An American Designing the Attire for Wimbledon? You Can NOT Be Serious!


With the French Open finished and Wimbledon now just a few weeks away, the big news is that the tourney’s ballboys and ballgirls — who’ve previously worn green with unfortunate purple trim — will be getting a makeover when the tournament starts later this month. The full story came in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, whose content isn’t available online, so here are the pertinent bits:

For the past 30 years, the rule for on-court officials, including umpires, ballboys, and ballgirls, has been to wear green, to blend in with the finely trimmed grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. … [But this year they’ll] sport Polo Ralph Lauren shorts, skirts, pants, and blazers in navy blue, with Wimbledon’s logo on the shirt sleeve and Polo’s pony on a breast pocket or shirt front. …

Wimbledon’s fashion awakening has been years in the making. Tournament organizers say they realized some time ago that the green-polyester blazers and beige pants for on-court officials were seriously behind the times [and let’s not forget the purple ties]. The outfits were manufactured by Britain’s Wood Harris Ltd., a maker of uniforms for security guards and catering companies. …

Polo says its inspiration was Wimbledon attire from the 1930s and 1940s, when players wore white pants and jackets on court. Polo’s original idea was to dress linesmen [who in the past have also worn green] in white shirts. But Wimbledon officials vetoed it, fearing white shirts on a sunny day would distract players. Instead, linesmen will wear a blue-and-white pinstripe dress shirt with a white collar.

The best quote comes from Wimbledon marketing director Rob McCowen, who insisted that the deal had nothing to do with money and then said (apparently with a straight face) that his favorite thing about Polo is, “They don’t have big brand logos all over their shirts.”

Uh, right. McCowen might want to look at those drawings one more time. If he looks closely, in fact, he’ll see that Polo has actually annexed a bit of sartorial territory from him: The ballboys’ and ballgirls’ wristbands, which used to have the Wimbledon logo, are now slated to carry the Polo mark.

One thing Uni Watch hasn’t been able to confirm: net judge attire, either for this year or in the past. This photo suggests that net judges may have worn the same green jackets as everyone else, or maybe it was a darker jacket — tough to say for sure, considering how much colors can vary on the web. Anyone know more about this?

Meanwhile, moving from the court to the courtroom, it turns out that Adidas-sponsored players will be allowed to wear the company’s three-stripe design at Wimbledon, and it’s a fair bet that Nike and other companies will answer by increasing the size of the logo patches on their own sponsored players.

26 comments to An American Designing the Attire for Wimbledon? You Can NOT Be Serious!

  • Brandon | June 13, 2006 at 8:49 am |

    I realize this has nothing to do with Wimbledon or Tennis (BTW, Nike makes up for it’s on-court logo creep constraint with it’s off-court press conference logo-creep, did anyone see the pink sweatshirt Federer was wearing on Sunday?) Anyway, I give the award of the ugliest goalie uniform thus far to Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon…

    Also, is it necessary for Puma to have TV Number style logos on the shoulders???

  • dave | June 13, 2006 at 9:01 am |

    Wow! I watch tennis as it is, but I’d be willing to guess that more men AND women would watch tennis if the ball boys and girls looked more like the man and woman in those drawings.

  • todd krevanchi (krvanch) | June 13, 2006 at 9:04 am |

    not a big logo? youre right, he should look at the sketches again.
    here is your standard polo short sleve mesh shirt (with the afformentioned small logo)

    now here is the one proposed for the ball boys…
    in fact the shirt style is called “the big pony”
    for christ sake…

    now you tell me…

  • Dennis | June 13, 2006 at 10:00 am |

    I’ve never thought that the Polo logo was that big or annoying – in a time when all you see in tennis is huge Nike and adidas logos, a tiny dude playing polo is a step in the right direction, even if this isn’t for players.

  • Mike Miller | June 13, 2006 at 11:27 am |

    Net judges won’t be wearing anything, because they don’t have net judges anymore. They replaced net judges with electronic sensors in the tape on the net to signal if a serve hits the net or not.

  • Victor | June 13, 2006 at 12:57 pm |

    What will the electronic sensors be wearing?

  • Paul P | June 13, 2006 at 2:45 pm |

    I agree with the Italian goalie having the ugliest uni thus far. Although I have to say that the Nike goalie jerseys are pretty bad themselves. Reminds me of a medieval knight!

    Also if you look at the shorts Angola was wearing Sunday v. Portugal, they are different than the really cool ones that were in the Uni Watch article last Thursday.

  • Tom O'Grady | June 13, 2006 at 2:45 pm |

    Milwaukee is Wimbledon’s Sister City?

    A little know (but very true) trivia nugget from the NBA world of colors. Mike Dunleavy back in 1992 sent a Wimbledon t-shirt with the purple. green and metallic silver color scheme and requested those be the new Bucks official team colors.

