By Phil Hecken
Moving forward in our Olympic uniform coverage, I’m pleased to present a new collaborator for the boards, Stephanie Suarez, who (like about three of us — Brinke and myself come to mind) is a big tennis fan. So Steph will be handling the kits (outfits) that the players will be wearing for their respective countries at the Games — and they couldn’t have a better venue in which to contest the tennis portion than at the Big W — Wimbledon, the famed grass courts of the British Isles.
And so, without further ado…here’s Steph:
Tennis at the Olympics
By Stephanie Suarez
No white at Wimbledon, what? Some folks have been hyping the idea of color at “Wimbledon;” however, that’s not the way I see it. The Championships, Wimbledon is the all-white affair, but the Olympics at the All-England Club in Wimbledon, London is a different story. It’s not the first time the AELTC has hosted the Olympics, and the 85% white rule has been lifted for Davis Cup matches in the past. So before anyone starts dreaming of a Technicolor Wimbledon, remember that these are national kits, too, and magenta won’t be making any appearances. Unless, of course, Gael Monfils or Boris Johnson has his way.
The highly publicized adidas designs by designer and Beatles progeny, Stella McCartney, have been heavily criticized for the lack of red represented, as it was demoted to a trim color. Andy Murray’s had to smile a lot in this outfit already, so he’s probably A.) grown numb to it, B.) loves it because it looks more like a Scottish flag, or C.) doesn’t care because adidas doesn’t dress him well anyway. The ringer collar and trimmed sleeve openings are a bit juvenile, I think. Four hues of blue are a bit rough, too.
The warm-up jacket stands out a bit (maybe too much) from the rest of the Team GB uniforms since it lacks the blocking on the body panels. It appears to have a more retro feel with the graphic placement on the sleeves, which I don’t mind.
Done up in national colors and adorned with a Chinese flag, Li Na will be taking the court in Nike’s Baseline tank and skirt combo. One of the promo photos is missing the flag with the swoosh reinstated to the left chest position. Regardless, it’s a simple, yet appropriate look compared to the fast food-meets-golf sleeveless polo from 2008.
The face of adidas by Stella McCartney, Caroline Wozniacki, will just be wearing regular ol’ adidas since Stella’s hands are full. Caro wears her country colors well, and this dress will look great on the grass courts. The dropped waist and pleated skirt are particularly flattering.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s monochromatic look is another safe design by adidas since Great Britain is taking center stage. Although not visible, I assume a country badge will be on the left chest as the brand logo is placed on the right, just as they did in 2008. adidas decided to carryover the same red ringer and sleeve finish from the Great Britain design, but this version doesn’t bother me as much. The white Doritos wedge at the collar could go though.
Nike has Roger Federer’s gear down to science now: a sharp polo with quality details paired with tailored shorts. RF logo? Check. Throw in some matching shoes, too. No surprises here, really. If you’ve never seen a RF signature shirt in person, Nike does a great job with the technical detail execution. I particularly appreciate the welded zipper opening and the subtle pinstriped chevron shape on the chest, which seems to be Nike’s seasonal design trend. My only wish is that the RF logo could take a break during the Olympics.
Venus Williams said she was designing a dress inspired by Wonder Woman, and, given her past interpretations of “inspired” outfits, I feared that she might borrow Serena’s convertible shoe-boots and be covered in lamÃ© stars. Looking nothing like Lynda Carter, Venus went the other direction and produced this navy dress. The build-up let me down, but I don’t mind the end result, especially the red back detail. The only Wonder Woman features I can maybe indentify are the design line created by the white piping along the neckline and down the center front, and the body seams kind of match the newly re-booted Wonder Woman. There’s also a white top and skirt version for doubles play with her sister Serena. Not sold on that shaped hem, however.
Andy Roddick’s new signature shoe is all stars and stripes. The shade of blue on the Propulse 3 Shoe is a bit light for my taste, but will probably show up nicely on camera against the grass. Bubba Watson’s caddy even got on board with the look at the US Open.
Thanks Steph! I know tennis may not be many of your guys (and gals’) cuppa, but this is the OLYMPICS! And they’re playing for queen and country…or president and country…or something. Give it a look-see — there’s nothing quite like tennis on grass ;).
This section will feature “lesser” Olympics stories — both the good and the bad — of the Olympic games, past, present and future (ok, maybe not future–we’ll see).
Today we have two bad and one good.
