Though the streets of Reykjavík are chilled by a cold wind, the headquarters of Vikingur, the capital city’s famous football club, is a place of warmth, generosity and altruism. Thanks to the sale of 300 ‘Charity Shirts’ produced in collaboration with the well-known Icelandic fashion designer Hildur Yeoman, the club has collected 22,500 euros (3 million Icelandic crowns) for Ljósið (Light), a rehabilitation and support centre for cancer sufferers and their families. The project started with an idea of Halldór Smári Sigurðsson, a Víkingur player who, in the autumn of 2022, asked the local artist to design a shirt without reference to the club’s colours, conveying a message of hope and support for those most in need.
A DESIGN IN THE COLOURS OF SEA AND ICE
The genius of Hildur Yeoman came up with a unique mix of watercolours in shades of blue, white and ice grey. This original work of art was applied to a shirt rather than a canvas. The impact is incredible. The colours seem to recall those of the sea and ice that surround Iceland, and for a “pictorial blend” that the brush strokes of the artist have made unique. The response from Vikingur’s supporters was unanimous and immediate, and the target of selling all 300 of the Charity Shirts produced was reached in a very short order. What began as a charity initiative has since revolutionised the design of football shirts in Iceland.
A HOMAGE TO PRINS PÓLÓ, THE ICELANDIC MUSICIAN AND FRIEND OF THE CLUB
Vikingur initially thought of devolving profits from the sale of the shirts to the family of Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson, the Icelandic singer better known under his stage name of Prins Póló, whose family live near Vikingur and whose children play in the side’s youth teams. Prins Póló passed away in September 2022, aged only 45, after a long battle with cancer. Instead, the musician’s family decided to join the project and suggested that profits be donated to Ljósið. The shirts nevertheless carry a homage to Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson. The neck is decorated with the words “Nú! er góður tími” (Now is a good time!), a reference to the title of a song by Prins Póló. The crown of the ‘prince’ also appears above the club’s logo in place of the traditional star.
CONTRIBUTING TO A BETTER, HAPPIER SOCIETY
It was the first collaboration of this kind for Vikingur, involving Hildur Yeoman and Prins Póló, but the club is not new to charity projects. Other initiatives have helped an association for chronically ill children, the Club’s Children’s Hospital and, earlier this year, contributed to Ljónshjarta, an organisation that supports people who have lost a spouse and children who have lost a parent. Proceeds from the sale of the Charity Shirts were donated to representatives of Ljósið at Vikingur’s last home match. Gestures like this really do make a difference and help restore hope to those who have lost it.
A GOOD DEED IS ENOUGH TO BECOME A HERO
The choice made by the Reykjavík club is one typical of true heroes. Shirts are not just club symbols: they can also express solidarity, as in the case of the shirt designed by Hildur Yeoman and made by Macron for Vikingur. And gestures are more important than words, just like team spirit, passion and involvement, and determination to achieve results. Decide and do. Now is a good time!