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A Clash of Titans: Douchebag v. Douchebag

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As you’re probably aware, Reebok wasted no time in getting some Tim Tebow Jets jerseys on store shelves after Tebow was traded to New York last week. Sure, their license with the NFL expires this Sunday, but as of today they’re still the NFL’s official outfitter, so why shouldn’t they get every last bit of bang for their buck, right?

Not so fast. In a truly delicious development, Nike sued Reebok yesterday over the Tebow/Jets jerseys. You can read the entire lawsuit, which has some entertainingly grandiose language, here. I’m no legal expert, but it appears to me that the crux of the case lies in Paragraphs 15 through 21, which read like so:

15. A legitimately licensed NFL player-/NFL team-identified product requires two distinct grants of intellectual property rights: the right to use the trademarks of the NFL and/or its member clubs (collectively, “NFL Marks”), and the right to use players’ names and playing numbers. The right to use NFL Marks on licensed products is exclusively controlled by the NFL’s licensing entity, NFL Properties. While NFL Properties grants third parties rights to use NFL Marks, it has no authority to grant rights to use players’ names or numbers and, in its licenses, explicitly disclaims any such rights and provides that it shall be the sole responsibility of the manufacturer to obtain any right to use players’ names and numbers.

16. There are only two ways in which a product manufacturer can acquire the right to use an NFL player’s name and number on merchandise: (1) obtain that right directly from the individual player, or (2) enter into a so-called “group license” with NFL Players Incorporated, the licensing arm of the National Football League Players Association, which is the players’ union (“NFL Players”). NIKE currently enjoys a license from both Tebow individually and a group license from NFL Players. Reebok has never had an agreement with Tebow individually, nor did it obtain his permission or consent to the manufacture of Tebow Jets product. Reebok had a valid group license with NFL Players, but that license, as discussed below, expired prior to March 1, 2012, and thus could not convey any rights beyond that date to create new Tebow-identified Jets product.

17. Under a March 24, 2010 Letter Agreement with Tebow (the “NIKE – Tebow Agreement”), Tebow granted NIKE the exclusive right to use Tebow’s name in connection with, among other products, athletic and casual apparel (“Covered Products”). That agreement remains in full force and effect.

18. NIKE’s group license with NFL Players commenced March 1, 2012 (the “NIKE – NFL Players License”). The NIKE – NFL Players License grants NIKE the right to use an aggregate of the identities of six or more NFL players (hence, a so-called “group license”) in connection with the manufacture and sale of certain products, namely jerseys, t-shirts and fleece apparel. NFL Players controls these group license rights through an assignment made by each player in the NFL. Practically, this group licensing model affords marketers and licensed product manufacturers the convenience of “one-stop shopping” by providing them the ability to secure the publicity rights of multiple NFL players at once from a single source, rather than having to seek a license from each NFL player individually, which could be unduly burdensome with nearly 1,700 active NFL roster players. However, the individual players are still free to enter into individual endorsement and licensing arrangements with third parties for singular uses of the athlete’s identity on athletic apparel and other products, as Tebow did with NIKE.

19. Reebok’s recent sale and distribution of Tebow-identified Jets apparel is not part of a group offering, but is a singular offering focused on Tebow and the public’s intense interest in him and his recent trade to the New York Jets. Reebok has not been authorized to use Tebow’s name and number for New York Jets-branded apparel products, either by Tebow individually or by NFL Players pursuant to a group licensing arrangement.

20. Reebok has no current agreement with NFL Players that allows it to manufacture and sell Tebow-identified Jets products. Reebok’s agreement with NFL Players expired prior to March 1, 2012, the effective date of the NIKE – NFL Players License. Tebow was not a member of the New York Jets football team until after March 21, 2012 (the trade announcement), long after March 1, 2012, when Reebok’s NFL Players group license rights expired. As of March 1, 2012, Reebok’s rights under its NFL Players group license were limited to, at most, the right to sell out existing inventory of products identified to individual players existing prior to March 1, 2012. For Tebow, that would mean existing Denver Broncos inventory – not new New York Jets products. Whatever right Reebok may have had under its expired NFL Players group license to the use of Tebow’s name on apparel was limited to Denver Broncos inventory, the team he was on as of March 1, 2012, when Reebok’s rights granted from NFL Players expired. An authorized representative of NFL Players has confirmed to NIKE that NFL Players has not authorized Reebok to use Tebow’s name and number on New York Jets-branded products.

21. The final element associated with the manufacture and sale of NFL apparel is the rights to use NFL Marks. Reebok’s NFL Properties license to use the NFL Marks on apparel expires March 31, 2012. Commencing April 1, 2012, NIKE’s NFL Properties license to use the NFL Marks on apparel begins, and NIKE will succeed Reebok as the supplier of NFL team uniforms and as a licensee to manufacture and sell certain NFL-authorized apparel, such as jerseys and t-shirts featuring NFL Marks. In short, Reebok may create new products featuring NFL Marks, but not new products featuring an individual player, without such player’s authorization or consent.


Most of you probably didn’t read that whole thing (lazy sods), so here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: As of today, Reebok still has the legal right to sell NFL merchandise. But according to Nike, Reebok lost the legal right to sell player-specific NFL merch on March 1. Seems odd that Reebok’s license with the players’ union would expire a month sooner than their license with the league, but that’s what the suit alleges.

