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What, No ‘Free Unlimited Barbecue from the Cozy Corner’ Clause?

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With college football and basketball programs changing their uniforms so frequently nowadays — and often changing to designs that many people don’t like — I’m often asked, “What kind of deal does that school have with Nike [or Adidas, or whomever]? Like, did they have to pay for those ugly uniforms? How does it work?” I got some similar questions after my recent post about Nike owning Mississippi State’s logo.

My standard response is that every contract between a school and an outfitter is different and that there’s no way for me to know the terms of any individual deal. The larger truth is that I’ve always been rather ignorant regarding the way these contracts work, so I’ve never felt comfortable talking about them.

That has now changed, thanks to reader Jimmy Griggs. He was poking around on the web and found a link that provides a PDF of Nike’s 2008 contract with the University of Memphis. There’s nothing sneaky about it — as you can see from the URL, it’s hosted right there on the school’s web site. (The contract includes a confidentiality clause, but that clause also mentions the Tennessee Public Records Act, which I assume is why the contract is on the school’s web site, since Memphis is a state university.)

For the record: This contract doesn’t say anything about Nike owning any designs or colors it creates for Memphis (or if it does say that, I missed it). Indeed, most of the contract seems fairly straightforward and sensible. But it provides an invaluable look at how a big-time outfitter does business with a big-time college athletics program.

The contract isn’t all that long, doesn’t have much legal-ese, and is consistently interesting, so I encourage you to read all of it. But here are some highlights:

• Section B.1.(a) sets out Nike’s status as the school’s official outfitter (for all of these excerpts that I’m posting, you can click to enlarge):

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• Section B.2. specifies that Nike will provide “men’s apparel” (presumably suits) for the men’s basketball coach:

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• My favorite clause in the entire contract is Section B.3.(d), which states that spatting “is inconsistent with the purpose of this contract”:

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• Section B.3.(f) is interesting, because it sets out the procedures to be followed in case one of Nike’s designs is found to be in violation of NCAA rules:

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• Things start to get more serious in Section C.1.(a), which stipulates that Nike will provide the school with $1.5 million worth of uniforms and equipment per year:

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• But the school doesn’t just get uniforms from Nike. According to the terms of Section E.2., Nike will provide cash payments to the school at a rate of $660,000 per year, plus a half-million-dollar signing bonus, plus a few perks (but note subsection (e), which states that the annual payment goes down to only $400,000 if John Calipari is replaced as the basketball coach, which of course is exactly what happened shortly after the contract was signed):

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• So based on those last two sections, Nike is in the hole for a total of $11.3 million in cash and gear over the five-year term of the contract. What do they get in return? Well, for starters, they get a bunch of perks (stadium signage, free tickets, parking passes, access to coaches, announcements on the P.A. system at games, ads in school publications, etc.), as spelled out in Section G:

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Now, most of you are probably thinking, “There’s no way those free tickets add up to a value of $11.3 million.” True enough — most of that stuff in Section G is just window dressing. So how is Nike going to make back its upfront costs? Duh: By selling merch. Now it becomes apparent why Nike pushes the retail product so hard — they pretty much have to, because they have to pay a lot upfront just to get in the door. This makes it really clear how the merchandising tail wags the on-field dog.

Consider how different this is from the old way of doing things. Back in, say, the 1970s, companies like Spalding and Rawlings didn’t provide uniforms to universities for free, and you can bet they didn’t provide cash payments either. Instead, the schools bargained for the cheapest price they could get and then bought the uniforms from the company — simple. But that was before anyone had figured out that fans would pay $200 for a polyester shirt, and it was also before sporting goods companies started thinking of themselves as lifestyle brands.

Nike talks a lot about how everything they do is for the athlete, how they’re always pushing for more performance-based innovation, and so on. And it’s true that they’ve pioneered all sorts of research with biometrics, wind tunnels, thermal imaging, new fabrications, and all of that — that stuff is legitimately innovative. But how many serious athletes actually wear Nike gear? Not that many, because there aren’t that many serious athletes out there. Most of the people wearing Nike product are people like you and me: a mix of fans, weekend players, couch potatoes, and collectors. That group of people numbers in the multiple millions — that’s where the money is, and that’s who Nike is really working for. Nike can afford to sink huge amounts of money into a program like Memphis athletics, because it builds their cred with people who’ll never need thermal imaging but who nonetheless like the idea of owning high-tech gear. (Obviously, none of this is unique to Nike — Adidas and Under Armour play the same game.)

I’m no lawyer, so I may have overlooked some ticking time bombs or other notable bits in the contract. If any of you legal eagle types want to take a look at the document and provide your assessments, I’d be happy to print them at some point down the road.

One final excerpt from the contract: According to Section J.3.(b)(4), Nike can terminate the agreement if anyone at the school makes any negative comment about Nike gear:


So if Nike comes up with some new cleats and they slip on the turf, nobody can say anything. If a new fabric ends up ripping too easily, nobody can say anything. If there’s backlash against a wacky new design, nobody can say anything.

And never was heard a discouraging word — because it was written into the contract that way.

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Culinary Corner: As you may recall, a few months ago I wrote about the pleasures of chicken wing tips, and how I think they’re neglected, overlooked, etc. Some of you made fun of me for this (one guy in particular wrote a lengthy screed telling me the whole notion of wing tips was an example of “weird shit you do just for the sake of being weird [that] just makes you look like an idiot”), but whatever. I recently decided the wing tips idea could make a good piece in a food magazine, so I pitched the story to a few publications, and now I’m happy to report that I’ll be writing about wing tips for Saveur magazine’s web site. Validation! I’ll post a link when the piece runs, which I believe will be next month.

