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At Least One NBA Team Leaning Against Uni Ad Patch

There was a bit of excitement yesterday when people (including our own Mike Chamernik) noticed that Thunder beat reporter Erik Horne had been asked on Twitter if the team would be wearing an advertising patch this year and answered, “No.” That seemed to be the first confirmed case of a team in the “No ad patch” column, and several media outlets jumped on the news.

But as we all know, Twitter is a very imperfect medium for conveying information. I contacted Horne via email to learn more, and he qualified his position by saying (I’m paraphrasing here) that the team appears to be in the “No” column for now, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t change.

While this isn’t quite as good as a firm no, it’s enough to let us know that the worst-case scenario of all 30 NBA teams wearing uniform ads this season is not a done deal. At present, only nine teams — less than one-third of the league — have announced uniform ads (and one of them, the Jazz, has partnered with a charity initiative). If the Thunder are seriously considering going ad-free, some of those other teams are probably in the same position.

The widespread assumption has been that most or all of the teams would wear the ads, and that there’d be a flurry of ad-partnership announcements as we got closer to the start of the season. And hey, maybe that will still happen.

But maybe it won’t. Let’s say they get, oh, four more teams on board before the season tips off in October. That would make a total of 13 — less than half the league. How would that look? Not exactly a resounding success for the uni ad program.

That scenario would also provide, on a daily basis, a stark visual contrast between the ad-free teams and the ad-clad teams. And you can bet that fans will notice that the ad-free uniforms look a lot better. If all 30 teams wear the ads, fans will roll their eyes, shake their heads, and accept it as the sad new reality. But imagine if people routinely see game matchups like the Celtics with their big honking GE patch against the ad-free Thunder — suddenly the Thunder’s uniforms don’t look so bad. And maybe fans of the ad-free teams start saying, “Please stay ad-free — we don’t want to look like the Celtics.”

Granted, this is all conjecture. But I do think it’s plausible conjecture. At the very least, the news that the Thunder appear to be leaning against wearing an patch has provided a crack in the facade. It’s okay to dream a little. #NoUniAds

(My continued thanks to Tim E. O’Brien, who designed the excellent #NoUniAds logo.)

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Twilight of the Flywire: NFL teams aren’t the only ones transitioning to Nike’s uniform template with the embarrassing name but the vastly better-looking collar. Check out the upgrade taking place in Georgia (click to enlarge):

Sooooo much better. Here’s hoping the Nikelace, which is easily the worst thing to happen to football uniforms in the past decade or so, is on the way out.

(My thanks to Andrew Wagner and Ryan Scates for this one.)

•  •  •  •  •

Naming Wrongs reminder: In case you missed it earlier this week, we released a slew of new Naming Wrongs shirts (including the Commonwealth design shown at right, which has been our biggest seller this week). Get the full scoop here, or just go straight to the Naming Wrongs online shop.

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: Rangers OF Carlos Gomez inadvertently wore teammate Nomar Mazara’s jersey during pregame warmups on Tuesday (from Brinke). … Newly acquired J.D. Martinez will go FNOB, and by extension FIOB, with the Diamondbacks, even though he is the only Martinez on the team. He went FNOB with his previous team, the Tigers (from Ryan Finley). … The Yankees acquired Todd Frazier and David Robertson from the White Sox on Tuesday. Frazier will wear No. 29 instead of his usual 21, because that number is out of circulation in honor of Paul O’Neill. Robertson, a former Yankee, will wear his standard No. 30, and rookie left fielder Clint Frazier will switch to No. 77. Neil Vendetti notes that the Yankees will have No. 77 in left and, with Aaron Judge, No. 99 in right. “Coincidence that 7 is the LF designation and 9 is for RF when scoring a game? Probably,” he says. … The Nationals sold the naming rights to their left field parking garage (from William Yurasko). … Nats manager Dusty Baker is still wearing a cap without a New Era logo (from David Smolowitz). … The Astros will give away classic Jeff Bagwell jerseys on Aug. 4 (from Denis Costello). … With Mike Leake, who wears No. 8, on the mound for the Cardinals last night, Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said “The whole pitcher wearing the single-digit number thing ”” it’s not right!” (From Paul.) … @GridironLabs designed a creative Astros cap for a Hollywood-based men’s league team. … As he does every summer, Jesse Gavin offered his observations from the Iowa state high school softball tournament. Softball unis are starting to better resemble baseball jerseys, as schools are shifting away from shorts and toward long pants. Often times, players wear different hats that don’t match their teammates. One pitcher sported a seriously off-center belt buckle, and a first baseman wore a white mitt. Lastly, a few teams wore gradient helmets. … Time magazine published a graphic that showed the wrong helmet logo for the Yankees. The one they used is the jersey logo, not the helmet logo. … Mets OF Yoenis Céspedes dyed his hair blue prior to last night’s game against the Cardinals. … Speaking of the Mets, they’re giving away a bobblehead this Saturday that includes a strikingly phallic element.