If you read the entire suit, you’ll see that Nike isn’t just concerned about Reebok selling unauthorized merch during the last week or so of March. The Swooshkateers’ bigger concern is that fans who’ve already bought one of Reebok’s Tebow jerseys will be unwilling to pony up for one of Nike’s Tebow jerseys when they become available. I suspect they’re underestimating their core market’s capacity for lifestyle consumerism (or overestimating its intelligence), but that’s just me.

Anyway, does the suit have merit? Is it just a nuisance suit designed to trigger an injunction that would last until Reebok’s full NFL license expires (the legal equivalent of running out the clock)? Who knows; who cares. When two loathsome corporate behemoths square off in the ring for the right to sell overpriced crap to suckers, all I can do is hope they both land some haymakers and come away badly bruised. These clowns all deserve each other. Here’s hoping the suit drags on for months and that their respective attorneys jack up their fees. Next time you’re thinking of spending $200 on a polyester shirt, keep in mind that that’s where your money is going.

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Meanwhile, in the middle of all this legal wrangling sits one Timothy Richard Tebow. Obviously, he has every right to sign a licensing agreement with whomever he chooses, and he’s not the one who filed this lawsuit. Maybe he finds the whole thing as silly and distasteful as I do; maybe he’s rolling his eyes over it as much as some of you probably are. I’ll say this, however: All this profiteering and commodification and litigation being done in his name — all so we can see who gets to skim the most cream off the top of his marketability — it doesn’t seem, shall we say, very Christian.

Update: A court has granted Nike a temporary restraining order, which means any of Reebok’s Tebow jerseys that were sold over the past week have just become instant collector’s items, whee!


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Uni Watch News Ticker: Late-breaking MLB uni news: Looks like the Marlins will have a stadium patch (big thanks to David Polakoff). … New uniforms for the waiters at Maloney & Porcelli, a Manhattan restaurant. ”¦ “I grew up in northern Virginia and remember these Redskins posters coming in the Sunday newspapers during the team’s first Super Bowl run,” says Jon Solomonson. “And these McDonald’s posters, too.” ”¦ Here’s the latest slop about the NBA considering uniform ads. Everyone made a big fuss over that article yesterday (my phone was ringing off the hook, and Around the Horn made fun of the idea), but if you actually read the article, it’s mainly about Mark Cuban, who’s been cheerleading for jersey ads for years now — nothing new there. There’s nothing in the article about the NBA actually moving in that direction except a mention that they’ll be “pondering” it at next month’s Board of Governors meeting, which we already knew. Just another big fuss over nothing in an attempt to create a false air of inevitability. #NoUniAds … Speaking of that Board of Govs meeting, everyone keeps saying it’s “in April,” but to my knowledge nobody has reported the exact dates. Until now: It will take place April 12 and 13. … Gorgeous stirrups being worn by Joel Rosencrance of Potomac State College (from Don Schafer). … Phil, who loves lettering down the placket, will totally dig these Notre Dame throwbacks that the Irish will soon be wearing (from Dan Cichalski). ”¦ I just won this very nice Durene jersey (cuz I didn’t have, you know, enough green shirts already). ”¦ Big news out of Australia, where the women’s Olympic hoops team will no longer be wearing the skintight unitards (from Craig Snyder). ”¦ Updated Seahawks logo? Maybe. When we’re this close to the actual unveiling, I’m not particularly interested in speculation. In a few days, we’ll all know one way or the other. ”¦ Three-headed logo creep monster: Nike, Puma, and Under Armour in one photo. That’s Hercules Gomez from last night’s TFC/Santos Champions League game. He also had some patch issues (from Nick Whiteand Michael Orr, respectively). … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Here’s an absolutely priceless video of 1970s Cubs spring training footage. Not to be missed. … RIP, Earl. I’ll be playing “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” a few times today and thinking of you.

Comments (218)

    Got it cued up and listening at the moment. My favortie music of all time. Sad to see probably the most influential artist go.

    Paul’s RIP today is particularly apt. Earl Scruggs really was an important, influential figure in country music in general and banjo playing in particular. And, damn, who doesn’t smile when you hear an Earl Scruggs riff?

    Though it’s surely been tried, “The banjo is such a happy instrument–you can’t play a sad song on the banjo – it always comes out so cheerful.”― Steve Martin

    I especially love his extended riff on giving banjos to the unemployed.

    “Did you get a job today?”

    (banjo picking roll)

    “Nope! Doesn’t matter, though!”

    (extended roll)

    Wow! had to read UW to learn about Earl Scruggs, an innovator of banjo style. Among my few great jobs was dj in VA, at one of the world’s first all Americana/Bluegrass formats. Along with the obvious tracks, I used to love injecting Flatt & Scrugg’s old Martha White commercials used on WSM’s Grand Old Opry. AND one of his sons Randy, is a major picker & music producer in his own write. Twang on brother. . ..

    English Premier League team Everton announced today they will wear Nike kits from next season. This is the first time they will wear Nike, the current kit manufacturer is Le Coq Sportif, previous manufacturers have included Umbro and Puma.

    Announcement: link

    Currently Everton only sell their apparel online or in the city of Liverpool where they are based, hopefully they will be tapping into global supply networks with this deal so people all over the world can buy the kits.

    (says an ex-pat Evertonian)

    Most interesting portion of that for me, is that there is going to be a Pro Combat range for them. First time in Soccer for Pro combat?