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Uni Watch News Ticker: The good news is that MLB will no longer be desecrating the American flag with its Memorial Day cap designs. The bad news, as I’d reported last month, is that they’re playing G.I. Joe instead. Very disappointing. Memorial Day is about remembering the fallen — why not have everyone wear a black armband (a uni element that has fallen into utter disuse)? Or as I’ve suggested for years now, why not wear throwback uniforms based on old military baseball teams? Or why not stop the pandering and just have a moment of silence followed by a baseball game? ”¦ “The Dolphins held a fundraiser last week and players wore their aqua jerseys,” writes Dan Isaacson. “You can see that the jerseys were the Reebok style, with the NFL Equipment shield, but the team colored in the Reebok logo with a Sharpie.” … The Liberty Bell icon on the Phillies’ stirrups and socks only appears on one side — it’s supposed to face outward. But Hunter Pence had one facing inward on Tuesday night (good spot by Jim Satriano). … Jake Hurley is obsessed with getting the Rockies to wear striped stirrups. A noble cause, although I suspect a quixotic one. … “In order to make ends meet, some potential U.S. Olympic athletes (those not supported by their sport’s federation) have sold ‘sponsorship’ tattoos,” reports Tom Mulgrew. “These can’t be displayed during qualifying events or at actual Olympic events, but they’re okay during non-Olympic meets.” … Okay, this is really weird: a Mr. Magoo doll in a baseball uniform. … Hamilton Nolan of Gawker reaffirms his status as the best cultural critic around with this piece about a recent advertising conference. Granted, making fun of an ad conference is almost too easy (I pulled essentially the same stunt by covering a marketing conference back when I wrote for Fortune in the late 1990s), but Nolan’s critique is particularly sharp. My favorite passage: “Advertising rhetoric is notable in that it uses the language of art to describe the activities of business. I interpret this as the purest sort of propaganda, though it could more generously be interpreted as a sort of subconscious maneuver to invest a dreary business activity ”” selling things ”” with a more noble and attractive sheen. … In this world, creativity exists in a bubble, allowing it to be admired and marveled at by peers without making the dreary connection to its actual societal function. The Most Interesting Man In The World, yes; the fluctuations in the market cap of Heineken International, no.” Highly recommended reading. … “I’m an assistant baseball coach for the high school where I teach in Indiana,” writes Craig McKean. “I worked hard on influencing my head coach to go back to striped stirrups this year.” Very nice — well done, Craig! … Cycling news from Michael Roecklein, who writes: “A few days ago there was a bad crash in the third stage of the Giro d’Italia and the overall race leader, American Taylor Phinney, went down and hurt his ankle. The next day was a rest day, and Phinney was seen wearing one compression sock and altering his cycling shoes to fit his swollen foot. He also has lace-up shoes, which are uncommon in modern cycling and are usually limited to velodrome racing.” ”¦ More about single-digitized pitchers: Ken McCabe points out that when the Astros announced the signing of Shawn Chacon in February of 2008, the last line of their press release stated, “He will wear jersey number 1 for the Astros.” But Chacon’s Baseball Reference page shows him having worn 30 and 32 for the ’Stros. Interestingly, the caption to this 2008 Photo Day shot — taken just a few days after that press release was issued — lists him as No. 1, but all the regular season photos of him that I could find from that season show him wearing 30 or 32. So he apparently wore 1 only during spring training. ”¦ New uniforms for Michigan hockey (from Justin Howland). ”¦ Anyone know what Gil Hodges had on the handle of his bat? (As spotted by Marshall Rase.) ”¦ Lots of old-timey design goodness in this 1939 Packers/Cardinals program (from Mike Rengel). ”¦ Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: Fun little piece about the artist who created the Swinging Friar. ”¦ Blain Fowler found a 2009 article about Tiger Woods’s concussion. Note the brain illustration. ”¦ The Rangers are going with a 1972 Topps motif for their scoreboard this weekend (from Greg Stamps). ”¦ Weird scene in L.A. the other day, as former Clipper Keith Closs wore his own jersey to the game (from Robert Silverman). ”¦ Chipper Jones is getting the retirement tour treatment whenever the Braves go on the road this season. Before yesterday’s game at Wrigley, the Cubs presented him with the Braves flag from the ballpark’s standings display (from Terry Duroncelet). ”¦ Soccer news from Donnie Kwak: “Much-coveted Belgian soccer player Eden Hazard, who currently plays for Lille in France, cryptically informed reporters, ‘It’s the blue that I’ll be wearing next season. Definitely the blue.’ He’s already stated that he wants to play in the English Premier League. So will it be Chelsea? Manchester City? Or any one of the number of EPL clubs that have blue as a primary color?” ”¦ New third kit for Olympique Marseille — and it’s reversible. “Oddly, only the black side has the sponsor logo and the three stripes, so that’s the one we’ll probably see more of,” says Jon Forbes. ”¦ What is this — a padded facemask? According ot the caption, that’s Lions WR Leonard Thompson, wearing “his new helmet to protect his jaw” in December of 1983 (from Russ Yurk). ”¦ Were you waiting for someone to invent Kevlar basketball shoes? Well here they are anyway (from Omar Jalife). ”¦ Rolling Stone got a bunch of rockers to name their favorite baseball uniform (thanks, Brinke). … The Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas played color vs. color last night (from Lars Johnson).