Football News: An unscientific Facebook poll found that Cleveland fans are fonder of Brownie the Elf than they are of other Browns logos (from Alex). … Four schools that share a nickname ”” Clemson, Auburn, LSU, and Missouri ”” will team up in an effort to save wild tiger populations across the world. … Ravens fans poked fun at a odd-looking logo that appeared on a cake. … New uniforms for Rutgers. The back of the jersey will have a little New Jersey state icon above the nameplate.

Hockey News: Here’s a quick look at the new unis for the Avalanche (from John Muir). … On a related note, the Avs have worn white sleeve numbers on every one of their 14 different jerseys throughout their history (from Justin Cox). … Check out these delightful Tulsa Oilers program covers from the 1970s and ’80s (from @UtahDust).

Basketball News: The Kings released a few more details about their new uniforms on their app. The way the back of the jersey cuts off the armholes is an odd touch (from Conrad Burry). … Also from Conrad: Those app shots and a trademark filing indicate that NBA has changed the champions tag on the back of the jerseys. Apparently, the number of team titles will be placed inside of the ball. The old tag looked like this. … A few disgruntled Bulls fans raised money to pay for a billboard in Chicago’s West Loop that calls for the dismissal of general manager Gar Forman and executive VP John Paxson. … A blog crunched some numbers to determine the top 25 hipster NBA jerseys (from Phil). … Honus Wagner, the baseball hall of famer who starred in the early 1900s, was an early pioneer of basketball. He and his team wore uniforms with his alternative nickname, “Hans” Wagner (from Yancy Yeater).

Soccer News: This slideshow, in German, shows the 18 new kits across Bundesliga for the upcoming season (from Anthony Zydzik). … New unis for Pumas UNAM, a club in Mexico City (from Ed Å»elaski). … Since the sun was setting directly in his face during yesterday’s game, Houston Dynamo goalie Tyler Deric wore a hat (from @NKroegs).

Grab Bag: Pro Stock driver Erica Enders-Stevens wears a pair of socks with a helpful tip on them (from David Firestone). … Some women golfers brushed off the negative reaction to the LPGA’s strict new dress code that prohibits such things as plunging necklines, racerbacks, and short skirts (from Ken Traisman). … Uncertain what year this was from, but North Carolina’s swim team once wore terrific warm-up tops. The team was once known as the Blue Dolphins (from James Gilbert). … Pascagoula, Miss., is searching for a new city logo. … Virginia Tech is letting fans vote on this season’s wrestling singlet design (from @Jerseyhokie29).

67 comments to At Least One NBA Team Leaning Against Uni Ad Patch

  • Christian Berumen | July 20, 2017 at 8:20 am |

    Now isn’t it only adiddas that puts the state outline on the back neck area or do the other suppliers do it too and second Rutgers looked better in the Nike jerseys then what the adiddas jerseys look like

  • BurghFan | July 20, 2017 at 8:34 am |

    Proofreading:

    “wearing the single-digit numbe thing”
    “brushed off the negative reaction the LPGA’s strict new dress code”

    Nice to know all hope’s not lost in the NBA uni-ad battle.

  • Clean Sheet Co. | July 20, 2017 at 8:38 am |

    That Astros cap concept is really fantastic.

