MIAMI – On St. Patrick’s Day, the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, got a little more green.
BOL, a Miami-based sports brand, entered into an agreement with Montserrat to provide graffiti-inspired kits for its national football team.
Rising from the ashes of the Soufrière Hills’ eruptions of the late 90’s, Montserrat captured the imagination of soccer with their heart. The team begins its 2022 World Cup qualifying journey against Antigua and Barbuda March 24.
BOL has pledged to gift one jersey to every inhabitant on the 4,900-person island when the underdog nation qualifies for its first World Cup.
“Our brand was developed to celebrate the joy of the game and is where performance apparel meets fan wear,” Tiago Pinto, former Nike executive and co-founder of BOL, said in a statement. “It’s about expressing your best, authentic, and joyful self. Whether you’re in the stands, on the pitch, or wearing your same pair of lucky socks watching on the screen at home.”
Known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, Montserrat has a rich Irish heritage that dates back to the 17th century. The tiny island is the only place outside of Ireland where St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday, which was particularly significant for BOL’s launch date. The team’s jersey features uncut emerald stones, an homage to their home and reflectant of the raw talent and journey they hope to polish and shine in the group stage of World Cup Qualifying.
The Emerald Boys have been on the rise since the “Other Final” days when they lost to Bhutan 4-0 in 2002 and aspire to be the next Iceland of this cycle. The 2003 documentary “The Other Final,” its name highlighting the irony of the match being played on the same date as the 2002 World Cup final. With Montserrat overcoming the challenges of developing a team on an island suffering severe natural disasters during the 90’s, the birth of the true underdog story began. The team hopes to highlight the passion found within the island and its team through its apparel.
The Emerald Boys will sport the new kits for the first time during their Concacaf Group A match against Antigua and Barbuda on March 24, 2021 and again during their second match on March 28 versus El Salvador. With game-day, training jerseys, anthem jackets and a personalized and inspirational product collection, they can have the necessary support (and style) to fulfill all their aspirations, all created with the “Emeralds Uncut” inspiration.
A study in perseverance, Montserrat’s national team has faced extreme challenges beyond its relatively young existence and the size of the island. The team couldn’t practice for four years following the Soufrière Hills volcanic eruption in 1995, forcing a move from their home stadium (capacity 1,000) near the village of Look Out.
“Our focus is on teams that have a great story to tell, and we will continue to support Montserrat in their rise up the football ranks,” said Pinto, who found inspiration in Montserrat’s story, making the island nation a perfect fit for BOL’s partnership.
“The MFA Inc. is very pleased to be collaborating with BOL in this venture, in promoting our National Football team and Montserrat in general,” said Vincent Cassell, president of the Montserrat Football Association. “The theme ‘rising from the ashes’ resonates strongly with our Emerald Boys, as our aim is to continue improving our world standing as we fight as hard as possible to qualify for the World Cup. We are excited to see our supporters at home and abroad wearing our jersey with pride.”
Game day, training, and goalie jerseys are available for purchase, starting March 17 on BOL’s official site. For more information, visit bolfootball.com or @bol.football on Instagram.