Skip to content

Uni Watch Profiles: Craig Rodia

Screen shot 2012-09-17 at 1.24.32 PM.png

About two years ago, I attended a media event at the NBA Shop in Manhattan. On my way out, I noticed some interesting T-shirts and sweatshirts — most of them with a retro-ish feel — from a company called ’47 Brand, which I’d never heard of before. Since I’m often behind the curve when it comes to merchandising and retailing, I figured the company had probably been around for a while and I just hadn’t noticed.

As it turned out, ’47 Brand had just made its debut that year. The company, which is based just outside of Boston, has since elevated its profile, most notably by scoring a new licensing deal with the NFL (you can see some of their new NFL product here. Rather amazingly, this makes them the only wholesaler with licenses for all of the Big Four leagues.

As most of you know, I don’t get too excited about T-shirts, jerseys, caps, and the like. But as far as such things go, I tend to like ’47 Brand’s stuff more than I like a lot of other stuff I see out there. So when I was offered the chance to speak with the company’s creative director, Craig Rodia (shown at right; click to enlarge), I said sure. Here’s how our recent conversation went.

Uni Watch: I’m told that you got your start at Brooks Brothers. That seems like an odd starting point for someone who ends up in licensed sports apparel.

Craig Rodia: I had no intention of ending up in this industry. I just wanted to live in New York City after college, and an opportunity came up at Brooks Brothers. I love design, so I went for it, and I loved it. I eventually moved on to Lids, back when they were still small, so that was my introduction to licensed apparel.

UW: When was the ’47 Brand officially “born,” so to speak?

CR: In 2010.

UW: What does the 47 stand for?

CR: The brand emerged from a partnership I had with another company, called Twins, and they were founded in 1947.

UW: Give me an elevator pitch of the brand’s style, or mission.

CR: We started out more on the vintage side of things, and that’s still near and dear and us. But now I’d say we’re a fashion brand that happens to do licensed product, as opposed to other companies that do licensed stuff in order to be fashionable. We’re looking at the latest trends out there — the street market, the skate market, the teen market. We’re all over the blogs, looking for inspiration. Everybody on my team reads your stuff religiously. So the stuff we put out is very detail-oriented. And when I say details, I mean the fonts, the appliqués, the construction and fit. We like to say we’re a lifestyle brand.

UW: How would you describe your licensed apparel as compared to what’s produced by Nike, Reebok, or Adidas?

CR: I would say we’re more lifestyle. And we spend a lot more time on the details — the fabric, fit, and finish. The fabrics that we use have taken a long time to develop. In some cases, we’re still perfecting it. We spend so much time on things like where we buy the cotton from. It bugs me when I see someone from the competition who takes a normal T-shirt and dips it in silicone to soften it. We don’t do that; we use good materials.

UW: I’m sure the other companies would say they use good materials and sweat the details too.

CR: Sure. But another thing separates us is that we have a very wide-ranging line, from headwear and T-shirts to sweaters and dresses. That’s part of what makes us more lifestyle.

UW: You’ve used that term “lifestyle” a few times now. What do you mean when you say that?

CR: My goal is to get people to say, “Holy crap, I love that shirt because it looks cool,” not necessarily because they’re a fan of that team.

UW: So you’re not after the hardcore fan, necessarily. You’re looking to seduce the more casual fan.

CR: Exactly. For example, half of the apparel we sell is to women. I think that’s attractive to a league, and that’s part of why the NFL chose to work with us.

UW: One thing I notice is that those other companies tend to put their own logos very prominently on their apparel, but you guys don’t do that. Your logo only appears on inside back collar, where you list the size, the fabric content, and so on. That’s obviously a conscious choice on your part.

CR: It is, but we’re changing that.

UW: Oh, really?

CR: Yeah. It’s something we’ve been talking about for a long time here internally. We are going to start putting a small “47” on the side of our hats and on the apparel pieces. It’s gonna be a little tab label.

UW: Where will that be located on, say, a T-shirt?

CR: It’ll be on the bottom left, by the hemline.

UW: That’s still much less prominent than where the other companies typically put their logos. So what was the thinking on that? Like, was the lack of the logo hurting you from a branding standpoint?

CR: Exactly. We were looking for ad agencies to work with, and they all said, “We had no idea who you were. Then we went to our closet and realized you had made all our favorite hats and T-shirts, but we had no idea who you were.”

UW: Why had you previously made the choice not to put your logo on your product?

CR: Because I’m a “Less is more” guy, I’m a real traditional guy, and I don’t love that approach. The stuff I normally wear — I don’t think I wear anything that’s branded. So for me, it’s a little bit tough. But as a business decision, I think it’s the right thing to do.

UW: So that was hard for you?

CR: Very hard. Still is.

UW: I like that you use sewn lettering and patches for a lot of your shirts. Have you always done that?

CR: Yes. I’d say more than half of our stuff is printed, not sewn. But I really like the sewn stuff, because it’s all hand-cut, hand-done. And I like mixing sewn appliqués with printed stuff, because it creates a sense of dimension and depth — I love that. And the sewn pieces are the same fabric as the shirt, so when you wash it, it all shrinks at the same rate.

UW: No puckering.

CR: Right. And it’s all dyed the same, too.

UW: You guys have a very retro feel. I know you said you were moving away from that, but I still see it in your designs. How do you achieve a retro look for a team that’s fairly new, like the Houston Texans?