More douchebaggery is afoot in London, as I draw your attention to the London Street Artist Banksy (reported on The Atlantic Wire and also
stolen and reprinted reported in the HuffPo) against the powers-that-be in what may turn out to be a victory for the little guy. You see, Banksy, who is a graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter, is a cult hero in Britain, and who has ‘graffitied’ two beautiful works of art: a missile tossing participant and a pole vaulter on London streets. Both of these works appeared on the Banksy website — but their locations were not revealed.
But since the recent tomfoolery and arrests of other graffiti artists, now Banksy’s work is threatened. Dare the police seek out Banksy’s works, and eradicate them from the streets — risking even more scorn from the world — or do they leave these alone (possibly emboldening others)? Not only is Banksy a cult hero, he also was nominated for an Academy Award for the film, Exit Through the Gift Shop last year. In light of all the bad press the IOC and organizers are getting, maybe it would be best if they just left these works alone.
[H/T to Paul & Rocky Lum for the above]
Next up is still more assholery found in an article entitled, “Brand wars gather pace on streets of London” (link here). A couple highlights:
* London is buzzing with curious stories of those who have found themselves on the wrong side of the brand police such as a stall owner who was told off for displaying the London 2012 logo and a butcher in a town hosting sailing events who had to remove a sign showing the Olympic rings made from sausages.
* On a quiet side-street within walking distance of the Olympic stadium where the Games open officially on Friday, a cafe called Olympic has had to paint over the letter “O” to comply with the rules.
But the best quote, which almost echoed what Paul said yesterday, came from an “activist” named “Del”: “The problem with Olympic advertising is that there is no ethics. It’s supposed to be about excellence but it’s not reflected in their branding partners.”
And that may be the first and last time the words “ethics” and “advertising” were used in the same sentence.
[H/T to Jeremy Burton for this one]
But there is some good — sadly it deals with the halcyon days of Olympics’ past. Reader Patrick Woody writes, “Since we’re focusing on the Olympics right now — I was in Montreal last month and took a bunch of pics of the Olympic Park and venues, including a really cool display of old posters…(notice Munich is missing).
The whole set is here (actually, the first 8 shots are Parc Jarry – vive les Expos!)
If you have (or find) an Olympic-related story, good or bad (past or present) — send it to me. We’ll keep the good and the bad on the radar screen. Thanks.
#NoUniAds Campaign…Day 6
This will be a regular feature on Uni Watch until the NBA rescinds it’s incredibly offensive and stupid proposal to place corporate advertising on uniforms.
And now, a personal note from Paul:
It’s important that we keep making our voices heard: Call the NBA’s publicly listed phone number (212-407-8000), ask for Adam Silver’s and/or David Stern’s office), e-mail deputy commissioner Adam Silver at his his publicly listed address (firstname.lastname@example.org), and tweet to @NBA with the hashtag #NoUniAds. Do it now.
No new news on the #NoUniAds front. Unfortunately, yesterday’s initial announcement that Elton Brand had joined our crusade was tempered by the revelation that the Twitter account was not verified, and probably fake. Too bad — having any player (past or present) on board would surely have strengthened our cause. Or as Paul said:
“OK, so it looks like that Elton Brand twitter account is probably a fake. To be clear: The fake account has been tweeting since June, so it’s not like one of our people pretended to be Elton Brand just to post “#NoUniAds” tweets. It still sucks, though. Nonetheless, our battle continues. #NoUniAds”
Many of you have dutifully E-mailed the NBA and shared those thoughts with me. There are far too many to post in one single segment, so I’ll share a couple each day. Some of your E-mails were quite long, so I’ve shortened them for publication here:
Dear Mr. Silver,
I am writing to express my disgust at the idea that NBA jerseys will bear advertisements in 2013. American professional sports is saturated in advertising and the uniforms thus far have been refreshingly free of ads. I realize that this a “business”, but that does not mean that every opportunity for corporate advertising must be cashed in. With the number of options available for teams to generate revenue, introducing jersey ads seems to me to be a very uncreative, less-than-dynamic way of making a few extra bucks.
Do you think that there is nothing that is off-limits to advertising? Is there an ethic surrounding this? I would guess no, considering how much advertising to which I am subjected when I watch a game, whether on television or at the arena. I have had enough of the gratuitous advertising in professional sports and if the NBA follows through with this plan I will be very disappointed. I certainly will not be purchasing any merchandise, but I am sure that matters very little to you or your bosses. My dollars are probably not the ones about which you are concerned.
Dear Mr. Silver,
My name is Jared Rasmussen, and I am a 23-year-old lifelong basketball fan. Being the consummate top-tier professional basketball league, I have consumed countless hours of NBA content over my life, and I take great interest in seeing the league continue to thrive.
