Inishowen, Donegal native Andrew Dolan is a Senior Product Manager based in Germany, at Adidas Global HQ in Nuremberg. He has recently received once in a lifetime opportunity to work in the team who created Argentina’s World Cup-winning jersey.
How does it feel receiving this once in a lifetime opportunity?
The opportunity to work on Argentina was already incredible but for them to end up winning the World Cup in a set of kits that I was a part of is really the stuff of dreams. As a product marketeer my role was to devise the inspiration behind the kits, to find what detail we should highlight and how to differentiate the home and away kits with a focus on the consumer. For home we focused on the national DNA of Argentina. The primary inspiration being the national flag, which you can see throughout the design. The base colour is as close to the blue of the flag as we could manage. The back next sign off is the Sun of May (Sol de Mayo) also taken from the national flag. And finally on the back there is an added white strip down the centre. This has a dual meaning. First, it gives the impression of a flag design, but it also means the front of the jersey has 3 blue stripes while the back has 4, subtle nods to the previous two Argentina World Cup winning kits of 1978 and 1986.
For the away jersey we wanted to highlight the fight for women’s rights and equality across the globe. The colour purple is of major significance here and so for the men’s team to wear this colour for the first time in their history, for Lionel Messi, arguably the greatest footballer of all time to wear it and for the team to ultimately win the World Cup having worn this kit, is an incredible opportunity for this movement to be given the attention it deserves.
You studied at Ulster University, Bachelor of Science, Sports Technology. What digital skills did you acquire?
Yes, I studied at UU Jordanstown from 2009-2013. In terms of digital skills, it was mostly computer software, but the most beneficial skills were in working as part of a team. Much of the learning was project-based work and with each project the roles and responsibilities changed. So, on one project I might have been a designer. On another I was the project manager. On the next I was in charge of costing. All of these are invaluable skills to have when entering the world of work and knowing how to work effectively in a team.
Would you recommend young people in Donegal studying Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design?
I’d highly recommend all young people today to study whatever they have a genuine interest in. I remember when I was choosing my university courses for UCAS and CAO I picked a couple that sounded fun; Sports Technology, Sports and Exercise Science, Journalism, as well as a couple that seemed a safe bet for a good career; Law and Finance. I’m just thankful I chose a course that combined my passion for sports with an interest in design and technology. I had no idea then that I’d end up working in Adidas football on some of the biggest and best football teams in the world but that’s where life and passion has taken me. Young people today should take their time to find out what they truly love and go for it. I started university at 17 which is a bit crazy now that I think about it, especially compared to some Europeans I know who don’t start university until they are in their 20’s. I’ve another 30-35 years of work to go and I’ve no idea where I’ll end up but so far, I’ve been very fortunate. Take the opportunities that come your way and don’t be afraid to take a risk.