Comments (166)

    Paul, That was a great article today. Articles like that are why I come to this site every day as soon as I wake up. I always figured that it was a deal like what was written and its definitely awesome to be able to see the actual contract and see it all broken down like that.

    Yes, indeed. Great work, Paul. I went to law school once upon, and so that contract tickles me no end. Evil, but a piece of work.


    haha omg nike can terminate the contract if the men’s bball team gets put on probation…seems like a coach cal clause. i bet kentucky has the same clause…

    by the way, GREAT article.

    I’m surprised that Nike doesn’t make jock straps for the males and female protection items for the women athletes. What’s next? Swooshie toilet paper?

    Talk about controlling every GD bit of a college’s athletic program.

    ha that’s funny. so original. but if you want to get it correct, call it the Coach Sampson/Pearl/Olsen/Williams/Calhoun Clause, considering these are coaches with major NCAA infractions.

    coach cal always has his apologists…i dont get it. the man has only been to “2” final fours….

    (one guy in particular wrote a lengthy screed telling me the whole notion of wing tips was an example of “weird shit you do just for the sake of being weird [that] just makes you look like an idiot”)

    I cracked up at your reference to this guy. It is EXACTLY because you post stuff like this that I love making this page part of my daily routine! Continue with the weird shit!!!

    Congrats, Paul, on getting published!
    Who cares what others think about chicken wing tips?? Screw that guy.

    Good post today. Most important part of the contract is page 16. The University president willingly agreed to all the terms without being coerced and signed her name.

    Nike can make all the demands it wants (no spatting, no disparaging the name brand), but they don’t get it unless both parties agree to the terms. I would probably argue these points and ask that point be removed in the event I have a valid reason to complain about their products.

    Like the BYU basketball kid. He signed the BYU honor code, and then broke it by having sex and was subsequently kicked off the team. Can’t really blame BYU for kicking him off when he willingly agreed to its terms.

    Yes, the merchandising is driving the train here. But if that’s what it takes to save my school the cost of uniforms for all of its athletic programs, as well as bring additional cash to my school, so be it. I would rather the athletic department be able to pay for travel and facility improvement for non-revenue teams than use that money on uniforms.

    There’s nothing sinister or inherently wrong about an arrangement like this. It is a mutually beneficial agreement. If you think about it, all parties get what they want. The athletic departments can allocate their funding to other things (e.g. Facilities), the companies get merchandising profits and exposure, and the fans get an array of merchandise choices that would not be otherwise available to them. Win, win, win!

    If you wish to claim this. Back it up with facts or arguments better than what Jon K has put out there.

    No, the fans actually lose because they have to root for a team that looks like a stuntman on the Avengers, and the fans are the most important part of sustaining a sport as entertainment culture. It’s more like Win-Win-LOSE.

    No matter how they dress, they still are there to be rooting for right? I’ve seen teams dropped for a lack of money. So a corporation injecting money into the athletic department in exchange for promoting their products is A-OK with me.

    “Rolling Stone got a bunch of rockers to name their favorite baseball uniform”

    I must be old (OK, I AM old). I’ve never heard of most of those folks OR the combos they play with).

    23 Skidoo!!

    If it makes you feel better, I’m only 31 and I hadn’t heard of a lot of those guys either.

    The only part of that article that jumped out at me is that “Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.” is a really stupid band name.

    Maybe they wanted to call themselves “Dale Earnhardt III” but Teresa and/or Childress Racing threatened legal action?

    I think they took the idea from Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. from Everything is Illuminated. Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. is a great name for a dog.

    I am with you. I think I knew one of those rockers. The rest I have never heard of. Damm. When did I go and get old?

    Almost half those guys have been around for at least 20 years: Morello, Cooper, Thorogood, Earle, and Ian.

    And a couple are in The Baseball Project, who I’m pretty sure have been mentioned on here before.

    I think it’s interesting that according to Section J.3.(b)(1), Nike can pull their contract if the team is banned from post season play. Not that I think they’d ever seriously consider ditching U$C or O$U, but its interesting that they have that in their contract.

    Keep in mind that every contract is different. That may very well be negotiated out of some contracts.

    In the past hasn’t MLB donated a portion of the sales of any stars and stripes merchandise to veterans organizations? i vaguely remember being told this when i was working for Lids many years ago when we 1st started selling that line of hats, but hey i could be wrong

    Yes, although they never stated the size or percentage of that portion.

    In any case, they could make a donation without dressing up the players in inappropriate caps.

    But isn’t there the possibility they could make a bigger donation by selling caps versus just donating X amount? Yes I know this delves into the “bike sharing with sponsership versus no bike sharing at all” argument.

    i don’t think “inappropriate” is the right word here.. i could see using “tacky” but not “inappropriate”.

    i can’t see how there is anything wrong with doing special limited edition gear. NFL does it with all the pink gear for breast cancer awareness.

    I used the word “inappropriate” because I think the use of camouflage gear on Memorial Day is inappropriate. So it is precisely the right word, at least for me.

    Associating the tragic industry that is military service with the fun of the ballpark – especially on a day where people are supposed to contemplate the very tragedy of war and the toll it has – is grossly inappropriate.

    Insert joke about how supporting [name of struggling baseball team] is tragic.

    Honoring those that served on our military is an good thing. Paul’s choice of words for how to describe it, really isn’t offensive, he would just prefer that the camo not be used at the tie in, I get that.