    I know the Portuguese National team had some Pro Combat training gear and under shirts. Not sure about other national teams or clubs.

    Hey, Matt — Was Everton ever great? Which are the Everton glory years? What social or geographic characteristics distinguish the Everton fan from the Liverpool fan?

    /Too lazy to google/

    everton’s last great period was the 1980s – two league titles and a second place between 1985 and 1987, FA cup in 84 and runners-up in 85 and 86, cup winners cup in 85, and most people who lived it say they would have been serious contenders for the european cup if english clubs had not been banned from all european competition thanks to the actions of liverpool hooligans in the heysel disaster.

    everton-liverpool used to be known as the friendly derby because there was nothing to differentiate the supporters – you would get families split down the middle, for example, and the fans would sit/stand together in the stands. after liverpool hooligans basically ruined everton’s chances of european cup success the rivalry started to get a little more heated, though. for what it’s worth, paul mccartney has said he supports both teams, but if they were playing in the cup final he would go for everton.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but an Everton supporter once told me that only Arsenal has been in the top flight of English football longer than Everton.

    Always assumed Sir Paul was a Reds supporter. You learn something new every day.

    Everton was where a young Wayne Rooney got his start.
    I had that on tape at one time. I believe they had some kind of banner there celebrating 100 years of top-flight football, so yeah, I’d believe they’re close to the top of the list.

    You are correct with that, Ben.

    But did you know that there is only one team who have played in the top flight and have never been relegated from it?

    Wigan Athletic :)

    (I have to get that in quickly before this season ends!!)

    If I recall correctly, Everton may be supported by Catholics and Liverpool by Protestants, kind of like Rangers and Celtic in Scotland. That’s the interesting thing about soccer over in Europe, it’s not just city v city, it’s neighborhood vs neighborhood

    Or in Dundee and Dundee United’s case, it’s house vs. house, as they play in the same neighborhood:

    No – that’s nonsense. There is no religious divide. And as for support within families, I grew up in Liverpool, brought up a Liverpool supporter (why I now support Wigan is too long to explain). But my sister was an Evertonian.

    Everton has the best manager in English football, David Moyes. They are underfunded, in an old stadium, but they’re always competitive.

    They also have had some spectacularly weird change kits recently, including the shocking pink one, with the navy blue shoulder stripe.

    They’re called “The Toffees”, because there used to be a candy factory next to their stadium, and the place always smelled like toffee.

    “The Toffees (or The Toffeemen) is the established and traditional nickname for Everton FC, and certainly preferable to the dull alternative of “The Blues”, which is used only locally to differentiate the club from its equally famous neighbours. It originated very early in the history of the club, by association with not one but two local Toffee Shops that figured in Everton’s early history. ‘Ye Anciente Everton Toffee House’ was located within a “mint ball’s throw” of the Queen’s Head Hotel in Village Street, where much of Everton’s early development as a Football Club occurred.

    The Toffee House was the operation of Old Ma Bushell, who was the original Toffee Lady, and actually invented Everton Toffees. This confectionery was sold in huge quantities to the hungry hordes as they journeyed from far and wide to watch Everton play in the new Football League at Anfield, Everton’s third ground.

    ‘Mother Noblett’s Toffee Shop’, meanwhile, was located near Goodison Park, and figured prominently after the move from Anfield in 1893. Old Mother Noblett was placed on the horns of a dilemma when that momentous decision was taken to move the great club from Anfield to the new Goodison Park. But, being the mother of innovation, Mrs Noblett hit upon a great idea as direct competition for the Everton Toffees patented by her arch rival, Old Ma Bushell. She invented Everton Mints.

    Everton Mints were a great success with the crowd. The black & white stripes of the new sweets reflected an older strip that Everton had worn some years earlier and sales of Everton Toffee from Ye Anciente Everton Toffee Shop declined rapidly, mainly due the long distance that now separated Old Ma Bushell’s tasty goods from the crowds milling around Goodison Park.

    Not to be outdone by the inventive Mrs Nobletts, Old Ma Bushell pulled a masterstroke of marketing acumen. She gained permission from the leaders of the Club to distribute her Everton Toffees to the crowd inside the ground as they waited patiently for the kick-off. Her beautiful young grand-daughter, Jemima Bushell, was persuaded to perform this honourable task. She dressed in her best finery, and donned a broad hat before carrying around her basket laden with individually wrapped Everton Toffees.

    Thus was born the tradition of the Everton Toffee Lady, a pre-match feature at Goodison Park that has lasted remarkably well down the years. In previous years, one Toffee Lady did the job week-in, week-out; Mary Gorry fulfilled this role in the mid-Fifties. Nowadays, for each home match, a different teenage girl is selected from the ranks of Everton’s Supporters Club to perform this time-honoured task. Again it is worthy of note, however, that the “toffees” thrown, are usually “Everton Mints”.”

    Immense and enjoyable, George. I want to see a colorized pin-up of Jemima Bushell, please.

    “Roger McGough is a Liverpool poet. He is the author of many books set in and around Liverpool, including: ‘Merseysound,’ ‘Gig,’ ‘The Liverpool Scene’ and two of his Liverpool Poems are in the Oxford Book of 20th Century English Verse. He was born in Liverpool, attended school in Liverpool, was even married in Liverpool, and his football team is of course Everton.”