CR: It’s difficult. Like, on the NBA side, we’ve been trying to come up with designs for the Oklahoma City Thunder. That’s a real struggle for us.

UW: It’s not an obvious fit for you.

CR: It’s not, no.

UW: So what do you do?

CR: We find a way. It’s more of a challenge, but we find a way to interpret their logo in a way that makes sense for us. As long as it looks good, that’s what I care about.

UW: Tell me about this new deal you have with the NFL.

CR: The NFL deal basically makes us a year-round business, which really takes us to a new level. So we can go to a place like Nordstrom now and say, “We have every league,” which makes it much easier for them to buy from us. And our head.


As you can probably guess, I was disappointed to hear that the company will be introducing logo creep to its product (although the little hemline tab sounds like it might be easy enough to remove with scissors or a seam ripper), and I was also uneasy with Rodia’s repeated use of the term “lifestyle.” Still, I like the look and feel of a lot of the company’s product. My thanks to Craig for an interesting discussion.

+ + + + +

ESPN reminder: In case you missed it yesterday, my latest ESPN column is a look at Native American imagery in sports. I know we’ve talked about that quite a bit here on the blog, but I went out of my way to take a more reserved tone in this ESPN column, plus I had some new (if limited) research to contribute to the discussion. Check it out here.

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: The Falcons will wear their throwbacks this Sunday. … In a related item, the Steelers haven’t yet announced when they’ll be wearing their 1930s throwbacks, but Nathan Gess says that the clerks at a Steelers Sideline shop told him they’ll be worn in Weeks 10 and 11, against the Chiefs (on a Monday night) and Ravens (on a Sunday night). …Early reports of the NFL officiating settlement yesterday afternoon included this line: “New official game uniforms designed by Nike are ‘hardly an obstacle,’ according to a source.” Not sure if this means a new zebra design or just that Nike has to create standard uniforms cut to the old officials’ measurements, although I’m assuming the latter. Tried to find out yesterday but couldn’t make any headway. … Yesterday’s Packers-themed Piggly Wiggly ad prompted Jeff Ash to send me this photo, taken in a Green Bay Piggly Wiggly outlet. … The Okie State G.I. Joe uniform rumor may be just a rumor (from Dan Medina). … New 125th-anniversary kit for Celtic FC. “Not bad, if you ask me,” says Dan Budny. … The latest NFL/Tide video about team colors and uniforms focuses on the Steelers. … Another NFLer covering up his logo creep: Tom Brady, who has a deal with Under Armour, wore tape over his sleeve swoosh at a media session yesterday. … Robert Griffin III’s RNOB was the subject of yesterday’s NPR commentary from Frank DeFord (from Joe Makowiec). … Georgia Southern is going G.I. Joe on Oct. 13. “Names will be on a nameplate on the chest (a first?), and players can wear patches for friends and family who are serving or have served,” explains Lucas Ehrbar. ”¦ Two special uniforms on tap for Mississippi State. Here’s a closer look at the new helmet. … “I saw this Flying Elvis-esque logo on a T-shirt the other day,” says Tom Nawrocki. “It’s for the Columbine Rebels football team here in suburban Denver. The weird thing is, isn’t a rebel the exact opposite of a patriot?” Indeed. … Here’s a video of the Suns’ new floor design (from Mike Vamosi). … Houston Baptist, which will be starting its football program in 2013, has unveiled its helmet design (from Mike Vamosi). … Interesting story about an Ottawa Senators 20th-anniversary logo that was never used (from John Muir). … UNC’s flag-desecration logo, which will appear on their helmets this Saturday, will also appear at midfield (from John Freeman). … Double-whammy kerfuffle for Sherrin, the company that makes the balls for Aussie rules football. First, a bunch of balls for the youth market were recalled after a needle was found inside one of them, plus it turns out one of Sherrin’s subcontractors have been using child labor. Further info on that here. Rumors that the subcontractor was Newt Gingrich are almost completely untrue. ”¦ Joe DeAngelis found a 1983 video clip that shows the Flyers wearing an unfamiliar sock design. “I believe it’s from a preseason game, as the Bruins players in the game were NNOB,” he says. ”¦ New alternate helmet for Tulsa. I really like the stripe of hurricane flags, although the wordmark feels pretty blah (from Brady Vardeman). ”¦ Kudos to the principal of Santa Monica High School in California, who wouldn’t let Under Armour hold an on-campus jersey-presentation ceremony for one of the school’s star players. Why? “[W]e cannot support a sporting good company coming to campus to take advantage of [the student] in order to sell shirts.” Well done (from Sean Kautzman). ”¦ Remember that amazing (and disturbing) series of articles last winter about Derek Boogaard? His family has now filed a lawsuit with some big implications for the NHL. ”¦ Robert Brashear was walking on the Upper West Side of Manhattan the other day and spotted a Con Ed worker with a Steelers-branded hard hat. (For you non-NYCers, Con Ed is the utility in charge of making sure all the gerbils keep running in their wheels so the power keeps flowing.) ”¦ Awesome find over on Chris Creamer’s site: NHL garden gnomes! ”¦ Reader Daniel Carroll recently convinced me to sponsor his bowling team. As a result, his team’s score monitors periodically feature a Uni Watch logo, which I’m sure means nothing to anyone but Daniel and his teammates. And me. Happy pin-bashing, guys!