    • Jon Rose | July 20, 2017 at 9:14 am |

      It really is. I’d like a bit more orange, maybe a bill and/or Squatchee. Then it’d be perfect.

    • walter | July 20, 2017 at 10:01 am |

      My god. That’s gorgeous.

    • R.S. Rogers | July 20, 2017 at 1:47 pm |

      For the Astros, I’d reverse the colors of the logo. For a team presumably called the Hollywood Stars, I’d change both the orange and the navy to other colors. Metallic gold and maybe black, for example. But a beautiful design either way.

  • Daniel J Barrera | July 20, 2017 at 8:43 am |

    Very nice to see “Rutgers” returning back to the front of the jersey. Last years jersey was terribly bland.

  • Omar Jalife | July 20, 2017 at 8:44 am |

    The Pumas jersey pays homage to the football team whose 90th anniversary is this year. That’s why you see the odd stripes on the arms

  • Hank-SJ | July 20, 2017 at 9:11 am |

    Naming rights for parking garages? But in the playoffs the name will magically disappear. Gotta love 21st Century pro sports.

    • Omar Jalife | July 20, 2017 at 9:21 am |

      I still park at Eeyore’s when I go to Disneyland

    • Todd | July 20, 2017 at 9:59 am |

      I didn’t think I could hate Nats Park anymore than I already do…

      Just in time for the 2018 All Star Game…

      • 716 Scott | July 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm |

        If things hold, back to back MLB All-Star Games will be hosted in ballparks without corporate names.

        • duker | July 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm |

          It should have been 3 years, but MLB snubbed Oriole Park at Camden Yards in favor of Petco because of the O’s/Nats/MASN litigation.

  • Wade Heidt | July 20, 2017 at 9:16 am |

    Sure, Brownie the Elf is cute.

    But I like the “B” inside the football logo for the Cleveland Browns. I would be happy seeing this as their official primary logo rather than just using the image of the helmet. I think it would work well.

    Of course, the logo would and should not appear on their uniforms.

    • walter | July 20, 2017 at 10:08 am |

      Brownie is a good choice, but the closest he should get to the field is on an authorized sideline jacket. The “B” in the football would look okay beneath the jersey collar or on the sleeves.

    • Dumb Guy | July 20, 2017 at 10:34 am |

      Maybe Brownie could be reworked.

      You know,… pointy parts all over, bared teeth, sleeveless, crushing the ball, ….

      That kind of thing. It would be original.

      • walter | July 20, 2017 at 11:09 am |

        …aaand the genie is out of the bottle.

  • Chris | July 20, 2017 at 9:23 am |

    “Frazier admitted he hoped to speak to O’Neill before the Yankees return home to see if he can trade in the 29 he was given for the 21 he covets. Stay tuned.”

    http://nypost.com/2017/07/19/the-yankees-have-their-saviors-but-do-they-have-a-winner/

  • Corey | July 20, 2017 at 9:45 am |

    It seems odd that the hipster list would include a David West Hornets jersey when he was a 2 time All Star there.

  • Texas Bacon | July 20, 2017 at 9:55 am |

    Adidas is the worst thing to happen to football uniforms in the past decade IMO. They all look cheap and screen printed and they always put the Adidas logo smack dab in the center of the jersey and it’s a terrible eyesore. While the new Nike template is way better, flywire looked cool on some jerseys and I’d argue it still looked better than the garbled “NFL Equipment” Reebok collar.

    • Brooksy | July 20, 2017 at 11:01 am |

      Agreed. Give me the flywire collar over adidas tire tread jerseys 100% of the time.

  • Randy | July 20, 2017 at 10:04 am |

    What’s stopping Addias or Under Armor or any other Nike competitor from buying an ad patch on a jersey? (if allowed) that would be funny since the add patch is larger than the Swoosh.

    Seriously, aren’t some teams struggling to find buyers for that space? Maybe the smaller market teams? Just curious.

    • Paul Lukas | July 20, 2017 at 10:07 am |

      What’s stopping Addias or Under Armor or any other Nike competitor from buying an ad patch on a jersey?

      For starters, teams are not permitted to sell space to direct competitors of league partners.

