Italy's new national basketball kits to be blue and white with elegant gold details
Macron's partnership with Federazione Italiana Pallacanestro (FIP – the Italian Basketball Federation) came into force on 1 January this year. The official celebration was held in the ‘Hall of Dreams’ at Macron's HQ today and saw the presentation of the new match kits that the Azzurri will wear this season. Present at the event were Giovanni Petrucci, FIP President, Gianmarco Pozzecco, head coach to the Italian men's team, Gianluca Pavanello, Macron CEO, Giovanni Perosino, Marketing Manager of ITA Airways, and the Italian men's team, who will wear the new kit in their first match against Ukraine in Livorno on Thursday 23 February. Cecilia Zandalasini, representing the Italian women's team, and Rae D’Alie for the 3x3 women's squad were also at the event.
President Petrucci and Gianluca Pavanello spoke of the important 4-year collaboration project that will see the Macron Hero logo appearing on the shirts of all Italian national basketball teams: Senior, Junior and 3x3, men and women.
“The Azzurro worn by our national teams is a truly magical colour and, as an Italian company, we are obviously proud to serve as technical partner to FIP, the Italian Basketball Federation,” declared Gianluca Pavanello, CEO of Macron. “All our national teams will be playing in prestigious international competitions and we are committed to providing both players and staff with the very best technical sportswear with a style and elegance typical of Italian design. Italian identity, winning spirit, passion, commitment, respect for sustainability and the environment – these are all values that Macron and FIP share. We are happy to be promoting them together in this project.”
“Italian Azzurro has incredible symbolic value in all sports. It represents our identity and our country, and most importantly it has a place in the dreams and imagination of every child starting to play any sport. In the modern world it is also an essential tool that sport federations can use to convey their histories and project themselves into the future through new designs and advanced materials,” Giovanni Petrucci, President of FIP added. “It's not always easy to combine tradition and innovation, especially when dealing with such an iconic garment as the shirt of the national team. Nevertheless, Macron has succeeded admirably thanks to the artistic sensitivity of designers who see attention to detail as their mission. The gold colour on the shirts for 2023, the 40th anniversary of our win at the 1983 European Championship in Nantes, is a great example.
Macron has achieved excellence in the field of sportswear, as numerous partnerships in top level sport, from football to basketball, clearly demonstrate. The partnership between Macron and FIP, brought about partly through the excellent work done by Master Group Sport, commercial consultants to FIP, has got off to a great start with two wins by the senior women's team and with good performances by the women's 3x3 too. Let's hope that the senior men's team and youth team will keep up this winning streak and that the entire FIP world, including our match officials, will have a great season. We can honestly say that Macron's new shirt for the Azzurri symbolises our desire to carry Italian pride around the world in conjunction with our prestige partner ITA Airways, who sponsor the shirt, and to push forward the frontiers of technology while respecting the environment, just like MG Motors, who sponsor the shorts.”
Giovanni Perosino, Marketing Manager for ITA Airways, pointed out that Italian Azzurro is also an effective vehicle for brand visibility and customer fidelity. “Over this last year, the partnership between ITA Airways and FIP has delivered excellent results in terms of visibility, awareness and sales. Around 3 million people watched the 2022 matches on television and over 100,000 people attended the matches themselves, greatly increasing the visibility of the ITA Airways brand. The launch of our partnership on social media reached over ten million accounts, largely thanks to the collaboration of basketball fan influencers, and ITA Airways branded stands in sports centres hosting the games generated around 1000 new members for our Volare loyalty scheme. It's also important to mention that basketball appears in a scene of our new ITA Airways safety video, which attracts many views on social media and is seen on board all ITA Airways long haul flights. This gives FIP excellent exposure.”
Antonio Santa Maria, General Manager of Master Group Sport, emphasised the significance of the agreement between Macron and FIP. "We have been working alongside Federazione Italiana Pallacanestro for four years now, promoting and adding value to the organisation,” Santa Maria declared. "We are delighted that a top Italian brand like Macron has joined the project. It shows, once again, how much passion and excitement FIP is able to generate. Associating your brand with the national basketball team means supporting all the values that the sport embodies – excellence, determination, honesty and tenacity – with the aim of communicating and promoting the image of Italian basketball at home and abroad."