    However, Military service isn’t tragic. It’s an honorable service that pays for your freedoms. If you seriously think otherwise, maybe you would have enjoyed living under the rule of some of the tyrants that this very military defeated. Honoring that service at an event that attracts a massing of people is also honorable, again, those in the service allow for these days to occur and raising money for these people in any way is good considering how poorly our government chooses to care for them.

    Honoring those that served on our military is an good thing.

    On Memorial Day, “honoring those [who] served [in] our military” is not a good thing. The point of Memorial Day is to honor those who died in military service. Not veterans; not active-duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and guardsmen; not wounded warriors; not POWs; but war dead. We have one actual federal holiday in November and another informal holiday in September to honor that larger cohort (whom we should honor every day equally anyway). Memorial Day is specifically set aside to honor our war dead. Those who lost their lives in armed service. And camouflage is not, and has never been, regarded as an appropriate symbol of mourning for war dead.

    A black armband. The flag at half-staff, or if from a building, flown with a black streamer. A flag or flowers planted on the graves of the war dead. These are the long-established, appropriate ways to honor those who died in battle. Save the camo for Bass Pro Shops day at the ballpark.

    (I actually kind of like these camo-logo caps, but Memorial Day is simply precisely the wrong day to wear ’em. The right day to wear the camo caps? The opening day of deer season. Or, for the Twins, Mother’s Day, since that’s also the start of the fishing season.)

    never said it was offensive, just didn’t seem like the right word to use to me.

    I agree that serivice is honourable; what I said was tragic was the industry they are engaged in i.e. war. I’m not going to get into a debate about what freedoms mean and I’m not even going to dignify your insinuation that just because I oppose the influx of glorifying military iconography into the sphere of peaceful society I support tyrants with a response. I will however say that the perceived need for a military is a sad and regrettable reality and is certainly not something to be celebrated in such a manner.

    I don’t want to speak for Padday, but he didn’t say military service was tragic, but the industry is tragic.

    Access to a strong military is necessary for the safety of our republic. It also lends itself, unfortunately, to a myriad of abuses. We should honor the men and women who wear the uniform honorably while simultanously eyeing the institutions themselves, the men who wield them and those who profit from them warily.

    And in any case, I don’t see how baseball players dressing in drag really honors the troops, especially when the whole exercise can appear to be a promotional tool for special limited-edition merchandise available at the stadium shop.

    Arr Scott very nicely articulated what the spirit and essence of honoring our military, should look like. But I think I’m confused by the holidays he mentioned. He mentioned the federal holiday in November. That being Veteran’s Day, which honors the service of living or deceased veterans. But I was confused by the September informal holiday he mentions. We have Patriot Day in September, which is in memory of those lost in the Sept 11th attacks. Arr may have confused one thing or another with the upcoming Armed Forces Day (May 19th) which honors Americans currently serving in the five military branches. And as most people know, Memorial Day in May is to honor those in our military who paid the ultimate price, while serving in our Armed Forces.

    I can’t stand to see camo in public. If you’re going hunting or are in military uniform, fine. Anyone else: you look stupid. To that end, apparel containing camo that could actually be useful–for guns, jackets, pants, etc.–are fine, but any place else where it won’t help conceal the user, again, is stupid and, therefore inappropriate.

    I moved to Holland just before we invaded Iraq in ’03, and experienced an interesting phenomenon. Every weekend, 100,000 Dutch people, mostly kids, would protest at the American consulate in Amsterdam. But camouflage clothes were a huge fashion, as were Yankees caps. So you’d see a hundred thousand young people dressed in camo fatigues protesting against a war, all the while wearing NY caps and holding “Yankee Go Home” signs. (Also beating people up, setting fires, and wrecking cars at a “peace” protest.)

    I’m with you on the camo thing; the only exception being chocolate chip desert camo cargo pants. That’s a sharp look that’s always in style.

    Looking forward to seeing the Nats, Phillies, Angels, and other red-hatted teams in camo chapeaux. It’s going to look like combat Christmas.

    1939 football program: the program cost 15¢. A loaf of bread cost 8¢; a gallon of gas cost 10¢, so the program ran half again to twice as much. Today, a loaf of bread is $2.50, give or take; a gallon of gasoline is $4. If the inflation in the price of a program tracked the same, it would run in the $4-8 range. I’ve never bought an NFL program; what do they cost in the 20-teens?

    On the same site as the 1939 Packers-Cardinals program,there is a page with photos of
    weather forecaster aditioneers. The last photo in that group shows a man wearing a San Francisco
    Giants cap with a “Croix de Candlestick” button.

    Just mentioning it but in New Jersey yesterday I paid $3.49 a gallon for gas and I was actually happy. Crazy!

    I’ve only ever bought an NFL program once. That was at a game in 2002 and it was $6. I imagine they are probably about $8-$10 today.

    Here’s a little something I noticed today. It’s probably way late, but it irritated me in a way. Does Temple really need logo gloves?


    Had the Owls not switched their helmet logo to the Block T from this ‘Golden’ era flawless ‘diamond’, the gloves might not look so terrible(?):


    Instead of waiting for a company to make them special gloves, the players could have their two hands to make a “T” as a celebratory way to show school spirit. I’m sure there would be uptight people that would think this was some sort of gang sign, while, those of us of a certain age and from the Del Val, would think they were signalling for a “TastyBrake” (From the old “TastyKake” ads).

    RE: Packers/Cardinals program…..

    2nd to last page… The Phillips Morris guy (I’m sure he has a name) in HIS uniform explaining referee signals.

