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Bucks Unveil First-Ever Throwback Uniform with an Ad Patch

[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site (although he’s still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally), and Phil is off this week. Today’s content was written and coordinated by assistant editor Alex Hider. Paul will return to take over the site this Friday, Sept. 1.]

By Alex Hider

At this point, we’ve seen how Nike will treat just about every NBA team’s “Association” and “Icon” white and colored jerseys. But on Tuesday, the Milwaukee Bucks gave us a glimpse into how throwbacks will be handled during the Nike era.

The uniforms will make their on-court debut on Oct. 26, when the Bucks take on the Celtics in the old MECCA Arena. According to Mike Chamernik, the Bucks will be the first team to reopen a former home arena for a regular season game since the Lakers and Sixers both did it in 2009.

Nike has been referring to throwback uniforms as “Classics.” That seems appropriate for this uniform, because while the set has the feel of the early ’70s Bucks, it’s not an exact throwback.

For one, Nike did a good job matching the font from the Bucks 1969-1973 set, but they chose to use green lettering and numbers instead of reda choice that, while not accurate, still plays into the vibe of the early ’70s. CORRECTION: As many point out in the comments, the Bucks wore this set with green numbers and letters from 1968-71. Apologies.

The Bucks’ “Classic” also imparts all the Nike-isms we’ve seen in the recent wave of reveals: Shoulder piping that doesn’t extend to the back shoulder, angled striping that follows a side-knee slit in the shorts, a logo (in this case, a slogan) on the waistband.

The elements WOULD come together to make a clean, simple, handsome uniform — if not for that big honking Harley ad.

And there it is. The first throwback jersey in a “Big 4” American pro sports league with an ad on it.

It’s disappointing to see Nike and the NBA set this precedent, especially since some European soccer clubs like Everton and Sevilla drop uni ads when wearing throwbacks.

Some on Twitter said the Bucks should have used a throwback Harley logo on the jersey. While I think that’s a great compromise for other throwback jerseys, the current Harley logo is actually period-appropriate for this era. Perhaps they could have treated the ad like they did the NBA logo on the back collar of the jersey: Replacing white with cream and using muted versions of the traditional logo colors.

All in all: It’s as good as you’re going to get for a Harley-Davidson ad.

• • • • •

Weird sight in St. Pete last night, as the Astros opened their “homestand” against the Rangers at Tropicana Field. The Astros, who of course have been displaced by the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, never returned home from a weekend road trip to Los Angeles and didn’t have their home jerseys on hand.

The ‘Stros took the field wearing blue softball tops (only available because they wear them for batting practice), road caps and gray pants. The Rangers — the visiting team — wore white jerseys and pants.

According to reader Mark Coale, MLB’s stat tracker played along, setting the backdrop of the game at the Trop and including a Red Cross ad on an outfield sign.

Thanks to Chris Mycoskie, Nick Phillips and Brian Ogden for your tweets. 

• • • • •

And now a few notes from Paul: Hi there. A few quick reminders and updates:

• In case you missed it yesterday, I’m currently in the market for a new Ticker intern. Full details here.

• Also from yesterday, there’s a new batch of Naming Wrongs shirts. Check them out here.

• Some of you have been asking about my annual NFL season preview column. I’m putting the finishing touches on it as we speak, and it should run on ESPN.com next Tuesday, Sept. 5.

• People have also been asking about the Titans-redesign contest results. Due to a variety of factors, that’s been pushed back a bit. I should have the results either next week or, at the latest, the week after. Sorry for the delay, and thanks for your patience.

• Some of you have been getting a “Security Warning” notice when accessing the site this week. The short version is that we migrated the site to a new server. You should be able to eliminate the problem by clearing your browser’s cache. (There’s also a long version, which involves a bunch of tech jargon that I don’t understand, but the bottom line is that the site is fine and is not a security risk.)

Okay, handing things back to Alex now.

• • • • •
The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball News: Columbus Blue Jackets D Zach Werenski threw out the first pitch at the Reds game yesterday and traded jerseys with Eugenio Saurez (from Tyler Johnson). … The Trois-Rivières Aigles and the Ottawa Champions of the Can-Am League wore CFL-inspired unis on Monday. The Aigles wore Montreal Alouettes colors, while the Champions wore Ottawa Redblacks colors.

NFL News: Lots of uni quirks on SI’s latest cover: Tom Brady is featured wearing an old jersey with the team’s script wordmark (scrapped following the 2014 season), and the Vikings’ Harrison Smith is featured wearing an old jersey in two versions of the cover (from Colin McDonough, Rip Van Whiskey and Braden Claassen). … Good catch by J.K. who noticed Dak Prescott wearing the wrong silver pants with his white jersey in a Tostitos ad. … This post takes a look at the Topps football cards for the 1980 Cleveland Browns. Sounds like if you need any dry wall work done at your house, you should call Brian Sipe (from Jason Hillyer). … Cruz Pedregon, an NHRA Funny Car driver, has a new racing helmet based on the Oakland Raiders’ helmet (from David Firestone). … Rob was recently cleaning out his attic when he found an old pack of NFL roster packet cards, given to him by the father of a grade school friend in the ’70s. The cards also included the team’s schedule for the 1976 season.