    As a longtime follower of Everton, I am a little saddened by this. I liked the direction Le Coq Sportif had taken on the alternate and 3rd kits with the return to yellow and the introduction of vanilla.

    Mainly I am hoping that Nike doesn’t go crazy with the reintroduction of pink to the color scheme.

    Agreed. The first home shirt by Le Coq Sportif was an link of a throwback, and the link was even more stupid.
    But LCS also previously made the link and have since made Everton arguably the best-looking team around:
    in yellow
    and in gray.

    FIXED: Agreed. The first home shirt by Le Coq Sportif was an link of a throwback, and the link was even more stupid.
    But LCS also previously made the link and have since made Everton arguably the best-looking team around:
    and link.

    Seahawks logo link is wonky.

    I doubt anyone has too many green shirts.

    If he weren’t Hercules, could he really carry that many corporations on his shirt?

    I think that was a runner-up when they redesigned the uniforms.

    It appears the Super Bowl XVIII video is on in the background, John Facenda’s final NFL Films narration.

    It probably would have been better if you guys had posted those clips with a lead in like, “For those of you dealing with the long off-season, here’s John Facenda narrating some football.” It would have been the Uni-Watch version of a Rick-roll.

    Weird spelling alert: It’s actually Herculez Gomez. Z at the end of both names.

    Klinsmann needs to call him back up to the national team, badly.

    I’m not sure why you find this lawsuit distasteful or an example of corporate douchbaggery other than the fact that the two parties are douchebag corporations. That’s totally valid, as I too consider Reebok and Nike to be douchebaggy, but the lawsuit still has merit. If the facts as alleged by Nike are true, Nike paid dearly for a license, Reebok sold unlicensed merchandise, and Nike suffered damages as a result. This is what we have the legal system for, no? Nike has rights, too, even if they are douchey.

    The interesting factual question is what license of Reebok’s expired on March 1st.

    I agree, but it’s always fun to watch the two douchebags in school go fisticuffs in the hallway. You always root for the most blood.

    They probably expired at March 1st because they felt that one-month buffer period, nothing would happen, Nike could get acclimated with all of the players and making jerseys (so to speak), and Reebok could faze themselves out.

    Guess it didn’t go according to plan…

    I bet Tebow did it on purpose… The kid seems to love drama… or maybe drama just follows him everywhere. Either way, I say we blame Tebow.

    “always worth getting a shot in at Tebow because after all, he’s a Christian.”


    how exactly did adam’s statement take a shot a tebow’s religion?

    Y’know, I’ve seen people use “phase” when they mean “faze”, but this is the first time I’ve seen somebody use “faze” when they mean “phase”.

    It seems incredibly odd, because what it does is it prohibits either company from making any merchandise bearing both a team and a player trademark for this month. So essentially, the only thing that could be made would be hats and shirts.

    Which might be reasonable, to help clear out old reebok high margin players stuff, but if that was the goal, why not make that clear to all parties by writing it in the contract? This whole thing smells fishy. Which is what litigation is for, I suppose.

    I agree with him too, at least in terms of one side being right and one side being wrong — that’s how it usually works in a lawsuit.

    But come on — two lifestyle merchants fighting over the right to commodify a 24-year-old while a bunch of lemmings line up at the cash register. You’ll forgive me if I don’t feel too much intelligent sympathy for anyone involved. Like I already said, they all deserve each other. They’ve created this miserable sportswear industrial complex and now they can have a pissing fight over it. Congratulations.

    “I’m not sure why you find this lawsuit distasteful or an example of corporate douchbaggery other than the fact that the two parties are douchebag corporations.”

    You gotta admit…that’s a pretty good reason.

    Ahh, nothing like the smell of corporate douchebaggery in the morning..

    But in all seriousness, does this make Nike God’s favorite and damn Reebok to hell for all of eternity?

    I say someone calls Mark Cuban’s bluff about putting GoDaddy on his arse.. would gladly pay good money to see that!

    The Tebow story is also interesting for what it says about the Nike “overhaul.” If Nike is fearful that their new jerseys are so identical to Reebok’s old one clearly little is going to change. The cuts may be different, but as far as the replicas go, sounds like zero discernible change. Just like Paul’s been saying all along.

    Given the NFL’s rules about uniform changes, there’s only a handful of teams that would be eligible to change this year and most of those are the teams that never do. It was already a moot issue when Nike won the contract.

    A moot issue for this year. The danger has never been that Nike would come in and Oregonize the entire NFL. But we can be darn sure that Nike’s staff will be spending – have already been spending – every waking minute pitching every NFL team at every level of contact on brilliant new ideas for innovative, cutting edge, bullshitcetera uniforms & rebrands. Now, some teams are run by people with character and business sense, and more are run by egomaniacs who reject out of hand any idea that didn’t come from inside their own heads. Those teams will resist Nike’s ceaseless blandishments of Oregonized crap. Other teams likely will not. That’s the danger: It’s about the future, and it’s cumulative.

    Another example of the “air of inevitability”. Its even in video games, during matches on NBA2K12 the announcers talk about ads being on the uniforms in D-League and WNBA already, and how its only a matter of time before the NBA does the same.

    It will be awhile before a headline picture will be as perfect for the following story. The question that pops into my head is who is Beavis and who is Butthead in this scenario?