    LOVE IT!

    Brooklyn native Johnny Roventini played the Phillip Morris bellhop. He even has his own webpage (lots of “old-timey design goodness”):


    I must admit that when I think of bellhops, I think of these 2:



    Never seen that fantastic photo of Leonard Thompson and his padded facemask. In addition to the modified padded facemask he is wearing a MacGregor MH100 (clearshell) helmet with a modification to the right ear/jaw padding (appears to be additional/replacement foam padding).

    Hey Paul, in April you mentioned one of the great Fenway traditions: hearing Carl Beane announce the morning’s line-ups. Unfortunately, Beane died in a car accident yesterday (or rather, suffered a heart attack while driving, and then crashed). Beane was well-loved among Sox fans, players, and staff, not only as the Voice of Fenway but also as a tremendous man. I wonder if the Sox are going to wear a patch or something; I’m not sure how much precedent there is to wear a patch for press members/PA announcers.

    There will be no PA announcements at Fenway tonight in Beane’s memory. After that, I haven’t heard anything.

    Just when I think I’ve seen everything, link hits me with the link. Hey Craig McKean – any way to cop a Starfires t-shirt or something? I would definitely rock it to a Buccos game.

    Cool site. I’d be interested in something that has STARFIRES in the same font that’s on their jerseys, since it appears to mimic the one the Pirates use.

    Just a note, but there is nothing noteworthy about a “color on color” soccer match. It probably happens more so than not.

    Plus it’s just the back of FC Dallas’ shirt that’s primarily red. The front is red and white hoops.

    Soccer teams always play color on color unless the two colors clash or the team’s primary uniform is white. Just saying.

    The image of Gil Hodges – any chance it’s some early type of pad similar to what more and more hitters are starting to use – link – on their top hand?

    Color v Color isn’t strange in Soccer, and especially not MLS. In fact, neither the Sounders nor FC Dallas actually have a White Jersey. Dallas wears hoops of either red and white or blue and white and Seattle wears either “Rave Green”, black, or “Super Cyan” (and no, I’m not making those colors uo)

    Yep, teams only change to their clash or third kits if they have the same color jerseys.

    Closs wearing his jersey to the Clippers game reminds me of the time I saw Mike Piazza practicing his swing on the beach wearing his Dodgers game jersey… of course that was on “BAYWATCH”.

    Along the same lines, I once bumped into the then-drummer for a popular Manchester-based beat combo in supermarket. I probably wouldn’t have recognised him, had he not been wearing one of his own band’s T-shirts…

    Merchandising covers some of those costs sure, but a portion is marketing. Just having the swoosh out there on TV, in stadium, using the schools name in advertising, etc is worth something.

    Yet another portion is youth uniform sales and that’s connected to the marketing. Nike (and others) sell their uniforms to high schools and other leagues and make some money though that. Having Memphis as one of their schools helps from a marketing standpoint, and of course getting the Swoosh out there more helps kids want it more.

    A school like Michigan or Florida the manufacture makes that back in merchandise most likley (also the costs are higher of course) but with Memphis or similar, I’m not sure if they make all that back in merch alone.

    I’m not looking at Nike’s sales numbers so I could be wrong and they make up every cent plus some in merch sales, but I’m sure the advertising/marketing aspects plays a roll in the amount of money they pay.

    Yet another portion is youth uniform sales and that’s connected to the marketing.

    Yeah, but the only point of the marketing is to sell more merch. So it’s the same thing.

    What a bizarre schedule the Packers had that year. All home games, then all road games. And look, their backup QB wore #51!

    That schedule was pretty common in the days of rail travel (even more so in the following decade, when California teams started appearing on the schedule).

    But yeah, it’s strange to think that by the time the Packers hosted the Giants in the championship game, they hadn’t played a game in Wisconsin for over two months.

    The reversible Marseille kit is not a first.

    Manchester United wore a reversible away kit in 2000-01 (white/gold). I own one for the sheer novelty of it.

    Also, the side without a sponsor can (probably will) be used in European games where certain businesses (alcohol, gambling, etc) are banned from advertising on TV (I’m assuming their shirt sponsor fits in one of those categories). That’s assuming OM qualifies for Europe next season.

    From the Gawker article about the advertising conference:

    Colleen the Socialist, ironically, is not a fan of social media, because she thinks it’s still “nascent” and doesn’t really have its shit together yet.

    “I’m sure the first thing that came out of the Gutenberg press wasn’t that great,” she said.

    “The Bible?” asked the startled moderator.

    “No, I’m sure there was a lot of crap before then…”

    “No, I think the Bible was the first thing.”

    ::sigh:: I fear the union may already have been lost…

    That Rolling Stone article interviewing musicians about baseball uniforms was pretty cool, but how could they NOT include baseball fanatic and memorabilia collector GEDDY LEE of RUSH?!?!?!





    I was disappointed that they mostly all hated on the Tequilla Sunrise Astros’ jerseys. Come on, guys.

    Yeah, it was straight across the board with hate for the Astros. I would have been blown away if even ONE of them said, “on other hand, the Astros ‘shooting star’ unis of the 60’s were the best ever!”


    Scanning that article, it made me think if maybe the author had a selection of jersey images to show the musicians (especially for the bad ones). I find it odd the the strike-zone Astros uniform and the White Sox shorts (well, o.k., maybe not that much on that one) appeared so much.

