Constantly Changing Uniforms

Apparently it’s not enough to wear your jersey in a continuous loop to show your love for your team.


As Pat from Silver Linings Playbook demonstrates

Recently, sports teams have made continuous changes to their uniforms:

“It used to be your uniform lasted for a generation or a decade, and now it’s once a week,” said Paul Lukas, the creator of the Uni Watch blog, who believes the uniform buffet represents a broader cultural shift. “This mirrors the notion of having to check your email and Twitter feed every few minutes because people need a fresh jolt of stimulation.”

This can be great for players, as they enjoy the ritual of accessorizing their game day outfits. Kind of like getting ready for your wedding day, I suppose:

For the most adventurous football clients like Oregon, each selection requires accessorizing jerseys and pants with helmets, socks, cleats, gloves, underwear, and wrist and bicep bands. If a manufacturer cannot persuade a program like Alabama to execute a makeover, they are happy to outfit them in the newest fast-drying, no-grab fabrics.

“The athletes wouldn’t describe it as style, but as game-day preparation,” said Todd Van Horne, Nike’s vice president and global creative director for football. “They describe it to me as the mentality they need to perform their best; that if the uniform is right and all the visual cues are set, that flips the switch for them. They become the game-day warrior, the superhero they envision themselves as.”

Apparently, one reason is to get fans to buy more uniforms:

There are nearly as many explanations for the new trend as there are new looks. Some teams see branding opportunities, and colleges have found that flashy, colorful, sleeker uniforms are attractive to recruits. But college and professional teams know that multiple styles can stoke merchandise sales. A fan who buys a white jersey might also buy a red one and a black one, and even a throwback model or a Spanish-language version.

However, this capitalist choice has problems with the actual game-watching:

The Knicks took the court Saturday at Madison Square Garden in their new deep orange uniforms — technically a “light” color according to the N.B.A. style guide — while the Atlanta Hawks wore all-too-similar red ones. The resulting clash made it difficult to tell friend from foe and created a torrent of criticism among viewers. The N.B.A. announced the next day that it would address its rules to ensure a similar fashion faux pas did not reoccur….

Earlier this year, Adidas listened to David Sayler, the newly hired athletic director at Miami (Ohio), who looked at his football team’s uniform and decided something was missing.

“I saw the M on the helmet, the M on the pants and the M on the neckline, but I didn’t see Miami anywhere,” he said.

…Unfortunately, uniforms do not win games. Miami is 0-11.


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