    Do the Marlins plan to mix and match softball tops and caps like they did in the ticker photo? With all that orange/black/grey mixing and matching, they’ll start to look like the Oklahoma State of MLB.

    I was wondering the same thing, and honestly I really wouldn’t mind, espessially if we saw the orange cap more than just with the orange jersey

    i think that the orange cap and orange accessories would look great, if not better, with the home whites. i wonder if they are open to mixing

    “Douchebaggery” is slipping into “Politically Correct” -ish abuse, my sentiments on such subjects notwithstanding.

    Just got my Rockies Season Ticket Holder Newsletter. In it, the team says every monday home game will be Purple Monday, and there will be special prizes for fans wearing purple.

    I am willing to wager that the team will wear their purple alternates every Monday home game as well. I bet Paul is ecstatic.

    They also said in one of their Facebook posts that they’ll wear the purple jerseys every Monday home game.

    Why is Nike getting the douche label and Reebok gets no chastising in the court of public opinion? Seems to me that it was Reebok who brazenly ignored the terms of its contract and licensing agreement and made the products anyway. How can you fault a company going after lost revenue that appears to be rightfully theirs to capture? If it was your business, you’d probably do the same thing. Our lawsuit friendly culture (and the idiocy of that) is a whole different discussion.

    You can see my comment below, but I don’t think it’s right for Nike to claim it’s losing revenue on this ‘unique opportunity’ when its product won’t be readily available until a month from now. That’s the real reason they’re losing revenue. You’d think if maximizing revenue was as important as they say it was, that’d have all the jerseys ready to be rolled out of the stock room at every Dick’s and Sports Authority across the country at 12:01 am on April 1.

    For the record, I believe Tebow also sent a C&D letter to Reebok for the unauthorized use of his likeness. I don’t know if he filed a lawsuit, though.

    It’s not necessarily lost revenue so much as unjust enrichment. Reebok has earned revenue that Nike has a right to exclude it from. There are contract rights that say you can prevent another party from making money off of something you have an exclusive right to, even if you’re not making money from it yourself.

    I think lost revenue actually makes sense here. If you’re the only one allowed to sell something, then anyone buying that item from someone else *is* revenue you should have earned. It’s not like a music piracy case where people are getting something for free (which they may or may not have bought otherwise) instead of paying.

    But it’s a grey area when the item in question isn’t being made available during the time of biggest opportunity, even though you’re the only one allowed to sell it. It’s more unfair to the retailers than it is to anyone else, because they’re going to be the one getting the complaints from consumers, when it’s actually Nike that’s slow to market on the jerseys.

    That’s specifically why it’s unjust enrichment. Lost revenue is actual revenue that Reebok is stealing from Nike, which is somewhat nebulous. Unjust enrichment is revenue that Nike wouldn’t necessarily be getting, but which Reebok has no right to earn because it is infringing on Nike’s license.

    I’m really diggin’ the Marlins’ new duds.

    I think I might start pulling for them based on the uni.

    It’s been a while since I pulled for a team, solely based on a uni.

    The first and last time I did that was in ’81 with the Cincinnati Bengals. Things(with regards to their uniforms)have only gotten worse ever since!

    That’s the best reason to root for a team! Or more correctly, the best reason to pull for a team you’d otherwise be disinterested about (in? for?)

    The drop shadow on the numbers on back puzzled me a bit. It was a bit different having the drop shadow straight down instead of down and to the left.

    But perhaps it has something to do with the more vertical sun rays Miami receives than any other of the ball parks, Miami is the southern most park, so although it doesn’t relate directly it makes more sense for Miami to have the drop shadow directly “south”.

    I was a Blue Jays fan, until they became the BFBS Jays. Now I’m a Blue Jays fan again.

    Yes — they LOOK like the Blue Jays once again. The use of navy and royal blue (as opposed to royal and light blue) and the tweaked font are outstanding updates.

    I was seriously considering it, but I have to go back to Cleveland for a wedding this wekend, and I don’t think the girlfriend wants to go down through the Ville before going up.

    “I don’t think the girlfriend wants to go down through the Ville before going up.”


    you never know until you try

    When Paul finally gets around to releasing a Uni Watch soundtrack, I really hope there’s a banjo-infused country song on it with this line prominently featured.

    Made the 90 min drive and it was well worth it. Great guy, and had time to talk to him quite a bit afterwards. I think I was the only uni watcher there. The others were all designers that were just part of the Lgda. I got some funny looks when I asked some very uni watch like questions. But out of all of us that “get it” Todd, like Paul, get it at a different level.

    Great speech, but so humble about his work. Understands that some of it has an expiration date. And sometimes, at the end of the day, the client gets what the client asks for. So glad I made the trip. Just wish I’d have had time to bs with him for about an hour or more. Fun to talk in person with someone who speaks our language.

    New Quaker Oats logo been mentioned?

    Broader shoulders, no double chin.
    At his age?
    He’s juicin’, man.

    Hey, wasn’t the original use of the term ‘quaker’ meant to be offensive and derogatory? And that generic imagery! Surely the ownership of the mills at some point got the ‘blessing’ of the “Friends” communities before using it to sell stuff, right?

    wait a minute…why is one of the unmentionable teams mentioned in the ticker? have your views on the issue evolved again?

    I never said I was going to stop mentioning them; I just said I was going to stop selling membership cards based on them.