Comments (177)

    There’s a guy whose been working in my neighborhood in Richmond all month with a Cowboys hardhat…seem to recall a guy with a Seahawks one too, which is just random as hell.

    I used to work for Cintas here in Houston, and we couldn’t keep Texans hard hats in stock.
    The other, much better hat? The bright pink one that says, “I’ll never forget my hard hat again.” I think I sold one to every foreman in the city.

    Not a UT shirt, here’s a close-up…


    Ignore the bottom pic, unless you’re a fellow Chiver. In which case, BFM! Bill is the adopted masoct for theChive, hence that shirt the guy on the bottom is wearing, which I gladly own in black!

    I’ve read that the Steelers will be wearing the throwbacks against Washington and Baltimore, not KC.

    Could very well be. I thought it strange they would be wearing them back to back weeks. However, that Washington game is a 1PM game so I could see it going either way.

    From memory, they wore their last set of throwbacks in at least one afternoon game a year, so doing it this year won’t be a surprise. (Of course, we’re both just passing along what we’ve heard.)

    The weird thing is, isn’t a rebel the exact opposite of a patriot?” Indeed.

    I wouldn’t exactly call them opposites. A Patriot is a simply a Rebel whose side won.

    If the rebel is the exact opposite of the patriot, then isn’t Robert Kraft’s team really named for the redcoats?

    Especially in Colorado, which was never a part of the Confederate rebellion. “Rebel” there could refer to the patriots of the War of Independence. Or it could refer to the general sense of pioneers to the West being kind of rebellious, though in that case Flying Elvis makes no sense. You’d want more of a mountain-man look, like maybe take the Flying Elvis and replace his tricorne hat with a coonskin cap, and turn the flying bits on the left into the raccoon tail on the back of his hat.

    Of course, that would require getting some students to do a bit of design work, and we wouldn’t want that, would we? Far better to just steal a pro logo and tell the students that they’re incapable of doing work that would make anyone proud. Yay modern public-school administrators!

    When Columbine HS opened, it was the southernmost high school in the metro Denver area and stayed such well into the 1980s. In addition three of the city of Denver’s four directional high schools have mascots relating to their names: South Rebels, West Cowboys and North Vikings. (East got Angels because of the putti featured at the entrances to their building.)

    FWIW UNLV’s Rebel mascot likely has a similar provenance.

    My high school alma mater, Great Neck South High School (yep, Great Neck, NY, Long Island), is known as the rebels. Great Neck (North) High was the original and once-exclusive public high school in town, but South “seceded” to alleviate the overpopulated high school. Apparently, well before my time (I attended from 2005 to 2007, graduating in 2007), the school hung a Stars and Bars flag in the gym.
    Rightfully, it was decided that the flag definitely needed to go away, but what to do with the nickname and mascot? The name “Penguins” was proposed (South Pole, I guess?), but it didn’t stick. Instead, the Rebel was repackaged under Revolutionary War connotations.

    My high school was the Rebels from 1945 to about 2005, when they decided to become the Mavericks, pretty much because of the Civil War connotations (I graduated in ’97). They also used to use the Stars and Bars and Johnny Reb (it’s Texas–they did fight for the South, after all), but after sticking with Rebels but moving away from the Southern imagery to a more generic, rough-and-tumble cowboy type in the mid-90s, the school ultimately decided that keeping “Rebels” as the mascot just wasn’t proper. While it was a little hard for me to swallow at first, having literally bled on several athletic fields for the Rebels, I came to terms with it and now agree that it was the right move. Mavericks keeps the same spirit as the later Rebels concept, without all the controversy.

    Maybe they could swap mascots with Ole Miss, since OM is now using some kind of bear instead of Colonel Reb (for the costume mascot at least). Seems a bear would be much more appropriate in Colorado than Mississippi.

    Rebels are frequently patriotic … just not towards the larger entity that their erstwhile possessors would prefer.

    In 2001 Colgate dropped the ‘Red’ from their ‘Red Raider’ nickname to be more politically correct. However, the name had nothing to do with Native Americans. It originated in 1932 when Colgate unveiled new football uniforms with bright maroon pants and white and maroon jerseys. Colgate’s head of journalism, Dex Teed, coined them the ‘Red Raiders of the Chenango Valley’ and the Red Raider portion became the official nickname for every team at Colgate. It did take on some Native American connotation in later years (see here: link), but I don’t think it was worth dropping the Red to have this ambiguous thing as the new mascot… link

    I think they could have embraced the origin of the nickname rather than chopping the Red off, but that’s just me.

    Simple rule for the rest of today: Any comment that includes “politically correct” (or any of its variants) gets deleted.

    Think harder.

    Can we use “Culturally Neutral”? I mean, that is basically what’s meant – changing something so as to not offend anyone, even if no one was actually offended in the first place.

    I’ll rephrase: In 2001 Colgate dropped the ‘Red’ from their ‘Red Raider’ nickname in a misguided attempt to rebrand the school’s image which wasn’t really a problem to begin with.

    I get upset over any tinkering with any and all sports mascots. The one that particularly sticks in my craw was when the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors dropped the “Rainbow”. It has the feel of squandering equity. But feel free to disagree.

    I’ve seen their product before. I like their graphics but I don’t like the “distressed”/”worn” look on a new shirt (I’ll make it look like that on my own in a while) and I’m not fond of the prices they charge for shirts. Then again, I’m more than just a “casual” sports fan, so I’m not their target audience anyway.