      But even if it were permitted, why would a team sell ad space to a competitor of its uniform outfitter? Makes no sense. Business doesn’t work like that.

      So when you ask “what’s stopping” it from happening, the answer is twofold: 1) The rules. 2) Common sense.

      • Randy | July 20, 2017 at 10:15 am |

        Paul, I was only being silly. The real question was #2. Are there teams struggling to sell that ad space?

        • Paul Lukas | July 20, 2017 at 10:28 am |

          Are there teams struggling to sell that ad space?

          We don’t know the current status of teams’ negotiations with potential advertisers. There was talk over the winter that some teams were having trouble getting a good price. But that was, you know, over the winter. No idea how things are shaping up now.

          Let’s not pretend that we know much about this — it’s all uncharted territory, literally never been done before, and people who act like they know what they’re talking about usually end up looking foolish. Case in point: On Twitter this morning, someone said, “It’s hard for some teams, because advertisers only want to be shown on the jerseys of teams that have lots of national TV exposure.” Uh, right, that’s why the teams that have announced uni ads so far include national TV powerhouses like the Nets, Timberwolves, 76ers, and Kings.

          Let’s see how it plays out.

      • Randy | July 20, 2017 at 10:17 am |

        But even if it were permitted, why would a team sell ad space to a competitor of its uniform outfitter? Makes no sense. Business doesn’t work like that…

        You kind of make it sound like each NBA team has a choice as to who outfits their uniforms. Do they?

        • Paul Lukas | July 20, 2017 at 10:24 am |

          You kind of make it sound like each NBA team has a choice as to who outfits their uniforms. Do they?

          I didn’t make it sound like that at all. The league has a contract with Nike. So selling ad space to Adidas or Under Armour, as you proposed, would put a team in a conflict with its own uniform outfitter. Which makes no sense. Which is one reason it won’t happen.

          This is tiresome. Can we please move on? Thanks.

    • Todd | July 20, 2017 at 1:04 pm |

      I thought it was a clever thought, Randy

      • Randy | July 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm |

        I didn’t realize how “touchy” this whole thing was. I’m an avid reader of Uni-Watch but admit I don’t visit “everyday” as I can’t. But I enjoy the site and never intended to anger Paul. I’m kinda at a loss for words.

        • Paul Lukas | July 20, 2017 at 2:24 pm |

          Sorry for my tone, Randy. But this same question (“Hey, what if Under Armour took out a jersey ad??”) has been asked countless times since the NBA’s uni ad program was announced. I don’t expect you (or anyone else) to know that the NBA has a rule against it — it’s my job to know that, not yours. But I do expect people to be able to employ a modicum of common sense, and there’s simply no common-sense way that an Under Armour ad will be appearing on a Nike-outfitted team’s uniform. I mean, think about it: Does it make sense? No, it doesn’t.

          My goal for the comments section is always to maintain and encourage a high level of discussion. So yeah, I sometimes cut things off when someone heads down a road that isn’t going to be produce anything meaningful. And yeah, I sometimes get frustrated when the people head down that same road over and over. Sorry.

          I should probably just create a FAQ page for this one, as I have for some other recurring topics.

        • Matt | July 20, 2017 at 7:39 pm |

          Could another NBA team buy the ad space? Like could the Celtics buy the ads on the Lakers jerseys?

          I’m kidding.

      • Todd | July 20, 2017 at 2:14 pm |

        that said, the #NoUniAds NBA logo that gets used here has the Adidas logo on it. That should probably get changed to a swoosh.

        • Paul Lukas | July 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm |

          If you look again, Todd, you’ll find that the Nike logo is also included in the design.

        • Rob S | July 20, 2017 at 3:57 pm |

          *looks closely at the companies in the image*

          Well, that Pepsi logo is about 9 years out of date, and… Blockbuster? Do they even still exist?

          XD

        • Todd | July 21, 2017 at 7:10 am |

          Just saw the Nike one this morning when I looked at it.

  • walter | July 20, 2017 at 10:13 am |

    I’m of the mind Frazier and Judge’s numbers are out of tribute to Mantle and Maris (or perhaps Nettles) but to each his own.