    That’s good, because a moratorium on Indian-themed teams in this space would cut drastically into our discussions.

    Do I just notice it more or are there a disproportionate number of us from Cleveland?

    Not the opening montage from Major League? Few things make me feel homesick more than watching a barge trundle across Lake Erie with “Burn On” playing in the background.

    What if a team named themselves the Pitbulls? How long would it take before the groundswell of opposition got media-worthy?

    FYI Uniwatchers, my twitter name is blancoshadow (my nerdy Xbox live name)…please don’t kill me with questions…

    Wondering if Paul Lukas is gonna be at NFL Nike uni unveiling next week in NYC???

    The one good thing about the proposal to allow NBA to put ads on their jerseys – Mark Cuban seems to be the ringleader. I think as long as David Stern is in charge, he will do the exact opposite of what Cuban wants. Stern would rather lose an income stream than side with Cuban on an issue.

    In theory, sure; in practice, it depends on what the design is (i.e., it can’t have any purple, in can’t have Native American imagery, etc.).

    We always want to be able to grant every request. Send me an email with a photo of the jersey in question.

    What about a high school like Sequoyah High School in Oklahoma? It is run and operated by the Cherokee Nation. They use Native American imagery.

    I assume you are aware that your advertiser “Lids” is selling a Cleveland First Nation hat with the raaacist image of Chief Wahoo?

    Speaking of “lids”…RIP Warren Stevens, veteran ‘rug-ed’ actor. The logo on those caps in “Forbidden Planet” was pretty awesome!

    The Marlins will have two versions of the stadium inaugural patch, to correspond with the four jerseys they’ll wear. One has a black background, the other an orange background.

    This is the sixth team commemorative patch in Marlins history, and despite orange not being one of the team’s official colors until this season, every patch except for the inaugural season “Carl” patch of 1993, has orange in the design.

    Thanks for correction. Yes, never part of the game uniform until now. Also had two versions of the 2003 WS champions patch worn in 2004.

    Technically, it was part of the game uniform for about their first ten years, but it was barely perceptible. It was the color of the stitches on the baseball that was part of the link.

    My $0.02 says that realistically, Nike is responsible for its own damages by not taking pre-orders until April 15 and not delivering product until late April. As a retailer, there is no way I would sit idly by as one of the most popular players in the league (from a jersey sales standpoint) is traded and watch all the buzz die down while I have to tell people who come into my store, “Sorry. The new jerseys don’t come in until the end of April.” I would immediately be on the horn with Nike asking, “So why, again, can’t I get jerseys in my store until a month from now?” That is unacceptable for a retailer. Retail is all about timing in many cases. If I was a retailer, I would have done everything I could to get Tebow jerseys in my store, whether that meant getting them under an expired license from Reebok or taking blank stock and numbering them up myself.

    Whether or not Nike’s actions were silly, an exclusive license is still just that. If Reebok has no right to produce something with your name on it because you signed a contract with Nike, it’s both your and Nike’s right to sue them when Nike declines to exercise its license and Reebok infringes on it.

    I’m not saying Nike’s suit has no grounds. They should win the suit, but it puts the retailers in a tough situation because their customers want the product right now and the retailers have no legal way to obtain it. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tebow orders were initiated by retailers. As I said above, if Nike wants to claim lost revenue here, they should at least try to make it seem like they’re attempting to make as much money as possible, instead of letting the market sit with no NFL player jerseys for more than a month while two fo the league’s most popular quarterbacks change teams.

    I’ll grant you that lost revenue is a stupid claim. I haven’t read the entire complaint, but I’ll put up dollars to donuts that they claim unjust enrichment as well. That’s where someone makes money they have no right to because they’re doing something that should rightfully be making you money, even if it puts you at no actual detriment.

    Apparently not. It’s not much different than camping out for midnight movie/game releases, is it? A lot of people want to be the first to have something, no matter how silly it is.

    Evidently not.

    Dreyfuss, you’re right that Reebok can and should be held liable for unjust enrichment, no matter who’s idea it was to ship Tebow stuff, but that was my only point is that Nike’s making a claim for lost revenue on a product that they presumably won’t even have in the market for another month (if the 4/15 pre-order and late April delivery dates I’m seeing in all the articles are accurate).

    “so…people can’t fucking wait 2 weeks for their new polyester swag?”

    Dude…there are people for whom what you wrote right there took too long to read.

    What is the deal with polyester being operative in this phrase? Would people actually consider spending hundreds on a flannel shirt? Or is it just kind of the way the saying came about?


    people have a right to spend their money any way they see fit

    some of us just find spending $225 or so for a highly branded, almost-but-not-quite-what-the-pros-wear polyester shirt, a waste of money

    others disagree

    but it is what it is…ya know?

    No more than certain people line up outside a store the night before a new iPad is launched…

    I keep wondering about this whole Nike thing. I know there wasn’t the full slate of teams on that New Era link yesterday, but the Patriots page was empty.

    And then they had a trivia question on their Twitter about what happened this week in 1992 (the debut of Flying Elvis). Kinda feel like something’s up, but at the most just some minor tweak to the uniform. Hopefully a little more red.

    I’d like to see the Pats invert their colors, and go with red as the main and blue as the secondary. And go back to white helmets and pants. Like sort of a modern take on their throwback.

