World Cup 2010

Our survey of the culture, products and events surrounding football's biggest event

Starting this Thursday, 10 June 2010, the opening festivities of the 19th World Cup screen live at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, with spectacular events planned—including South Africa’s own R&B sensation Lira—kicking off the world’s most popular sporting event. This year feels bigger than ever, so in addition to some earlier coverage (see Nike’s high-tech gear and their epic ad, soccer ball ice, and the official U.S. jersey), we put together a look at some of the most creative projects surrounding the beautiful game.


Umbro World Champions Collection Unlike City Guides

For those visiting South Africa to attend the games, Fact Magazine and Unlike sponsored new city guides designed by the artists behind Umbro’s new World Champions Collection.

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Fred Perry Limited Edition World Cup Polos

Highsnobiety has some great coverage of course, featuring Fred Perry limited edition World Cup Polos in bold primaries to show understated chic team spirit.

Louis Vuitton World Cup Travel Case

Highsnob also unveiled the custom Louis Vuitton travel case designed specifically to carry the FIFA World Cup. (We like the inclusion of the white gloves.)

One Shot! Exhibit

Currently in Charleroi, Belgium, the work of over 40 contemporary artists from around the world is coming together in a group show all in the name of soccer. B.P.S.22, the contemporary art space hosting the “One Shot!” exhibition, will house works from the likes of Kendell Geers, Wim Delvoye, Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno until 11 July 2010. The exhibit takes the evolution of soccer through the media over the course of thirty years as a premise, beginning with Hellmuth Costard’s film “Football as Never Before” (1970) and ending with Gordon and Parreno’s documentary “Zidane” (2005). Aiming to draw connections between the sport and the contemporary world, the collection explores the politics, traditions, economics, and nostalgia of soccer and how these aspects, and others, have evolved over time.

Happy Socks x Wong Wong World Cup Editions

Happy Socks‘ range of socks allows wearers to show out allegiance to our team of choice this world cup without painting our faces,bellies or wearing a wig. Collaborating with NYC’s Wong Wong designer (and former Helmut Lang Art Director) Stephen Wong, Happy Socks’ range takes in eight of the teams competing for glory this June.
So fans of Argentina, England, Holland, South Africa, Brazil, France, Germany and Italy rejoice and make sure you adorn your feet with some of the best socks money can buy. Teams which have previous held the golden trophy aloft are indicated by a number of embroidered stars according to how many times they have triumphed, giving Brazilians can have another way to rub it in.

Mixco Design

Designer and soccer enthusiast Alex Garnett of the English-based fashion and interior company, Mixco, has a new series of designs inspired by the world’s most popular sport. The line includes the cleverly named “Footbowl,” a fruit bowl resembling a deflated classic soccer ball, as well as a version based off of this year’s Africa Ball, selling for £100 each. Bridging the gap between furniture and art, Garnett also offers a 1:18 scale sculpture of a referee’s whistle, which also functions as a chair. All products sell either on Mixco’s website or from Etsy.

Komodo Fair Play Tees

Joe Komodo’s company holds up their fair trade tradition with a new line of world cup-inspired “fair play” t-shirts. Featuring teams such as Bafana Bafana or Tibet, shirts come in either ’70s-esque raglan or rounded v-neck, selling for £25 each on Komodo’s website. As an extra bonus, they make their vintage-inspired tees of 100% organic cotton, and manufacture all of their products in family-run fair-trade factories in Nepal.


PlayBeautiful Pop-Up Shop

Bringing the pop-up shop experience to spectator sports, PlayBeautiful will hold World Cup events at bars, restaurants and soccer fields throughout New York City starting 11 June. It will feature an indoor stadium playing live game broadcasts, a store with official athletic gear, a PlayStation gaming zone and “world cupcakes.” From 20 June-11 July 2010, PlayBeautiful will also set up shop at Openhouse Gallery. Reserve your free tickets online.