    I’ve been convinced all along that the real problem w/ the replacements — and the reason they haven’t been getting any respects — was the lack of white knickers.

    Ironic how there’s an article about pinstripes reviving Ichiro’s career, but they show him in the road grays??


    Either way, there’s no other ethnic group that’s the subject of these “tributes” in the sports world.

    Come on, Paul. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish? The Boston Celtics? The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Warriors/Wahine?

    Ok, I’ll give you Hawai’i, but the last time I checked, Notre Dame was founded by a French priest and its campus is in Indiana.

    Also, I’m not sure of Walter A. Brown’s ethnicity, but the story behind the naming of the Celtics seems to revolve around the fact that Boston was full of Irishmen.

    Exactly. Boston is full of Irish people, or at any rate has a lot of Celtic cultural influences. Do you mean to suggest that this is just like how American Indians are the dominant ethic group in Washington DC, Atlanta, and Cleveland?

    In the case of Notre Dame, the story told among my Midwestern Irish Catholic family was always that despite its French missionary origins, students were (A) actually predominantly Irish-Americans anyway and (B) tarred by anti-Irish and anti-Catholic prejudice, and so claiming a name used against them as an insult was an empowering thing. Except this was the late 1970s and 1980s, so nobody actually said “empowering” when talking about Fighting Irish history.

    Basically, if you were a Midwesterner in the 20th century, and your family had Irish Catholic roots, your grandparents dreamed that you’d go to Notre Dame. Comparisons to Fighting Sioux and the like will be valid if and only if we are talking about a school that has significant roots in the Sioux community like Notre Dame does in the Irish-American community.

    Basically, if you were a Midwesterner in the 20th century, and your family had Irish Catholic roots, your grandparents dreamed that you’d go to Notre Dame

    Catholics of any ancestry, you mean. But your point about taking a slur and turning it into a badge of honor is well taken. The terms “Whig” and “Tory” were derogatory terms in 18th Century British politics; the respective political parties adopted them. Perhaps a modern example of the phenomenon is how a certain gay advocacy group adopted the name “Queer Nation.”

    Arr Scott | September 27, 2012 at 10:06 am |

    Exactly. Boston is full of Irish people, or at any rate has a lot of Celtic cultural influences. Do you mean to suggest that this is just like how American Indians are the dominant ethic group in Washington DC, Atlanta, and Cleveland?

    No, I don’t mean to suggest that at all. I’m just pointing out that the Boston Celtics are named after an ethnic group and that they don’t fall under the canopy of Native American imagery. Paul claimed that “there’s no other ethnic group that’s the subject of these ‘tributes’ in the sports world.” That’s not true IMHO. Just discussing, not looking for a fight, ladies and gentlemen.

    I’m just pointing out that the Boston Celtics are named after an ethnic group and that they don’t fall under the canopy of Native American imagery. Paul claimed that “there’s no other ethnic group that’s the subject of these ‘tributes’ in the sports world.” That’s not true IMHO. Just discussing, not looking for a fight, ladies and gentlemen.

    No worries, this is a good discussion.

    I think Paul’s point is that the groups which appropriated Native American imagery did so from the outside. Teams like the Vikings, Celtics, Notre Dame etc. were named after a predominant ethnicity in their own community. Teams like the Indians, Redskins and the like were not largely composed of Native Americans or representing communities largely composed of Native Americans. There’s a significant difference there in ownership of the iconography.

    I can’t think of another ethic group whose image has been appropriated by outsiders in similar numbers or fashion.

    At the HS/college level, Chance, I’m pretty sure the country is lousy with “Vikings” even in areas with no significant Scandinavian-American population. So I suppose that’d qualify.

    Technically, “Spartans” and “Trojans” might also pass muster. But again, all this is (naturally) a function of how far the “image ownership” argument actually flies.

    Chance states:
    “I can’t think of another ethic group whose image has been appropriated by outsiders in similar numbers or fashion.”

    While not an ethnic group per se, the once(and still?)-derogatory nickname “Quakers” is used quite a number of schools/athletics programs…many of which are not at all affiliated with the Society of Friends.

    I’ve wondered for a while why the Eskimos escape scrutiny. I think its just as inappropriate as the other nicknames that always come up.

    Maybe because it doesn’t have as much cultural baggage – at least in Canada, its just faded from use without having a “cringe” associated with it. And because they don’t use any logos or icons that are offensive on their own.

    The Atlanta Braves nickname goes back to Boston where it was first used in 1912. It was chosen because team owner James Gaffney was a member of Tammany Hall, the powerful Democrat Party machine in New York City. People associated with the group were thus dubbed “Tammany Hall Braves” by the media because of their unwavering loyalty to “Boss” William Tweed, its leader. Tammany Hall was named after Tamanend, a leader of the Lenape (Delaware) Native Americans.

    Tammany Hall through its political clout helped many immigrants (especially the Irish) to get established in this country in the latter part of the 19th Century. The supporters of the group considered it a badge of honor to be called a “Tammany Hall Brave” because they always fought for the little guy. Tammany’s headquarters were referred to as “The Wigwam.”

    So by using the same logic applied to Notre Dame’s use of their nickname to honor a group that they helped, how much of a stretch is it to say that because Tammany stood up for poor immigrants the use of Native American references is actually a good OK?

    I think it’s debatable how much Tammany Hall actually stood up for the “little guy”, but I feel pretty confident in stating that they didn’t do diddly for Native Americans.