    This lawsuit isn’t even going to make it to trial. It’s a textbook example of contract interference, so unless they’re really stupid, Reedidas will settle the dispute. In this particular battle of the douchebags they’re the champs, since they did something they knew would get them in trouble.

    I hope Tebow files an intervening claim against Reebok for the licensing money he lost in the deal, too. Don’t forget that the reason there’s separate contracts with the league, Players’ Association and the individual players is so that the players get their cut.

    I love the “When clowns fight…” image. What’s it from? Pardon my ignorance if it’s something widely known…

    Just a random image I stumbled across while looking for images of ridiculous fights. (The cutting room floor included photos of kangaroos boxing, young girls pulling each other’s hair, a Silly String fight, etc.)

    From Beavis and Butthead to the slapstick catfight, great images with your story today.

    No idea if that’s true. But I’ll you what: I like ’em. Probably not a good look for Texas — too much of a break with their heritage. But from a purely aesthetic standpoint, I like.

    “But from a purely aesthetic standpoint, I like.”


    ugh…i’d like that if it was say, what the az. cards were moving to after what they have now, but for the horns?

    no effin way…that texas uni AS IS is one of the the sweetest looks around…if anything, it’s a little too flashy now

    Not only is that bad, but it makes them look more like Oklahoma State than Texas. Is that really the example they want to follow?

    Probably these are prototypes and nothing more. No way in hell UT ever wears these onto the field. At least I certainly hope.

    In a vacuum, I don’t hate those at all, but that’s not a Longhorns jersey. Hopefully those stay in the spring game where they belong (they don’t really belong there, either, but as long as I don’t see them in the fall, at least not on Texas, I’ll be happy).

    Until I here something from the horse’s — or in this case, cow’s — mouth, I call 100% Grade-A bullshit on these. I will say that I’ve never seen those link under the white shoulders before on any previous Pro Combat uni.

    whats with the see-thu panel where the rear nameplate should be? if these did see the light of (game)day, they’d rip to shreads!

    Paul: Practice unis, huh? In that case, go ahead and wear them, just so long as I don’t see them on the field. It’s like what my old baseball coach always said: “You play like you practice.”.

    If wearing these things gives the players the confident BAMF mentality in practice, then it should translate to the actual games that count while wearing the standard unis, and that’s fine and dandy.

    Plus, some of the players who love and respect the tried and true ‘Horns unis, but at the same time, love what Oregon and Okie St. do will be like “Now we got the best gameday unis in college football and the best practice unis in college football.”

    Ry Co: That see-thru panel is actually a new thing that Nike is trying out called link.

    So when they say pro combat, the combat they’re specifically talking about is jousting?

    Alternatively: I don’t think those jerseys have an armor rating of 4. They’re certainly not masterwork.

    I would be stunned if these actually made it to the field. There’s no way Texas goes BFBS. But then again, Tennessee did a couple years ago, so…I guess you never know. But I really hope these are not actually used.

    If one were to concede that football jerseys have no sleeves, then these things look okay.

    But, since real football jerseys DO have sleeves, then these are just ridiculous.

    Yes, I know I live in a delusional dream world (and am quite comfortable in it)…but mark my words: We haven’t seen the last of sleeves.

    Here’s a reasonable question I haven’t seen yet. Why would the league and PA roll over their contracts on different dates? All that does is cause shenanigans like these.

    I asked that question in today’s main text. Seems like an odd arrangement, I agree. Anyone know why things would be set up like this?

    A hunch: Maybe it’s to prevent precisely this sort of situtation that we’re seeing with the Tebow jerseys — i.e., to create a buffer period in which the market is cleared of all player-specific jerseys, to ensure that none of the old company’s product ends up drifting into the new company’s exclusive sales period.

    Another guess: When do NFL contracts end? Is it something like two weeks after the Super Bowl?

    Similarly, I don’t think there’s any restriction that prohibits a retailer from buying a bunch of gear from Reebok with no Reebok logo on it to re-stock its shelves when Nike gear inevitably runs thin (Nike apparently doesn’t have the best reputation among retailers for servicing the licensed business).

    Here’s the thing that strikes me: You and I, people who follow this site and the uni comings and goings, knew there was this changeover coming from Reebok to Nike and that there was this squishy period here. Some even anticipated the problem with one of the NFL’s most popular jersey-sellers being traded during the squishy period and weren’t surprised a bit when Reebok did what they did nor when Nike filed suit.

    So here’s my question: doesn’t Reebok have any grownups on staff? Don’t they have people who also could have figured out that this was going to cause problems?

    Or did they have a meeting and someone said, “Screw it, let ’em sue us?”

    I’d imagine you last line is pretty much what happened, with Reebok figuring they’d make more from sales than they’d lose in court.


    If it goes to trial they’ll presumably lose exactly the revenue they earned in this little stunt, plus a cherry on top for punitive damages and legal fees. I’ll guess it gets settled somewhere less than that though.

    Those old Redskins posters bring back a lot of memories. I think I had the McDonald’s Billy Kilmer poster, even though I was always Team Sonny.

    “Gorgeous stirrups being worn by Joel Rosencrance of Potomac State College”

    And he’s batting barehanded!

    Thanks for posting the 1970’s spring training footage.

    Got a kick out of the gargantuan dimensions and wooden outfield fence in Scottsdale. Seemed like everyone was happier back then….

    I’ve always wondered why the Cubs ditched those sharp ’72 road jerseys after one season.

