CHICAGO - the Chicago Fire and PUMA® announced on Friday a new playing kit set to debut during the 2005 season. As the official supplier of the Fire since 2003, PUMA's distinctive blend of sport and fashion is exhibited through the new uniform's design and technology. The kit will supplement the Fire's existing home and away uniforms during select matches throughout the season.
Taking into account the spirit and culture of Chicago and the dedication of its fans, PUMA has created the third uniform as homage to the Windy City. The official team jersey references the City of Chicago's municipal flag in both design and color palette. While retaining the signature Fire badge branding, the new jersey, like the flag, features white stripes across the chest and side panels that signify the north, south and west sides of the city. The baby blue color of the jersey symbolizes Lake Michigan, the Chicago River and the Great Canal.
PUMA worked with Fire supporter Liam Murtaugh, Fire equipment manager Charles Raycroft and Fire GM Peter Wilt to design a uniform that uniquely reflects Chicago.
"Our players, in this kit, will be living representatives of the world's greatest city," said Wilt. "The colors and six-pointed stars represent what makes Chicago a great place to live. The City of Chicago flag is one of the most distinctive and well known flags in the country and now it will receive national exposure through the new Chicago Fire third strip."
In lieu of the traditional Fire branding featured on the home jersey, the chest band features four symbolic six- pointed stars representing significant episodes of Chicago's storied history. The first star represents the Fort Dearborn Massacre and the points signify transportation, labor, commerce, finance, populousness and salubrity. The second star represents the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and its points signify religion, education, esthetics, justice, beneficence and civic pride. The third star represents the Columbian Exposition and World's Fair of 1893 and its points signify history of the area: France (1693), Great Britain (1763), Virginia (1778), Northwest Territory (1798), Indian Territory (1802) and Illinois Statehood (1818). The fourth and final star represents the Century of Progress Exposition and World's Fair of 1933, and its points signify the world's third largest city, the city's Latin motto, "I will" motto, great central market, wonder city and convention city.
The new Fire kit marks the U.S. debut of the new PUMA Venino jersey, which features a bold new design and signature moisture wicking fabric. Showcasing the latest in PUMA technology and design, the new kit utilizes the latest fabric technologies, cut lines and designs to support the players as they take the pitch. Made to foster a relationship between product and player, skin and fabric, the Fire match jersey is made with a U.S.P. micro fiber Moisture Wicking fabric to create a highly effective thermo regulation system.
Scheduled for release in May 2005, the Fire will be holding a special pre-order sale beginning this Monday through Nov. 12. During this time, fans will be able to purchase the jersey for $70 with free shipping included by calling 1-888-MLS-FIRE. The Fire's third uniform will also be available at the following Chicago locations: Windy City Sports, Centrum Sport, Soccer Plus, North Shore Soccer, Soccer Locker, Inc. and Soccer Post and online at www.chicago-fire.com.