colours - for example the bright yellow running trainers that stole the show at the 2012 Olympics. How do these acid colours feed into the Nike brand strategy?
DS> Nike has innovation, technology and design in its DNA. Boca Juniors goes beyond the limits of sports. A perfect match as leading edge partners. Nike always encourages Boca to become a leading character in different fields and promote its own point of view in every action. For the new Boca summer jersey we proposed a unique colour that undoubtedly surprised its fans.
To present the challenging new colour proposal, we invited renowned artist Carlos Regazzoni, who found inspiration in the new design and his passion for the fans, to create an artwork through his artistic look.
LBB> How did the relationship with Carlos Regazzoni surface? What did his involvement bring to the final project that other artists couldn't have done?
DS> Nike decided to put together Boca´s own culture along with the disruptive jersey through the lenses of renowned artist Carlos Regazzoni. He is a recognised Boca´s fan and created an exceptional masterpiece that reflected the Boca spirit in a 40x10 feet wall.
Regazzoni developed the art intervention by creating a mural made of 306 boxes containing the first jerseys. In this artwork one can see the image of the emblematic La Bombonera stadium together with its fans, depicted in strokes of purple colour.
LBB> What brief did you present him with?
DS> The brief was simple and the main inspiration was Boca Juniors. The club represents a unique spirit and passion that goes beyond sports. Under this statement, and inspired by Boca, its fans, the neighbourhood and the new summer jersey, Regazzoni produced a stunning artwork.
LBB> What has the reaction from the fans been to the alteration of the club's iconic team colours?
DS> Every time Nike and Boca present a new jersey, it generates buzz. The acceptance was excellent. Players and fans (especially the younger ones) loved it. It sold out in only two days.
LBB> How long will the team wear the purple kits?
DS> This limited edition of 14,000 units will be used exclusively during the 2013 summer season. The jersey is manufactured in Argentina and is wholly made of recycled polyester from plastic bottles.
LBB> Why was this project so attractive to you?
CR> Besides the cleverness, I like challenges. The challenge is a very important part of an art project. Boca´s jersey would already be a work of art itself if it wasn´t something that was used on a daily basis. Art makes men vibrate, it touches them, it offers the opportunity to condemn. That is what Nike did – hire me to design an artwork for this disruptive new jersey.
LBB> What feelings and ideas were you trying to capture with your painting?
CR> I thought of a Sunday afternoon at Boca in La Bombonera stadium. It is a club that has my eternal love. The feelings of all of those fans have great significance, which actually fires La Bombonera – I tried to power that infinite movement.
LBB> Has this project changed your perspective in the relationship between art and sports?
CR> No, frankly. Picasso made a huge work of art out of a huge bullfight, why shouldn´t I create a big artwork based on Boca and Nike?
LBB> What was the biggest challenge that this project presented?
CR> The biggest challenge? Everything. I knew I was going against most of Boca´s fans, but it is also true that these fans are men who are a living symbol. I believe in this new era, full of colours in its designs.