As a buyer of NBA fan memorabilia in the past, including authentic jerseys, the decision to advertise on the uniforms will cease my support of any NBA merchandise.
I would also advise that the reported estimate of $100 mil of new revenue for the league may be overstated. This estimate was reportedly derived from observations of advertising revenue in European soccer, where larger advertisements are shown for longer airtime to more fans, including more international fans. That figure could be significantly less for a league with a smaller visibility like the NBA. Even if the estimate is accurate, a 30-team league and 50% of BRI going to the salary cap would mean each team only gains $1.67 mil per year. The revenue is very small and irrevocable compared to what a team is losing ”“ a share of its own brand identity. I would staunchly oppose any company that sold my favorite team’s, and even my least favorite teams’ in my favorite league, identity for only an additional $1.67 mil. My fear is that this advertising issue would be a very permanent solution to a very temporary problem that the league is currently having in a bad economy. Sure, this could be offset by a minor spike in new revenue, but at what cost to the league’s image?
Milwaukee Bucks Ticket Package Holder
Ads on the jersey is brutal. Bad idea. NOt going to patronize you guys because I understand the business behind it, but this is sad news to hear.
Keep it up people, keep it up! More of your E-mails to follow each day (and keep sending them to me.)
Finally, I close not with a letter to the NBA, but to Uni Watch, from Richard Lynch: (who included the really nice graphic above — click to enlarge):
The NBA Ads on Jerseys are really bugging me. It reminds of grammar school. The teams that couldn’t afford uniforms had to go to Pizza Hut and see if they could buy them uniforms. And so, they would always have a Pizza Hut ad on their uniform. But I know the NBA won’t stick with the small patch on the corner of the jersey. In grammar school the poor schools had the pizza hut logo on the name plate at first and within a few years the schools name was on the name plate and the pizza hut logo was on the front chest. I was excited about the Warriors move back to San Francisco, because then we would get “The City” jerseys back. A jersey with a bridge that actually exists on it. But I guarantee by 2017 there will be a Virgin America logo on it.
My biggest fear is the NBA is a gateway league for these ads every other league will surcome to temptation and experiment with these ads. The only league, that I believe may not is the NFL. The NFL is the only league that has no advertisement on the field at all. The league makes a fair amount of its money from television ads and would not want teams selling uniform space to Coors Light, while they are trying to sell television ad space to Bud Light at a high price. Bud Light will say, why would we pay that much for something when the guy is going to the bathroom when we can just sew something to his chest. This is my belief on what could happen and it is bad. The current warriors jersey is what the NBA is doing. You can’t even read the company logo at 2.5 by 2.5. There is no way they could generate $100 million dollars. The rest is what I believe will be the case by 2017 as the US will be accustomed to ads on jerseys (possible with the exception of the NFL). The NBA has forgotten that in the 4 major sports we are #1 and the best from around the world come to play here. The other leagues copy us, we don’t copy them.
A smattering of non-form responses to reader E-mail seem to be filtering in. I’ll try to get to those tomorrow!
Thanks to Tim E. O’Brien and Chris Giorgio for the image in the upper right of this section!
“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.
But was it long enough for chicks to dig it?…
Click to enlarge
Reminder: Paul is on summer break until Aug. 23. Phil Hecken is handling the weekday content and John Ekdahl is running the show on weekends; contact info for them is available here.
The Uni Watch e-mail address is being auto-forwarded to Phil, so any Ticker submissions or story ideas sent to that address will go directly to him. If you have a question or comment for Paul, go ahead and send it in, and Phil will make sure Paul receives it. We’re particularly interested in keeping up-to-date with college football uniform unveilings, so definitely keep submitting those. Thanks.