    • Mike Engle on iPhone | July 20, 2017 at 10:42 am |

      Pretty sure the Yankees just gave Judge (a large man) a large number and he’s rolling with it. As for Clint Frazier, he infamously put his foot in his mouth asking for his high school number (no kid, you’re not Mickey Mantle), so I’d bet it’s more for himself than for the Mick, but hey it works out.

  • Randy | July 20, 2017 at 10:14 am |

    Cleveland missed a golden opportunity when the first Browns moved to Baltimore… they should have let the history and those awful uniforms go (and die) with the Ravens. It was the perfect “out” and they didn’t take it for the sake of “tradition”… They could have started from scratch with better colors, a better logo that’s actually slapped on the side of a helmet like a real professional team and of course, a better moniker. Really, in 50 years no one will care but the “Browns” will still be saddled with their awful stuff. Trust me, no one pines over the loss of the St. Louis Browns gear. << It wasn't like they were going to lose the Colts horseshoe.

    • Warren Thompson | July 20, 2017 at 11:31 am |

      Not so fast, Randy, with your lack of baseball historical awareness. There is, after all, the St. Louis Browns Historical Society and Fan Club (you can look them up)… and I suspect they lament the lack of St. Louis Browns gear.

      • Randy | July 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm |

        My dad was born in East St. Louis in 1937 and grew up a Browns fan. Yes, I’m not an expert but I’m familiar with their gear as I bought some for my father a few years back for his birthday. Brown and orange cap and a t-shirt with the knight on a horse and shield logo. Also a brown shirt… ugly stuff.

        • Warren Thompson | July 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm |

          OK. Good for you buying Browns gear for your dad.[Full disclosure: I still have a soft spot for the Browns because they were the parent team for the San Antonio Missions of the old Texas League. San Antonio is my native city, and I saw a good many Missions games back in the Dark Ages. :)]

      • Jon Rose | July 20, 2017 at 2:15 pm |

        Baltimore loves to steal teams named Browns!

        • Rob S | July 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm |

          … Mother of God… I never put that together before!

        • walter | July 20, 2017 at 9:51 pm |

          Plus, once the teams settled into their new homes, they enjoyed a measure of success unrealized in St. Louis and Cleveland.

  • rick | July 20, 2017 at 10:34 am |

    The off center belt buckle is a style now. Hell, I didn’t know I was stylish 20 years ago.

    • rick | July 20, 2017 at 10:41 am |

      ….and the fly undone completed the look. Sheeesh!

  • Thomas S. | July 20, 2017 at 10:39 am |

    Cleveland should honor its Dawg Pound fans by putting a St. Beer on the helmet. No, on second thought, make it a bird dog — a bird dog clutching a dead raven.

    • Thomas S. | July 20, 2017 at 10:40 am |

      St. Bernard, obviously. Oh, how I despise Spell Check!

      • Neeko | July 20, 2017 at 11:21 am |

        St. Beer sounds pretty cool though- whatever that may be

  • Matt | July 20, 2017 at 11:16 am |

    The North Carolina Blue Dolphins photo is from 1949:

    https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/68017420/

  • Rydell | July 20, 2017 at 11:54 am |

    The picture of the Avs new Adidas jersey doesn’t look that different to me. I know there were a few minor changes but some of the comments in that link were making it sound like it was a complete overhaul.

    • ScottyDanger | July 20, 2017 at 12:38 pm |

      The new jersey probably looks familiar because it harkens back to the original jerseys that the team wore for its Stanley Cups. After Adidas took over the uniforms, the Avs were one of the teams that stuck to the template that was introduced for those uniforms, complete with apron strings and nonsensical striping. (see: http://cdn2-www.hockeysfuture.com/assets/uploads/2014/03/nathan_mackinnon_colorado_022614.jpg)

      The new jerseys are very similar to the original Avs jerseys, but with a sleeker number font and some changes to the number outlines and simpler trim.

    • Drew | July 20, 2017 at 12:41 pm |

      They restored their unique waist striping, and ditched the ridiculous Bettman stripe piping and side panels. It wasn’t a complete overhall, but it was such a DRAMATIC improvement that it might as well have been.