    So, no.

    And the party name is “Democratic“, FWIW.

    Chance, I agree that Tammany didn’t do much for Native Americans directly. But their use of the term “brave” stood more for people dedicated to their cause as foot soldiers for the Democratic Party by getting out the vote and in turn helping new immigrants than anything derogatory towards any indigenous peoples.

    Maybe that argument could have been made at the beginning. But the Braves used native symbols at least as long as a century ago.

    Plus they’ve used it exclusively since they changed the name back from “Bees”. So whatever the original intent was, the 1941 re-naming was about them adopting Native iconography.

    I love the ’47 brand. I have hate and shirt from them from the old minor league team the Charleston Rainbows. I grew up watching them and it’s part of my past I love looking back on. They had some great unis and logo.

    Ah, College Park. What a great place to take in a game. I loved the field-level seats behind home plate!

    Amen to that. And God knows, it’s far better than “RiverDogs” (spaceless with capital “D,” no less). Love the present Charleston ballclub, I wish they’d strive for something classier. “Charleston Palmettoes” would be nice: indigo and white, with caps featuring the SC flag’s tree/crescent symbol.

    On a non-uni-related note, Charleston is easily a AA-sized city, so it stumps me why we’ve never had a team higher than Sally League. There’s got to be some story behind that.

    I’d say if they’re leading their league in attendance, they may push to Double-A. This season, they drew 254,000 in the low-A South Atlantic League (5th), which would have been 3rd in the Double-A Southern League, just ahead of nearby Jacksonville.

    I loved ’47 Brand until this past weekend when I noticed they were putting that dumb ’47 on the side of their hats. The proverbial turd in the punchbowl.

    They ditched what set them apart- now they’re just another hat I won’t buy. Nice business decision.

    I agree. Sad to hear that (but I’d actually seen it on some UNC caps in the on campus bookstore two weeks ago).

    Yeah, they were my last favorite sportswear maker, but the cap logos and trendy non-throwback neon stuff they have come out with lately have dropped them a few notches for me. I hope they can keep doing the throwback-like stuff alongside the trendy “lifestyle” stuff.

    That’s a shame that ’47 is going to start putting a ’47 on their hats. I’ve been buying their products since they were Twins Enterprises, but I won’t buy a hat with a ’47 on the side.

    I’m not gonna post at ESPN, but it amazes me how many people just completely skipped your article to go straight to complaining and “what about?”s that you addressed.

    I’m also getting emails from people who obviously didn’t read the article. In each case, I just write back, “You didn’t actually read the article, did you?” Some of them come back and apologize; others say, “I don’t have to read it, you suck!”

    It’s certainly an interesting way to interface with the world.

    Paul, I liked the ESPN piece, but does it really surprise you that the comments you get are this way? I mean have you ever read the comments over there? Much like YouTube, Yahoo! & AOL before it LCD is the rule of the day.

    does it really surprise you that the comments you get are this way?

    No. In general, I rarely read my ESPN comments. It’s a sucker’s game.

    I do read my ESPN email, however.

    I think I’m spoiled by this site. Every time I read comments on another sports or news story, I tend to scroll down to the bottom, hoping that there’s a second comments section full of insightful commentary.

    One reason I’ve always tried to curate the comments on this site (or at least rein in certain excesses) is to avoid the kind of free-for-all shitstorm that afflicts so many other sites.

    I honestly wonder about people that take the time to verbally assault someone on the internet, without even reading the article in question or putting any coherent thought into their argument whatsoever. I’d like to think that it’s mostly bored teenagers and/or college students that do that, but sadly I think we know there are actual adults that take part as well.

    If thinking you won an internet argument is the highlight of your day, you have some misplaced priorities.

    “If thinking you won an internet argument is the highlight of your day, you have some misplaced priorities.”


    too bad this isn’t the friday comments…that would have been my saturday QOTD

    So, the Suns have a new court, with new font and two shades of orange. The PHX bird logo now has a beveled font.

    But, no new uniforms?

    The new court is awesome AND I learned a new word as a result – an ambigram is a word that reads the same upside down as rightside up.

    I wonder if they’ll put the ambigram logo on their uniforms so that the team name will still be readable if the player is upside down?

    The new floor design is conspicuously absent of purple (surprised that fact didn’t garner rejoice here at Uni-Watch). It’s also conspicuously bordered with black, which, last I checked, was not a component of the Suns’ identity.

    Feels to me like phase one in a transition away from the purple-tinged bird logo and purple-gray uni combos, toward a new orange-black identity. Maybe new unis are coming next year?

    Black is a very small part of the Suns’ current pallet, IIRC; currently purple, orange, gray, and a bit of black.

    Q re the ’47 Brand lineup: One of their big sellers has to be their “Franchise” fitted caps. I have two of them (Nats home and road) that I bought in 2005, but they’re branded “Twins Enterprise.” I presume the same Chinese stitchery is still making them today, so what is the relationship (if any) between Twins Enterprise and ’47 Brand?

    I know I could look this up but I also know many UWers (including our host) have their fingers on the pulse of this industry, and so could answer faster than I could search. Thanks.

    D’oh! I should’ve scrolled up while composing and “read the whole article”!

    Very sorry, Paul, and I apologize for the insult. You may delete my comment if you wish… or leave it there to display my ignorance.