    From the


    “Perhaps no single person was more instrumental in the push for new uniforms, colors and logo than Bucks Vice President of Basketball Operations and then-Head Coach Mike Dunleavy. One of Dunleavy’s first thoughts upon signing an eight-year contract on May 12, 1992 was to upgrade the image of the club’s uniforms … to instill pride among the players and make them feel good about carrying Milwaukee’s colors in front of a national audience.
    Green was retained as a link to past accomplishments. Purple was introduced as a contrasting color and one that, while currently in vogue, will stand the test of time. Silver provides a perfect accent and serves to highlight the deep, rich hues found in the forest green and purple. A number of color combinations were tested before the final combination became reality. Dunleavy even scoured Milwaukee-area department stores with his three sons, to get a feel as to how the youth market reacts.”


    Tom O’Grady

  • Tom O'Grady | June 13, 2006 at 2:52 pm |

    Mike Dunleavy sent a Wimbledon t-shirt to the NBA and ask that those be the new Milwaukee Bucks team colors back in 1992.


  • JohnnyBoy | June 13, 2006 at 3:32 pm |

    What they’ll be wearing will be censored.


  • dp | June 13, 2006 at 4:50 pm |

    I like the new updated designs. I actually have a couple Big Pony shirts, the logo is rather large in person, but on tv I don’t think it’ll be that big of a deal. I mean, it’s gotta be worth Ralph Lauren’s while to design/provide these uniforms, so I’m not surprised they want the logo to be visible to the audience and tv viewers.

  • Brian | June 13, 2006 at 5:25 pm |

    I continue to contend that Nike makes the best World Cup uniforms, and they’ve done a great job keeping the logo creep down and the design team-distinctive.

    Re: Keller’s goalie jersey, it’s only ugly because HE CHEWS ON HIS COLLAR LIKE CRAZY!

  • Riley | June 13, 2006 at 5:27 pm |

    Anyone know if the World Cup goalies exchange jerseys (with anyone or each other). Always wondered that because I’ve never seen them do it and they wear those different jerseys.

  • Greg | June 13, 2006 at 5:41 pm |

    I did see them exchange them during a game earlier, but honestly I can’t remember which teams did it. It might have been one of the African countries…

  • Brian | June 13, 2006 at 7:29 pm |

    Given that numbers must be between 1-23 (23 man teams), do the players switch with their numerical counterpart? If that were the case, most opposing goalkeepers (who generally wear #1) would be switching with American backup Tim Howard instead of starting #18 Kasey Keller.

  • DD | June 13, 2006 at 9:07 pm |

    plenty off-topic, but how cool is it seeing Brewers rookie pitcher Zach Jackson wear a number in the teens?

    Bring back this dying art!

  • Mike | June 13, 2006 at 9:28 pm |

    off-topic, but add Sendy Rleal to the list of MLB players with crooked caps…

  • todd krevanchi (krvanch) | June 13, 2006 at 9:36 pm |

    ralph lauren outfitted the ballboys/girls at the 2005 U.S. Open as well. If memory serves me correct that is wear the “big pony” shirt debuted.

  • todd krevanchi (krvanch) | June 13, 2006 at 9:40 pm |

    when i (and others) paste a link into the body of our message, and the link extends beyond one line of text, the link becomes broken. as in my post above…
    what do we need to do to fix it?

  • Paul Lukas | June 13, 2006 at 9:50 pm |

    My webmaster is working on the URL problem. The links will will work if thre reader copies/pastes the entire URL into a browser window (which I know is a pain, but it’s not such a hardship).

    Earlier on, in the blog’s first few days, we had a different problem, which was that long URLs formatted themselves on a single line and thereby extended the width of the “Comments” window, which screwed up the look of the page. We fixed that problem, but now we’ve got this new problem. We’ll fix it, don’t worry.

  • Brian | June 14, 2006 at 12:29 am |

    What you can do is this.

    Type Put something shorter here

    Displays like this…
    Put something shorter here

    Complicated for some, yes, but how to do it is outlined above the “leave a comment” box by “HTML allowed”, so just copy it from there.

  • Brian | June 14, 2006 at 12:31 am |

    oops, misunderstood the “Code” tag.

    replacing [ with type something shorter here[/a>

  • Brian | June 14, 2006 at 12:31 am |

    ahh i give up…. it looks like mr. webmaster fixed the broken link problem anyway.

  • Rich | June 16, 2006 at 11:09 am |

    [quote comment=”831″]I realize this has nothing to do with Wimbledon or Tennis (BTW, Nike makes up for it’s on-court logo creep constraint with it’s off-court press conference logo-creep, did anyone see the pink sweatshirt Federer was wearing on Sunday?) Anyway, I give the award of the ugliest goalie uniform thus far to Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon…

    Also, is it necessary for Puma to have TV Number style logos on the shoulders???

    At least it’s not as bad as this:

  • norb | June 16, 2006 at 12:54 pm |

    mmm, purple ties!

    Obviously Mike Dunleavy’s sartorial instincts far outweigh his tonsorial ones. I just hope his fine work is not undermined on June 28th. (neither Bucks GM Larry Harris nor my season ticket rep would confirm or deny my inquiry as to whether purple was getting 86ed with the new unis, but they both said “we are sure you will enjoy our new look” — employeespeak for “PREPARE THYSELF FOR THE WORST UNIS EVER”)

  • jessy | February 14, 2007 at 8:16 am |

    ralph lauren’s uniform for wimbledon very stylish
    but for the us open