    Interesting article on the contract between the University of Memphis and Nike. It does make me wonder about what universities are thinking when they make major changes to a uniform. I think of what Reebok did with the University of Iowa in the 1990s when they switched from their Pittsburgh Steelers-inspired unis to the link. Though they toned it link, I think when they switched to Nike around 2000, they wisely returned the link of the Hayden Fry era. Then again, maybe Reebok had a similar clause of not speaking out against the equipment with Iowa like Nike does with Memphis.

    Oh, so its not just saying “Nike sucks, or Adidas shoes make my feet hurt” The school an be on the hook if a coach says that he thinks his uniforms are hideous. I know coaches ok the uniforms…but there’s prob some places where the AD goes over the coach.

    funny if Maryland’s coach came out and said he though their uniforms were ugly

    As I have mentioned to Phil before, there is a very simple, and traditional, way for Baseball to honor Memorial Day.

    The Poppy.
    There is nothing wrong with MLB teaching a little history on days other than April 15th.

    I presume the Pats fan was in charge of making sure they videotaped the wedding.

    I wish the padres didnt feel the need to tie itself to the military with all the camo uni stuff.

    Said as both a mcivilian ilitary contractor and as a padres fan.

    I think the Padres use it as much as a tie in to the city of San Diego not necessarily the military.

    Thanks a lot for linking to my Rockies Stirrup Project, it means a lot. I agree that it is quite quixotic, but I still thought it was worth a shot. I would love to get some feedback from the Uni Watch community about if I’m doing anything wrong, or if anyone wants to help. I’m just out to have fun with this one, if it doesn’t work I will have still had fun, and I’ll be happy.

    Thanks Paul,
    Jake Hurley

    might i suggest a pattern that is not derivative of the rays which is derivative of the cardinals? i would like to see someone sport something other then the same pattern, leave that look to the cards. i’m working on a slump-buster for ozzie today, but i think what we should do is compile a list of coaches who go high-cuff, and target their arses.

    Yeah that thought occurred to me. It’s an original idea twice removed. Honestly I just always liked the design and went ahead and placed the order. But if I experience any success the next order may get more thought put into it. I have really been enjoying the red sox and Astros half and half stirrups they have worn with throwbacks. Does anyone thing that would work? A purple top with a black bottom on somehow some white in there to split things up? The overall idea is to make them look good, not just stirrups for stirrups sake. I photoshopped up some players in the new design, I kind of like how it looks.

    Any more thoughts on my strange quest?

    jth and i tried to work out a design for one of his kids teams, and as much as we tried to force it the dark purple does not work with the balck on that, especially when you have grey instead of white. we would up with a rager pattern, or a two colour northwestern as most people here try to call it…black hose purple center stripe, and two grey outers. but no matter how you slice it, the purple and black are tough.

    and sorry, i forgot you already ordered is a fine look, you did well, i was just saying i would like to see a different pattern.

    Yeah I think there has to be a lot of white in there for it to work. But like I said if I get to the point of ever ordering any more I’ll definitely toy around with different ideas.

    Paul, just between you & I, I’d rather do weird shit just for the sake of being weird, than do normal shit just for the sake of being normal.


    I LOVE the new Michigan hockey jerseys. The shorts, not so much; too much piping.

    the breezers have the perfect amount of stripes. not sure why it became so fashionable to take the stripes of the breezers in the first place.

    Chipper’s gift was actually an unsold used standings pennant flag from the Cubs merchandise store, across the street from the ballpark. They sell the old ones from previous seasons the following year. Here I am a month ago, holding up a Reds one for a friend. You can see the Braves one hanging. There were about 6 teams, and all were priced at $75-100. link

    Rolling Stone’s disdain for Rush is rather well known.

    Regarding the baseball memorabilia, Lee has donated some 200 of those autographed baseballs to the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

    Not throwbacks: “The uniforms will blend historical elements from the team’s past, with a new-age look for the future.”

    I haven’t seen them, but my understanding is that they’re BFBS.

    Oops! My mistake… I should not have assumed, though their past “alternates” have looked pretty good.

    “… with a new-age look for the future…”

    Black is the color of the future, dontcha know.

    Are you referring solely to their uniform history? The Washington NFL franchise was the last team to racially integrate (1962), and did so mainly to avoid lawsuit from JFK’s DOJ.

    Ah, yes, the R for gReatness. Why oh why won’t they ever throw back to this?


    Best helmet in NFL history, in my book. If they wore that, I’d almost be able to root for them.

    THANK GOODNESS it’s not BFBS. A true throwback to 1937. Looks like a matte finish helmet is being used to mimic a leather helmet. Interesting

    I’ve seen a couple of pics from the event on teh Tweeter, and that is a nice football uni. It pains me to be so pleased by anything having to do with the Skins/Snyder.

    Good Lord, that title:

    “PHOTOS: Redskins Unveil Throwback Jerseys For 80th Anniversary Season


    >Calling the alts “throwbacks” when they’re *intentionally* not

    >Calling the full uniform set “jerseys”, as if Washington is gonna wear their standard pants and lids

    >Using the term “Anniversary Season“, when the word “season” is not needed, as the word “anniversary” is already established (and is the correct term, seeing as the Redskins turn 80 this year [1932-2012])

    I don’t normally nit-pick this much (even though I’m always tempted to), and I know I’m shouting at clouds here, but Phil said it best: the state of journalism is in the terlet.

    But my Rarity-like complaining aside, I love the new alts. I’m usually neutral about collar inscriptions, but I can definitely raise the “YES!!! =D” flag link.