Uni Watch News Ticker: The Nationals not only lead the NL East and have the Mets number, they’ve also put the Curly W logo up in Mets bullpen (thanks to Chris Hernandez). … Prior to Monday’s Yankee/Mariner game, when Ichiro was traded, Marc Bauche noticed this “photo” and wondered, “how they get these photos done so quickly. I doubt Nike makes the turtleneck Ichiro usually wears also. And it definitely wouldn’t have the collar logo like that.” … Good spot by Joe Makowiec who picked up on this famous photo of Derek Redmond in the 1992 Barcelona games: “Redmond is wearing his team’s (Adidas) uniform; his father is wearing a Nike hat. (Probably other Nike stuff, too; I don’t recognize the t-shirt.)” … Do you want to purchase this giant Carolina Panthers cathead? You can, and some other Panthers souvenirs as well in an online auction that began Monday (thanks to John Muir, who remarked, “Fathead has nothing on this.”). … One of Bill Henderson’s readers, Bill Walsh, sent Henderson this photo of Dick Allen wearing an armband in 1976. “I was watching the Phils every day in 1976 and I have no recollection of an event that would have led to the wearing of an armband, especially right in the middle of the sleeve patch,” says Henderson. “Knowing Dick Allen, it was probably a solitary gesture.” … Great spot by John Zajac during Ichiro’s first game as a Yankee Monday night: “Ichiro apparently needed a pair of pants brought for a ballboy (Monday) night, as his pants for his first game with the Yankees had the Majestic logo on the back left hip. He was the only player with it, and we all know that the Yankees don’t have manufacturer marks on any of their on field gear.” … Matte gray/black is the new black: Michael Kanady reports that a new helmet for University of Toledo will be worn at least at one game this season. … By now, at least if you’re a hockey fan, you know that Rick Nash was traded to the Rangers yesterday — and almost immediately his new sweater was ready. “That was fast,” says Mark Kaplowitz. … “Check out this awesome DIY job,” says James T. Huening, who spotted this “Manchester United” truck yesterday (hopefully he wasn’t violating any vehicle and traffic laws at the time). … Chris Mahr notes the possibility of ‘Patriotic helmets’ for UTSA, via the Lost Lettermen site. … Awesome eyes department: Lou DeGeorge found a photo of David Cone circa 1995 wearing stirrups over what appears to be a pair of two-in-ones. … The West Coast Eagles will be wearing a special edition guernsey to raise money for cancer research. More info here (thanks to Will Pike). … The Phillies AAA team, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, are celebrating Christmas in July today. They’re wearing this jersey for the game, according to Gary Mattox. … Casey Lombardo noticed that Long Beach Polytechnic High School’s baseball program has a logo highly derivative of the San Diego Padres logo. What’s kind of odd about using the wave element is that Long Beach famously has no waves — “our breakwater sees to that.” … Johnny Bruno notes that teams are now selling THOB (Twitter Handle on Back) player t-shirts. … The Dunedin Blue Jays are having a throwback game this weekend. Here’s the release (with a hat tip to Nathanael Kurant). … Very cool 1950s women’s bowling vest/skirt combo (from Robin Edgerton). … Jonathan Nussbaum asks an interesting question: “I was wondering what your take was on the Spanish basketball team’s use of first names on the back of their jerseys. The maddening part is that some guys get their first name (“Ricky”, “Rudy”, “Marc”) while others get last names (“Llul”, “Jimenez”). There is no rhyme or reason to it. Worst of all, one Gasol brother gets his first name, while the other wears “Gasol”. Does this make any sense? Know of any other teams that do this, at any level?” Readers? … Jeter not number 5? Matt Harris notes, “looks like someone at Safeco printed up some score sheets and thought Jeter changed his number.” … Chris Markham shows us the keen eye of a Uni Watcher on display: “Im sure this happens a lot, but here is Jayson Werth batting for the Syracuse Chiefs vs. Rochester wearing not only a Nationals batting helmet, but pants as well. The red stripe doesn’t really match.” Yup. We’ve covered it here before — MLBers on minor league rehab/assignment can wear their MLB gear — but it never hurts to see it again. … No linkage, but great catch by Matt Lesser: “When asked during the daily Ask Marty segment of today’s Cincinnati Reds radio broadcast, what he thought about the absence of stirrups, hall-of-famer Marty Brenneman responded by saying ‘I just assume (I’d just as soon?) see them running around with no pants on at all rather than those things they wear today’.” Awesome. … Are the Knicks getting new unis? Robert Silverman found an article that says all signs point to “yes”. … Are the Falcons going to wear a RED helmet this year? It could be, according to Garrett Blach who noticed the domes Atlanta was wearing “were a solid cherry red and did not sport the stripe that the throwback helmets did.” This seemingly new helmet also featured a red logo of the modern day Atlanta Falcon, that had been outlined in white. From this Reddit post & thread. … And finally, what better way to honor the glory and tradition of South Bend than to put “Play Like A Champion Today” on your gloves? C’mon adidas — you can do better than this (thanks Brinke).
That’s it for today folks. Big thanks to Stephanie and all you Uni Watchers who are keeping up the #NoUniAds pressure on the NBA! We can stop this — but we need to keep up the pressure. Have a great Wednesday.
“As a dual citizen, I failed to qualify for both the US and Ireland Olympic athletic delegations. Thought I had a chance for the Irish entries in beach volleyball, welterweight boxing, and rhythmic gymnastics, but fell short during last day of competition. Now training hard for Rio.”