    I think it is terrible that SMHS wouldn’t hold the jersey ceremony. The kid get rewarded for his hard work and talent, not like UA was setting up a tshirt stand in the lunch room.

    The kid’ll survive.

    Besides, now that colleges allow duplicate numbers he likely will be able to keep the “trademark” he “made famous” in high school, 17-year-old football recruits being the center of the universe, n’all.

    The principal had the temerity to suggest that her school’s primary mission is education, not corporate-sponsored athletics ceremonies.

    Good for her.

    I agree with what you say about the schools purpose. I will say that the UA All-American game was started to showcase what UA can do with uniforms. This is good publicity to the school, will he not be able to sign his Letter of Intent at the school? Would the principal have the same stance if he was selected for the Army AA game?

    My point (and possibly hers) is that while high school fills up kids’ entire field of vision as if the cosmos turns on everything that happens there, it truly does not.

    Perhaps she also was seeking to teach that lesson along the way?

    I have told many high school seniors the same thing. Once they graduate, and for the rest of their lives, no one–repeat, NO ONE–will ever ask if they sat at the “cool table” at lunch.

    I’d give thumbs-down to both your examples, but I’m not sure what the SOP is at high schools in general. I might be underinformed about what counts with some people as “good publicity,” or as a significant occasion.

    No way. Good for the Principal. I, for one, can’t stand the intrusion by ESPN. Nike, Adidas, Coke and others at the high school level.

    The Principal is right – don’t use the kid and the school to sell your crap.

    I’m a big fan of ’47 brand. I prefer their hats over New Era’s. I like they have that worn look and I think they are more comfortable hats to wear. Plus, they tend to have hats that have the throwback logos on them, which I like. Most the hats I own are ’47 Brand. I have a couple of their shirts. Not a fan of them putting that tag on the outside, but I guess I will just cut it off.

    I would like to point out that when I am in the market for a new hat, i don’t go in looking for only ’47 brand hats. It just so happens my preferences tend to draw my eyes in their direction and I, more often than not, tend to walk out of the store with a ’47 brand hat. It also doesn’t hurt that they are around $10 cheaper than New Era as well.

    I go for their hats (I have about 6 of them)mainly because of the fit (and the worn look is an added bonus). I have a really large cranium and their size large hats fit this giant noggin’ almost perfectly.

    Pretty sure those Philadelphia Flyers’ socks came about in the preseason following the NHL ban on Cooperalls. The road socks (the ones I actually saw) were black at the top, orange at the bottom, with a white stripe in the middle.

    I just don’t understand the term “lifestyle” when it comes to clothing. I was happy to see Paul ask him what he means by that term. He gave an explanation that he wants people to buy their line of clothes because they think they look good (cool) instead of because they just happen to be a fan of that team. OK, so they are trying to appeal to a wider audience than just the hardcore fan base. Got it. Just say that. Say you want to make clothes people will wear other than just on Sundays. Isn’t that how most everyone shops? I am a big fan of all Pittsburgh teams. However, most of the apparel available I find ugly, badly designed, and offensive to look at in general and would never by it, let alone wear it, no matter what the price, just because I am a fan. I do tend to like ’47 brand apparel because that is what appeals to me anyway, I prefer older, vintage looking designs. I think the term “lifestyle” when it comes to the clothing industry is like the term “colorway”. It really means nothing and is used only by industry insiders so they can look knowledgable about something that isn’t that complicated in the first place.

    Been a while since I’ve quoted this line from an early issue of The Baffler:

    There are two worlds, that of those who live life and that of those who purchase lifestyle. … To those artists we despise, we will not say, “Your painting is bad; your music is boring; your writing is trite.” We will say instead, “Your lifestyle sucks.”

    The only quote that comes to mind when I hear the word lifestyle is George Carlin’s:

    If you want to know what a moronic word “lifestyle” is, all you have to do is realize that, in a technical sense, Attila the Hun had an “active, outdoor lifestyle.”

    I liked the interview and have nothing negative to say ’47 Brand; it’s just a personal dislike of the word.

    I agree. Every time I see the word “lifestyle,” it always seems to be attached to a logo. That being said, I recently purchased a ’47 brand hat online but it was too large for me. I ran it through the washer and dryer (both on high heat and it shrunk the hat to the point where it now fits perfectly. Not recommending this for everyone, but it worked well in my case.

    I also don’t like that they are putting their branding on the outside of their products just because an ad agency told them to. And this is coming from a guy who owns a marketing/branding agency. Just because everyone else does it, doesn’t mean you have to. The same effect can be taken care of in other ways. The lack of logo creep can also be spun into a positive and even used in campaigns by using it as something that separates them from others. If he is a less is more guy, then allow them to be that. The agency gave them that advice because (A) they see everyone else is doing it, and (B) they needed another bullet point on their pitch and in their quick market research saw it has become the standard. And who are these people that had no idea who made their clothes. I don’t keep track of all my tags, but if I happen to have several items by the same company, I tend to know it.

    Exactly. I’m guessing there’s decent number of people that have bought their products *because* they don’t have logo creep. They’re only hurting themselves when they imitate everyone else.

    I think they should sell their brand as and the lack of outside branding like jazz music. It’s not what you hear (or see), but rather the notes you DON’T hear (or not see like outside logo creep).

    I don’t see myself buying anything from ’47. I can’t stand the faded look especialy when they do it to make a modern look expantion or relocated “classic” or “throwback”.I throw back anything that is trendy for the sake of being trendy. His use of the word lifestyle will bother me all day.