Andrea Bartolomeo - MG Country Manager Italy - expressed the partnership with FIP with these words: "We are very proud to be at the side of the Azzurri and Azzurre of the national basketball teams, not only because we love sport and feel united by the values of commitment, determination and passion, but also because like these young people we love to face daily challenges with teamwork and fair play."
Coach Gianmarco Pozzecco pointed to the importance of high-performance sportswear as a means of building team spirit. “Italian Azzurro was the colour I coveted most throughout my career as a player and it has assumed even greater importance now that I am coaching the national team. I was wearing th Italbasket shirt when I had the incredibly good fortune to win a silver medal at the Olympic games. And not getting called up to join the Azzurri was the greatest disappointment of my career as a player. So, this is a shirt like no other. It is an inspiration, a reason to improve your performance continuously, and an enormous responsibility for all those who wear it. This is even truer for me and my fellow coaches, as we have to select the best players to represent Italy in top-level competition.” Pozzecco then finished by saying “I like to think that in designing and producing the 2023 shirt for the Azzurri, Macron has applied the same attention to detail that the team dedicates to every training session. Wearing the Italian shirt around the world is a source of great pride, but it also demands passion, meticulous preparation, respect for the history of this sport and enthusiasm for the future. This year, our ambition lies in the World Championship. We're happy to take up the challenge in these new Italian shirts!”
After the guest speaker interventions, the spotlights focused on the real ‘protagonists’ of the day – the new match kits that the men and women of the Italian national teams will be wearing, starting from the next official matches. The players were the ideal models for presenting the new ‘Home’ and ‘Away’ kits along with the warm-up shirt. In addition to the white and blue that have always identified Italian basketball squads, the new shirts also feature gold details recalling the fortieth anniversary of Italy's victory at the European Championship in Nantes in 1983. The shirts also carry a clear message in support of sustainability and the environment. The new match kits are all made from Eco Fabric, a polyester material 100% derived from recycled PET.
Amedeo Iossa, Macron's Head of Style & Design, illustrated the technical and graphic characteristics of the new national team kits. “These new shirts incorporate the latest technology for maximum performance. They are made from Eco Fabric, feature stylish details, and clearly express the Italian identity of Macron styling, along with the sporting spirit of the ‘Azzurri’.”
The national team's new ‘Home’ shirt is in blue. The crew neck and the arm holes feature a white band containing a blue stripe surrounded by two slender gold lines. On the right breast, one under the other, are silicone prints of the FIP logo and a gold Macron Hero. The shorts are also in blue, with a broad white waist band containing a blue stripe with fine gold lines on either side. The same finish is replicated at the bottom of the legs.
The ‘Away’ version adopts the same graphic layout, with the difference that the dominant colour is white, while the neck and arm-hole bands are in blue with three lines of gold-white-gold. The same layout is repeated on the waist band and leg bottoms of the shorts. The right breast of the shirt features the logo of the Federation and a Macron Hero logo in blue. Both shirts are regular fit and feature eco-mesh inserts for light weight and maximum breathability.
The pre-match warm-up shirt (also referred to as the 'shooting shirt') is in blue with a white crew neck and features two broad white bands on the shoulders, inside which appear a blue line surrounded by two thinner gold lines. The same graphics are repeated on vertical white bands down the sides.
In addition to the match kits and warm-up shirts, Macron has also developed a complete line of sportswear for FIP, including training shirts in various colours, cotton T-shirts, tracksuits, sweatshirts, elegant short-sleeve and long-sleeve polos for men and women, travelling suits, technical sweatshirts with hoods, rain-proof jackets, bomber jackets, padded jackets and a comfortable, elegant parka.
The new national basketball team shirts are on sale from today. As with the entire collection developed by Macron for Federazione Italiana Pallacanestro, they are available from the FIP section of the Macron website, Macron.com/italbasket.