  • Taylor | July 20, 2017 at 12:52 pm |

    Hi, I’ve posted in the past but have been away for a few years. I’m back and returning to hopefully more regularly being here. I posted this yesterday so apologies for any repetition for those who saw it, this will be my last time with this

    I was wondering if anyone had any solid, go-to articles, tutorials, or youtube videos on designing uniforms. I’ve worked in Illustrator and done basic ones before but I’m looking for some more realistic ones, in Photoshop. I found a great photoshop template, but it costed 70 bucks, and I’m all about free or way cheaper. Any help is appreciated. I appreciate the time! Thanks!

  • Pedro N. | July 20, 2017 at 12:55 pm |

    As uniwatch vet I’m kind of embarrassed that I don’t know this…what was the supposed purpose of the Nikelace?

    • Rob S | July 20, 2017 at 4:07 pm |

      The flywire technology, as far as I understand it, is supposed to keep the collar “locked down” and stop it from shifting against the shoulder pads when you move, or something like that.

      • Paul Lukas | July 20, 2017 at 4:10 pm |

        As *I* understand it, it was supposed to provide a visual branding cue to make it clear that you were looking at a Nike product.

        ;)

        • Rob S | July 20, 2017 at 4:17 pm |

          Believe me, I’ve ranted about that here in the past. I’ve always felt that they could’ve found a way to incorporate that flywire element in a less obtrusive manner, but as I’ve said before, the visual design they went with was a “look-at-me” element.

          :D

  • Dan | July 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm |

    Poor Rutgers has joined the ranks of the Adidas group and their hideous uniform designs and apparel.

  • RickAZ | July 20, 2017 at 1:47 pm |

    I’m usually in the traditional camp, but it seems silly to get worked up about a pitcher having a single digit number. Interesting though to read your article about why. Didn’t know that players numbers reflected their place in the batting order.

  • Marcus | July 20, 2017 at 3:45 pm |

    The Avalanche’s new home jersey looks good on the ice. I love the changes! I don’t even mind blue being removed from the back numbers.

  • Kris | July 20, 2017 at 4:51 pm |

    Another weird aspect of those new Kings uniforms is the cut-out on the side of the shorts. Usually, they are dead center on the side. The Kings’ cut-out isn’t. It’s more towards the front of the shorts. This just doesn’t look right. Why not move the logo up the side of the shorts a bit and put it where it belongs?

  • Wade Heidt | July 20, 2017 at 7:11 pm |

    I still call this other stadium Commonwealth too, though technically it still is. Just during Eskimos games it is known as The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.

    http://edmontonjournal.com/sports/football/cfl/edmonton-eskimos/brick-field-at-commonwealth-stadium

  • Dan Tarrant | July 20, 2017 at 11:02 pm |

    Maybe Paul is onto something here, and that the best way to defeat the encroachment of ads on uniforms is a hive-minded shaming effort via social media.

    For example, People Who Get It should simply make it a point to mock, criticize, and otherwise shame teams who sport the patch, while also giving props to the franchises that don’t. Eventually, even non Uni-Watchers might catch on to the intrusiveness and join in with criticism, and at some point perhaps at least some teams, and some advertisers, will find that the venture is not good for business after all.

    For example, we could all start referring to the Celtics as the Boston General Electrics, irritating Celtics fans and pushing them to pressure the team to change?

    • Chris L | July 21, 2017 at 11:21 am |

      I like this. At least until the NBA goes all MLS on us and they actually do just become the Boston General Electric.

  • dustin short | July 21, 2017 at 1:32 pm |

    im sorry but that “HOOPSTER” article was severely asinine . these types of pieces always scream to me that the authors are on the outside looking in. i don’t like it when people get cynical and criticize something they don’t understand or that annoys them because they misread the context in which these things exist.

    im 36. i got my first champion replica jersey (white suns #34 charles barkely) in the summer of 1993 between my 6th and 7th grade years. i have been wearing champion replica jerseys since then

    i would argue that the most “hipster” thing about that hoopster article would be the pretentiousness of the authors. they’ve inflated themselves to the point where they think they have clout or clairvoyance over all who they mock.