    Tulsa…..Hurricanes. That one is lost on me.

    Granted, I’ve never lived in the midwest/southwest/whateverthehell they call that region, but when I hear Tulsa, Oklahoma I do NOT think of raging tropical storms. Maybe going for a name that is purposely not a streoptypical name (like Tornadoes, DustBowlers, DirtDevils, etc.) is exactly what they were shooting for. ?????

    According to the Wikipedias, the school’s football coach from 1922-24 nicknamed them the Golden Tornadoes after the team switched to gold-and-black uniforms, and someone in practice noted that they had a propensity for ‘roaring through opponents.’ Evidently Georgia Tech had already claimed this nickname, so they substituted Hurricane for Tornadoes.

    Twins Enterprise was always my favorite cap company. I love the casual styling, the fit was great and the quality-control impeccable (this is how you do it, New Era).

    That’s carried over to ’47 Brand, although I too am wary of the branding. But we’ll see.

    Mr. Rodia, if you’re reading this, howsabout a link? No extra outlines to muck up the fantastic design – link is so very close but yet so far off.

    YUCK! That BG hat is horrific! Does it say “nkuB” or what???

    The G and the B need to be interlaced.

    I settled on Twins Enterprise (without even knowing it until just now) several years ago. First off, I prefer fitted hats over snap- or adjustable-backs. I remember I bought a New Era 59Fifty Cardinals cap and absolutely hated the way it looked on my head. I already had one Franchise hat, but swore to stick to that style from then on. But now I’m not so sure, if they really go through with the plan to add the branding. That’s one other thing I like about the Twins Enterprise caps versus New Era.

    Unless, of course, ’47 Brands starts paying me a small fee every time I wear their hat and advertise their brand. Kind of like NASCAR.

    Yes, it does. I bought one but can’t bring myself to wear it – it might end up in the Christmas pile.

    An interlocking logo is complicated enough, it doesn’t need fancy double outlines.

    Paul I thought you told us a few weeks ago that the Steelers throwbacks were to be worn against the Ravens (not surprisingly) and the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons. Now you’re telling us its the Ravens and the NFL’s OTHER Native American team?

    According to Art Rooney and the Steelers themselves, they will be worn for the Ravens and Redskins. The only thing a store clerk would know for certain about those unis are the price.

    According to the Steelers’ facebook page…..”President Art Rooney II said on Live today that we will wear our throwback uniforms for the home game vs Redskins, and home game vs. Ravens. (October 28, and November 18)

    I have a few ’47 Brand hats and they really are high quality and fit well, but I will not buy another hat from them if they start stitching 47 on the side.

    Like Bill, I happen to own a few ’47 brand hats and I absolutely love them. I have no problem with giving them my business every once in awhile, but that is only as long as they keep their branding on the inside of the hats.

    I absolutely love those 125th anniversary throwbacks for Celtic. However, I’m not spending that much money on a football kit.

    I have purchased ’47 Brand/Twins Enterprises hats EXCLUSIVELY for years because I favor their look and fit. I’ve even allowed myself to ignore the gratuitous team logos on the back. I haven’t seen one yet with the ’47 tag on the side, but if it isn’t something that is easy to remove, I won’t buy another one. Severely disappointed.

    Count me in as well with the crew that loves the moderated comments. Reading sites like this one with smart, moderated comments is a joy. Comments on free-for-all sites is a complete and utter waste of time.

    For the record: The comments are NOT moderated (except for a few problem children whose IP addresses have been flagged).

    I’ve just tried to establish certain rules and standards, in an attempt to cultivate and maintain a certain level of discussion. For the most part, you all do your parts in making that happen. So we all have each other to thank.

    Thanks for the correction. And thanks as well for setting an expected standard of behaviour that makes this an enjoyable site to visit.

    And some, whose IP addresses are flagged because of others, have completely harmless comments in moderation for hours… ;)

    This site is truly a rarity when it comes to forums in general. The signal to noise ratio is astoundingly positive for something that isn’t all that actively moderated.

    A tribute to all the folks that consider this a nice place to visit. Sort of leading by example type of thing. We (I remind you I have a sense of kinship to this group) each have an affinity to similar types of detail. And whether we agree, or agree to disagree, we can pretty much stay civil. Sports team message boards and the like have a hard time with that routine civility. Everyone’s Dad can beat up everyone else’s Dad mentality. Uni-watch…… I think I’ll keep her.

    Georgia Southern is using Marquette’s old logo in the shield of their new camo jerseys. Anyone know why?

    The Blackhawks have been selling garden gnomes in the store for quite a few years now. They don’t look like the ones on Creamer’s board, however. Maybe the NHL is working with a new supplier, so the gnomes are more prominently featured now?

    Also, I just finished reading Frank Deford’s book last month. He talks about the misspelling of his name throughout the book. Whenever he is putting himself down or relaying a story where he’s the rube, he spells his name DeFord. I’m a huge fan of his.

    Nice interview. I love those ’47 franchise fitted hats. I don’t wear hats often, but they are all I have to wear. The main reason I wear them besides fit, is the simplicity and lack of branding. There’s no way I would wear one with a brand logo.

    I noticed the Postseason hats worn by the Nats and Braves after clinching a playoff berth are made by ’47 Brand and do have the ’47 on the left side of the cap.