    Great article today. I love reading that stuff.

    As a lawyer – the issue you mention with ownership of anything developed during the contract bothers me. The contract is clear that the university continues to own the university’s marks, and Nike continues to own Nike’s marks, but it doesn’t deal with any new intellectual property developed during the term.

    That sort of clause is pretty standard in my world (where it usually refers to patentable inventions, not trademarks). So it strikes me as a great big hole in the contract.

    For what its worth, Taylor Phinney’s socks are here:


    The description of the socks on the page sounds like marketing crap, but I can tell you firsthand that its all true. These are the socks you want to be wearing the day after a marathon or on a flight to Tokyo.

    hate to say it, but love the new michigan uniform.

    wonderful nolan article. stopped to read it, and had my favourite parts, then went back to your post and saw we had both liked the same quote most of all. i would say great minds think alike, but i wouldn’t want to insult you.

    re:gil hodges
    i think the gut reaction would be to say he had a finger or palm injury that he didn’t want to aggravate. and since everyone is wearing sleeves in the pixture and the few people in the crowd are wearing jackets, maybe it was chilly day.

    maybe that is true. but i am going to offer this, he made himself a training tool because he was going through a slump. maybe he was having a tendency to grip the bat too tight with his top hand, a definite no-no since the top hand is more of a guide. i know when i was frustrated and clutching on long oh-fers that i would sometimes try to keep my top hand as open as possible on the bat soft-toss and BP to remind myself to not “choke the bat” and “explode” on the ball even if i did have a cap and rock explosion.

    well that my 2 centabosusas

    One day after yesterday’s piece about single-digit pitchers, check out the guy on the mound in this illustration:

    By the way, the Marlins will not be wearing black caps tonight. That’s right…it’s an off day, so we’re at 31 games and holding. Free the orange caps!

    Those numbers on the fences are almost the exact distances — in meters — to the walls on my amateur team’s field. I actually had to look closely at the drawing to see what was going on!

    (And I hate teams that move fences in. Is a 380-foot fly ball somehow more exciting if it’s going where outfielders can’t reach it? I say make the outfields huge, encourage extra-base hits where the outfielders are scrambling to get the ball while the batter and baserunners are flying around the bases — that’s a lot more exciting than a boring home run!)

    The excitement ends when the ball leaves the park. It could just be beginning if it stays in. Incredible no one but us sees it that way.

    I’m on the fence with this one. I dig the long ball, but I also dig the inside-the-park HR or the triple.

    Perhaps MLB could say, “You can move only one part of the fence (LF, CF *or* RF) per year, or you can move parts in, but you have to move another part out a bit.”

    I’ve always assumed that Paul’s objection to paying $200 for a polyester shirt was the polyester. Which brings me to the $200 silk camp shirts Tommy Bahama has been selling for MLB teams since last year. The 2012 Braves shirt was just released, and the embroidery on the back shows the Braves in an alt jersey:


    At least it’s not the blue alt.

    I’ve always assumed that Paul’s objection to paying $200 for a polyester shirt was the polyester.

    That’s certainly part of it. But I’m also uninterested in buying/wearing something that a jillion other people are wearing. That’s part of why almost all my clothing is vintage.

    such the fashionisto. i have always understood your multi-layered fashion sense, but one thing has always made me scratch the ol brain-pan. i have always wondered why you have not come out in support of sock garters. i mean NOBODY wears them anymore. note to self, start checking ebay for sock gartes so i can try to bring them back.

    My socks stay up by themselves!

    I’m not opposed to sock garters per se, but I’ve never worn them and therefore have no opinion on them.

    Now sleeve garters — those I’m totally in favor of. Never worn those either, though.

    To clarify my thoughts about vintage clothing: I like pre-owned things because they have a history. I enjoy thinking about who owned something before I did. I like the indirect connection this gives me to other people’s lives, to other eras, etc. Every old object is a story, and I love intersecting with stories.

    There are other reasons to buy vintage (aesthetic, enviro-political, etc.), but the story angle is always the biggest enticement for me. That’s why an old flannel jersey from a 1947 high school team will always be more interesting to me than a brand-new Mets jersey.

    I’d steer clear of vintage underwear, though…

    A good deal of my wardrobe these days is from Goodwill, so I can kind of relate. I often wonder about my clothes’ previous lives.

    I was joking about the Polyester thing!

    Also, my socks don’t stay up. But I also remember what sock garters made grandpa’s legs look like, so I’ll not be joining Moose in this particular revolutionary action.

    I used to wear sock garters, back in their last gasps. It was once considered a bad thing for socks to appear wrinkly and rumpled and a positively terrible thing to expose an inch or two of naked leg. Knee socks took care of the latter, but not always the former.

    Agree with Paul on the pleasure derived from the “story angle” of wearing an old garment. I love wearing my father’s sweaters, my grandfather’s overcoat, and the satin warm-up jacket from a diner-sponsored softball team in Oakland in the late 1960s…

    Now if I can just get a hold of one of Dean Acheson’s double-breasted suits, I’ll be all set. Gotta work on the moustache, though.

    Connie, is this Acheson with Truman in an aloha shirt?


    Sharp as Dean’s double-breasted lapels were, I’ll take Harry’s island prints over ’em.

    by the way paul, connie, and arrrr, if any of you three find yourselves in kc tonight pineapple is doing a lil talk about her work at the plug projects space in the kc bottoms(arts district) from 6 to 8 local time.

