On Thursday 25 July it was merely the stunning backdrop as five United players (Shinji Kagawa, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Tom Cleverley and Jonny Evans), manager David Moyes and a dozen samurai warriors took part in Nike's global kit launch.
In a dramatic reveal, the warriors formed an imposing guard onstage before parting to reveal the five footballers standing behind, all clad in the new 2013/14 away kit. The team then wore the kit for the first time in the following night's match against Cerezo Osaka as part of Tour 2013 presented by Aon.
Speaking at the launch, Patrice Evra described the kit as "fantastic" and said he hoped United would win many trophies in it. Meanwhile, David Moyes commented on how "striking" his players looked in the the mdinght navy and black gingham shirt.
For video from the event, click the main picture above.
The new kit is available to purchase now from United Direct.