    Didn’t New Era make these hats previously? Are they no longer manufacturing those caps because of their new deal with the NFL?

    I purchased a San Francisco Giants NL Playoffs cap, which is also by ’47 brand. It’s a pretty comfortable cap

    I noticed that. I also noticed this season the 47 Brand caps have moved from the “Fashion” section to the “Replica” section for caps on the MLB online shop. The “Replica” section used to be exclusively New Era replicas. I feel like they are making a conscious effort to not only have the licenses to make the merchandise, but to make their relationship with the leagues more official.

    The ’47 Brand style of hats called “the franchise” are the most comfortable hats I’ve ever worn and the fact that they offer it in a XXL is perfect for me; a man who can’t wear many fitted hats with his big noggin.

    “Reader Daniel Carroll recently convinced me to sponsor his bowling team. As a result, his team’s score monitors periodically feature a Uni Watch logo, which I’m sure means nothing to anyone but Daniel and his teammates. And me. Happy pin-bashing, guys!”

    Uh-oh…this looks like “Uni Watch logo creep”…

    Since we’ve been discussing hats, I’d like to recommend the Blue Marlin brand. They make some fine vintage caps. They are a bit pricey, but I was lucky enough to score a New York Black Yankees cap at Nordstrom’s Rack for about half-price.

    The free catalog I received from Ebbets Field Flannels in the early 90s was one of the first major influences on this uni-geek, and recently I finally took the plunge and ordered a lovely link stars and stripes shield cap.

    I know this is probably nothing new to the site, but even knowing their reputation, I was blown away by the quality when the cap arrived. Green satin underbrim, felt shield, tight stitching on the eyelets. I own 50+ caps from various makers and this is by far the best constructed (the now defunct Cooperstown Ball Cap Co. included.) No I just need to condition the wool down to my perfect size and I’ll be all set.

    The one downside was that I had to wait over a month for them to make the cap – but they did contact me and tell me about the wait – so I can’t be too upset. I wish they were a little cheaper (or they ran more sales) because I want another ASAP.

    It took me years to finally take the plunge and splurge on an EFF cap. How much better could it be to justify all that extra money. It was nearly double what I am used to spending on a cap. But totally worth it.

    I love their caps. I was looking for a St. Louis Browns one on the web and couldn’t find one I liked. Decided to walk in to Lids on whim, forgot that I was searching for the hat and wham there it was in front of me. Bought the cap along with a Hartford Whalers one which is awesome as well.

    Objecting to 47 putting a little thing on a shirt or hat, seems silly.

    If I walk by and see someone else wearing one- how would I know who made it?

    From a business decision, a no-brainer.

    “If I walk by and see someone else wearing one- how would I know who made it?”


    aside from, i donno, possibly asking him?

    but why go to all that trouble when you could just have someone slap a giant logo on the side

    but Paul have you not read your own interview with him where he clearly states “It’s gonna be a little tab label.”???

    “I can’t think of another ethic group whose image has been appropriated by outsiders in similar numbers or fashion.”

    While not an ethnic group per se, the once(and still?)-derogatory nickname “Quakers” is used quite a number of schools/athletics programs…many of which are not at all affiliated with the Society of Friends.

    The Jaguars announced that black will be their primary home color for the rest of the season after this Sundays game.

    Just discovered a Facebook page dedicated to the re-branding of Pitt’s football uniforms.
    Very much in favor of going back to the script and royal blue and yellow.


    FTR The “Patriots” that fought for our freedom were “Rebels” in the same sense of the Confederates. They were rebelling against a government they didn’t agree with and, in fact, oft referred to themselves as rebels. Soooooo the Flying Elvis logo used as “rebels” is entirely accurate. And NOT the opposite of a Patriot in any way. A rebel is a rebel no matter if you support their cause or not. The Confederate States were doing nothing different than the folks like Washington, Jefferson and Paine.

    Hey Paul, the sports-licensed garden gnomes are nothing new. They’re made by Forever Collectibles and I own a few myself. They make several editions for just about every Big Four sport as well as D-1 NCAA schools. Full assortment here:


    When I read someone’s comment from yesterday? about “White or black pants tomorrow?”, I said to myself “What, do the Ravens have a game on Thursday?” I checked, and was like “Oh. They do.”

    I had no idea that they were talking about the *real* refs. Anyway, the Ravens are wearing black pants with the purple tops tonight. So are the good zebras.

    As a Jaguar fan, I’m disappointed in the news about moving to black full time. I LOVE the teal. Teal is OUR color. We’ve represented it so well since the inception of the team, especially in the first design. But what really bugs me is that the team has decided, for the past two years, that even teal is too hot for home games in the hot Jacksonville sun. So, they wear white on these hot games. So why even go black full time? That reasoning makes no sense to me. Leave the black as an alternate. The design of the team has gone downhill since Weaver announced the new ‘clean’ design. No more crawling Jaguar logo. Just the head. New uniforms that would actually be a good look for a new team, not a team that just dumped one of the best looking uniforms in the NFL. Hopefully the new design in 2013 will be better. I want my 90s/2000s Jaguars back (uniform and personelle)!!

    The suns are currently working on a new uni redesign that will be unveiled next year, the local newspapers website did an article on them wearing the 90’s black alternates this year and they acknowledged a new uni is in the works

    I still do not like the “new” unis for the referees in the NFL. I wish they would go back to the old zebra stripes.

Comments are closed.