    On a completely different note, this martini cart is bloody awesome. At first I started to get pissed because I thought they were using the word martini instead of cocktail, which is a gross perversion of the english language. But then I noticed that it really is just set up for martinis and their variations (and no, that does not include marshmallowtinis or whatever crap.) Which is awesome.

    Also, for any NY state UWers that can get it easily, Seneca Drums is a very awesome gin. Different and impossible to describe, but awesome, and it makes a great martini.

    The cart is awesome. But the plaid tie is still a too-busy mistake.

    Which I say despite being generally a fan of plaid ties. Woulda worked with the old jacket waiter’s uniform, but with the waistcoat, they need either a much plainer necktie or a bowtie. Which could be plaid, if they went that way.

    Also needed: Arm garters.

    Agree about the awesomeness of the martini cart and the sleeve garters. Disagree about the plaid tie. He’s in an all-white uniform except for the tie and no pattern on the shirt or vest. The plaid isn’t too busy for that getup.

    I see two bottles of Hendricks, which is good, but no Boodles, which would be much better.

    Also apparently no rocks option, but I’m digging the old fashioned champagne coupes instead of wedge glasses.

    A couple of questions on the MLB season I could not find in the preview or the past few days of comments.

    Anyone know if the Brewers will be wearing the gold alt jerseys again this year?

    And will the Twins be going back the to regular home jerseys this year, or still wearing the cream alts for every home game?

    Thanks for any knowledge.

    Brewers: The gold jersey is not part of their official wardrobe, which means it’s not a true “alternate” jersey. But the Cerveceros design isn’t part of their official wardrobe either — it’s a “special occasion” jersey, not an alternate. The gold jersey also falls into that category. Could show up for a specific promotion.

    Twins: Regular home jersey. The cream throwbacks are back to alt status.

    It’s too bad. I know it was done as a tribute, but damn, the Twins look good in cream unis.

    Thanks for the info Paul.

    Sucks on the Gold Jersey, I loved that one. Should make it a full time alt and not have two navy alts with different logos.

    I like both Twins jerseys.

    i have 2 of the reebok illegal jerseys i purchased the day TEBOW was traded, wish i had bought more now. I am a real sport fanatic, i have tons of jerseys from different sports and teams. I am sure i will still buy NIKE products as well

    Unlawful, not illegal. Unlawful means against the law; illegal means criminal. Reebok violated a civil law, not a criminal one. ;)

    San Francisco Giants showed off the jerseys for the June 2nd turnback the clock game versus the Cubs. Uniforms will be from 1912.

    It was a picture from twitter that @sfgiants sent out about noon pacific time. (I have no idea how to link to a that). The Giants were holding there annual media open house today.

    Concerning the “new” seahawks logo: Changing the cobalt blue to grey totally screws up the perception of the bird.

    Short explanation: It looks like Toucan Sam on a blue background.

    Long explanation: While the current blue on top of cobalt made it look like a two colored head, the new grey part makes it look like a small neck which runs into the eyes, turning them into an outline of the head, and continuing to the white beak. The dark blue ceases to be an eyebrow and now becomes an outline/shadow. has 5/26 vs. Los Angeles Angels as Turn Back the Clock Night (to the 1950s). “To celebrate, the Mariners will sport retro Rainiers uniforms and the Angels will wear their old Pacific Coast League jerseys.” Any idea/links to what these will throwbacks will look like?

    Well, that’s certainly earthshaking.

    Looks like their current uniforms, which is what their equipment manager already told us seven and a half months ago:


    Nice COTD. Just for shiggles, I did a Google Image Search for my girlfriend’s name recently. Amused to see her evil twin in a mugshot. Also had a bikini model(woot!) with the same name.

    It may seem played out, but it is one of the best T.V. theme songs of all time. The show was good, too.
    …and his words against the Vietnam War were about as poignant as anybody’s.

    Some footage of Grover Cleveland Alexander as a Phillie and a Cardinal (not at the same time, though): link

    Made the 90 min drive to louisville tonight to see Todd Radom speek and it was well worth it. Great guy, and had time to talk to him quite a bit afterwards. I think I was the only uni watcher there. The others were all designers that were just part of the Lgda. I got some funny looks when I asked some very uni watch like questions. But out of all of us that “get it” Todd, like Paul, gets it at a different level.

    Great speech, but so humble about his work. Understands that some of it has an expiration date. And sometimes, at the end of the day, the client gets what the client asks for. So glad I made the trip. Just wish I’d have had time to bs with him for about an hour or more. Fun to talk in person with someone who speaks our language.

    Hey Paul, I think Louisville would make a great uniwatch party local at some point! Maybe at the Slugger museum?

    Well, that’s certainly earthshaking.

    Looks like their current uniforms, which is what their equipment manager already told us seven and a half months ago:


    Only 10,000 times more interesting and captivating than six years of garble about the black elements in the staid NY Mets identity.

    This might interest one or two of your readers:

    EFLI uniforms produced by outfitter who produces 27 of 32 NFL teams, Ripon Athletic.

    Identities created by top sports branding agency in US, a true American export to India.

    Licenses secured with American Needle and Schutt Sports to sell these marks globally.

    I know these are bigger picture business and brand building subjects than you are capable of addressing understanding the limited scope of this blog, but hey once and a while take a shot at challenging yourself and your readers.

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