    Thanks for the invite, Moose — if I could, I’d be there with bells sock garters on. But my dance card is already full, as I’m meeting some friends for drinks, and then we’re going here for dinner:

    Hey Paul, been away from UW for a few days and just now got to the “re-design the Hornets” contest. Awesome stuff, but did anyone point out that there is already a team in Nola called the Jesters? The minor league soccer team there holds the name, might cause some confusion. Yes, I know, “its soccer, and even worse, MINOR league” but trust me. There are fans, and I’m one. I’d be pissed to see a shitty pro basketball team steal the name simply because pro’s make a city more money, etc.

    Now to catch up on the past couple days of posts…

    And also, “The New Orleans Brass” was a minor league (ECHL I think) hockey team from the 90’s. The submission in the article uses the same exact logo and color scheme. It would be nice if the Hornets actually took on “The Brass” name and logos becuase they had to move out of NOLA when the Hornets moved into the New Orleans arena. The Brass couldn’t move into where they were playing before the arena was build becuase they had already sold the ice maker. Or something like that. I’ve always thought the brass was the perfect for city and sport. Doesn’t fit as well for basketball, but it’ll do.

    The Philadelphia Eagles just released an updated roster and jersey numbers including the rooks. link. I find it interesting that after the backlash of them giving out the number 36 (Brian Westbrook), 36 has not been given this year. Plus theres a debate in Philly of whether or not McNabb’s 5 should or will be retired in the wake of Brian Dawkins getting retired, I find it interesting that 5 is once again not given out. For the record, yes they should retire 5.

    RE: Retiring McNabb’s number–No.

    Not saying that McNabb was a bad QB–in fact, he was the best QB statistically we ever had–the few players who had their numbers retired were undeniably the best at their position as an Eagle.

    And honestly, if we keep retiring numbers for players now, we’ll run out of numbers to give to quarterbacks/kickers/punters/wide receivers, since 12 and 15 are out, and no one’s going to wear 5 or 2 for a long time.

    Just keep it out of circulation for a while. If McNabb does, by a stroke of luck, make it into the Hall of Fame, then yeah, retire his number.

    I love Brian Westbrook, but same deal: just keep it out of circulation.

    What I dont get is, its been around 15 years since Randall left, either retire it or put it back in circulation, which I don’t think they should retire it as much as I loved him. But with 5, I know he never won, but he was the QB who led us to 5 NFC title games in 7 years where prior we had been to 1… almost 40 years. But at the same time, I wont cry if they don’t retire it. I also think 36 should be put back in the rotation soon, as much as I loved him. Hell the first college football game I ever went to, I walked into Villanova Stadium and he was returning a punt for a touchdown en route to 5 touchdowns against Colegate. But his career was very very good, but not great enough to retire it.

    WTF I thought 12 was officially retired. Goddamnit.

    I agree with McNabb and Westbrook. Personally, I would like them unretiring all of their numbers, but only allowing “marque” players to have the option of that number (like, say, Tom Brady became an Eagle) along with the blessing of the player or player’s family. Kinda like a happy medium between the Oakland Raiders never retire-a-thon and U of Michigan with the patches they put on players uniforms that were worn by former greats.

    But that’ll never happen.

    Chicken wing tips, on a uni-related website?! YEP! That’s why I make this my daily routine.

    I may not always agree with Paul, but one thing I know for sure…he has never led me astray when it comes to culinary interests. Guess I’ll have to make a batch of wing tips this weekend.

    P.S. The blow-torch steak was simply awesome!

    Paul – I know I’m a little late to the party on the (Continue Reading) break between the main article and the rest of the post, but…

    I’m not a fan.

    Due to work, life, and general laziness, I don’t make it to uni-watch every day like a good little boy. But one of my rewards for a hard week of work is to come here and go back through the past days/week to see what is new and interesting.

    Previously, this was quite easy to do (scrolling mouse + middle finger). Now, it is more cumbersome with more clicks. I get the logic (gotta keep the advertisers happy!)

    Is it a deal-breaker? No, but if you’re still taking input, I vote to go back to the old way.

    The OM shirts’ reverse orange sides honor ultras group South Winner ’87, who turned their bomber jackets inside-out (revealing the orange lining) to protest the actions/rhetoric of neo-Nazi Paris St. Germain fans (also clad in bomber jackets) during a match in 1989.

    OM wore an orange away strip in 2007 to commemorate South Winners’ 20-year anniversary; it’s still the club’s highest-selling shirt ever. This year’s orange reverse side, however, will not be worn in any competitive matches.

    I know videogames are rarely accurate, but this Madden 13 video has the Bills sporting blue pants on the road vs the Packers:


    All it really means is that the blue pants are in the style guide. The Bills may or may not actually wear them. See the Cleveland Browns brown pants – officially added when the team switched to gray facemasks – they were the default road uniform in Madden, and the team didn’t wear them for 2 seasons.

    Found this on an Angels blog I frequent. A user there has made infographics about Pujols’s early-season struggles, and Weaver’s no-hitter.
    Pujols: link

    Weaver: link

    Redskins new faux-backs released:

    Similar to NFL 75th Anniversary uniform, only less mustardy with a matte helmet

    The helmet is excellent. I would assume that HydroGraphics did the leather patterns.

    “Or why not stop the pandering and just have a moment of silence followed by a baseball game?”

    Because then no one would be able to basically piss on the US and Canadian flags and disrespect veterans in both of our great nations to get more money. This world is a sad place. Is it worse that they do this, or that people actually fall for it?

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