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ESPN Match Trucks and Murals

With all due respect to hot dog stands and halal carts, don’t miss the ESPN Match Trucks in NYC during the World Cup. Throughout the tournament, the 24-footers will hit spots in New York City and Los Angeles, broadcasting matches on flatscreen TVs and serving international street fare created by Roy Choi, Food & Wine’s recent “Best New Chef.” Keep up with the ESPN Match Trucks via Twitter handles @ESPNWCTruckNYC and @ESPNWCTruckLA. Also from the sports media behemoth, a series of accompanying faux-naive murals created by South African illustrators Am I Collective depicts the 32 teams making their way to the World Cup. Check them all out on Fubiz.


Dutch Football Federation 2010 World Cup Shirts

Widely circulated recently, We are Bas and Daan riff on the common ritual of players pulling shirts over their heads in victory. Celebratory mugs of the top three Dutch players are printed inside the shirts so that when pulled over the head, fans can become a World Cup player for a moment to show Dutch pride.


The Weee Soccer Urinal

To keep yourself entertained during bathroom breaks, The Weee urinal mat also keeps bathrooms cleaner by encouraging good aim. The new company is resurrecting the concept for the ’70s, allowing nearly any male to score a golden goal.

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Adidas F50 Adizero Soccer Cleat

The competitive spirit of the World Cup doesn’t stop at the field. At a mind-boggling 5.8 ounces, the Adidas F50 Adizero is the lightest ever—one ounce lighter than its competitor, Nike’s Mercurial Vapor Superfly (above). The brand achieved the breakthrough by dispensing of the insole board and using innovative hollowcore construction for lightness and stability. From $200-$210 at Adidas.

Nike “Elite Series” Soccer Cleats

Nike’s new “Elite Series” boasts lightweight carbon-fiber material and improved visibility in specially designed colors. The top-of-the-line model, Mercurial Vapor Superfly II, features “adaptive traction technology,” spikes in the forefoot that activate with pressure to respond to ground conditions. They start at $275 from Nike’s webstore.

Adidas Originals: Star Wars Cantina 2010

Adidas also steps up with their Daft Punk-meets-Star Wars flick featuring cameos by Snoop Dogg, David Beckham and others.

Nike Stadiums

With locations in Berlin, Tokyo and other cultural hotspots, Nike’s Stadiums are incubators for creativity and expression within athletics. We liked what we saw when Bowery Stadium in New York opened its doors mid-May. with its first installation, “Order and Progress,” commemorating legendary Brazilian soccer. London gets a psychedelic installation of shaman warriors dreamed up by the local creative firm Zoltar.

Haribo Football Mix

Haribo gets in on the action with gummy candies (free from artificial colors) in ball, jersey and cleat shapes, packaged in team colors for different countries.

Limited Edition World Cup Tic Tacs

For their “Shake Some Noise for the England Boys” campaign, Tic Tac created a cherry-orange edition in red and white, encouraging fans to make videos showing how they support their team.

Voodoo Copa

Help out your favorite World Cup team by bringing rivals bad luck with Voodoo Copa soccer player dolls from Brazil. Collect all 32 at about $6 each to ensure victory. via Bem Legaus

Highsnobiety x Adidas Adicup Jersey

Struck with World Cup Fever, the team at online mag Highsnobiety collaborated with Adidas for a special-edition Adicup soccer jersey.

Brazil BlackPack

Brazil leads with five World Cup championships under its belt. The nation’s team color, yellow, inspires awe and intimidation on and off the field. Nike’s Brazil BlackPack inverts this colorway to black—including jackets, hoodies, shorts and caps—which Brazilian players will wear during travel.

Design Hotels Kick Off the World Cup

Design Hotels will let guests bet on the World Cup, offering special room rates for ten competing countries during the tournament. The first round starts at a 10% discount, and reservations for the nations that reach the finals will end at half-off. (Discounts stop as teams are eliminated.) Book on Designs Hotels’ website starting 11 June, with travel applicable the rest of the year.

Pitch Perfect

Pitchfork points us to a series of mixes that Fader commissioned from six continents as one part of their collaborative World Cup program with Nike Sportswear. The initiative includes posters, a documentary series, and a live music event on 16 June 2010 at Nike’s new soccer training center in Soweto.

Havianas Limited Edition Team Flip-Flops

The Brazilian flip-flop kings are celebrating the World Cup with a special collection representing 17 different teams, along with events at various NYC bars featuring their VW bus. Pick up a pair of the sandals at Havianas for $24 a pop.