College Football NewsCal unveiled an alternate gold jersey yesterday (from John Lemein). …Western Carolina will wear Hawaiian-shirt themed unis when they travel to take on Hawai’i (from Aaron Wigg). … Rumor has it that Oregon will be wearing traditional green this weekend (from Fidget Spinster). … FedEx field will be painted with at least one orange end zone on Saturday when Virginia Tech takes on West Virginia (from Andrew Cosentino). … New helmets for Furman (from Brittany Hildreth‏). … Florida is installing 3D lettering for the iconic “This is…THE SWAMP” sign on the wing walls of their stadium (from Brock Brames). … Speaking of Florida, looks like they’ve added 3D lettering on the neck bumper at the last second (also from Brock Brames). … Arkansas will honor former head coach Frank Broyles this Thursday by wearing special Razorback decals that include his initials. Broyles died earlier this month (from Eric Cash). … Syracuse will wear a memorial patch for former coach Dick MacPherson this season (from Richard Gramzow). … Duquesne will wear a memorial decal for former Steelers owner Dan Rooney, an alumnus of the school (from Alan Saunders). … Youngstown State will wear a memorial decal for longtime fan and booster Frank Watson this season (from Josh Medore). … Georgia Tech and Adidas are already working on selecting a consistent shade of gold for use across all athletic teams (from Rex Henry). … Arizona State will dedicate a statue to Pat Tillman today (from ASU Uniformity).

Hockey NewsThe home of the Maple Leafs is going from one corporate name to another. According to Tom G., The occasion was marked with some AANOB — Arena Advertiser Name on Back. … New number assignments for the Predators. This season will mark the first time in team history that a players have worn Nos. 89 and 91. … ICYMI from the baseball section: Blue Jackets D Zach Werenski threw out the first pitch at the Cinicnnati Reds game yesterday and traded jerseys with Reds 3B Eugenio Saurez (from Tyler Johnson). … Cambria County War Memorial Arena, a hockey rink in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, will now be called 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial (from Steve). … Found at a thrift store: A 1990 program for a series of old-timer games between USSR and Canada, which features the Soviets in these wild unis (from Chris Mizzoni). … New unis for the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League (from Wade Heidt).

NBA News: ICYMI from the hockey section: The home of the Raptors is going from one corporate name to another. … This season, Thunder fans taunted Kevin Durant by chanting “Cupcake.” Now, he’s trolling back by naming the new colorway of his signature shoe “Red Velvet.” (From Mike). … Speaking of Durant, while on Bill Simmons’ podcast recently, he said that “nobody wants to play in Under Armours” and suggested that, as a DC native, he feels that the University of Maryland is struggling to attract prospects because of the school’s contract with the company (from Brinke). …David M. Clements was in Italy recently and spotted someone wearing an “Ibiza” basketball jersey that looked an awful lot like Shaq’s Heat jersey.

College Hoops NewsNew unis for Bradley. For reference, this is what they wore last year (from Joe Ringham). … Thorbjarnarson makes for one hell of a NOB. Thorir Thorbjarnarson will be a freshman at Nebraska this season.

Grab BagNew unis for Mainz 05, a German soccer club in the Bundesliga (from Aboutamoo‏). … An effort to revive Akron’s Rubber Bowl as a music venue is dead (from Jim Vilk). … Here’s what the Ole Miss cross country team will be wearing this year (from Gregg Elkin). … Someone at this Target in Las Vegas as some Rebel spirit (from Milk Skarda). … YouTube has gotten a bit of a facelift (from Brinke).

43 comments to Bucks Unveil First-Ever Throwback Uniform with an Ad Patch

  • Oakville Endive | August 30, 2017 at 7:48 am |

    It’s a great SI cover, quite clever, and captures the overall sentiment right now in regard to New England’s and Tom Brady’s dominance.

  • BurghFan | August 30, 2017 at 7:51 am |

    Proofreading:
    “in recent wave of reveals”
    “Some on Twitter have campaigned the Bucks”
    “While think that’s a great compromise”
    “like the did the NBA logo”

  • ScottyM | August 30, 2017 at 8:20 am |

    With all due respect, there are no “muted colors” when altering a company’s logo. That would be a brand violation to change Harley’s pms color of orange for something ‘muted’. Perhaps their black/white version would’ve been the best option. But you don’t go changing a logo to suit your color breeds.

    • ScottyM | August 30, 2017 at 8:25 am |

      …suit your “needs.”

    • Mike Engle on iPhone | August 30, 2017 at 11:39 am |

      On a transactional basis, so yes Harley could have said “our logo is black and orange, full stop.” But out of curiosity, isn’t GE normally a blue logo? Unless its logo is just the script and it has no color on its own…because it’s compatible with Celtics green and white.

      • Special K | August 30, 2017 at 1:21 pm |

        Yeah, presumably GE gave the Celtics permission to use a green version of the logo. I don’t know whether the Bucks asked Harley-Davidson if they could use a differently colored version of their logo, but I doubt it. If they had asked, it also is quite possible Harley would say “no.”

  • Jay | August 30, 2017 at 8:37 am |

    The Bucks had green letters and numbers, trimmed in red in the 1968 to 1970 seasons. They switched to red letters and numbers, trimmed in green in 1971. The throwback reflects their first uniforms. Font is close, but not 100% accurate.

    http://www.nba.com/bucks/gallery/milwaukee-bucks-home-road-jersey-history/

  • Rich | August 30, 2017 at 8:45 am |

    “Good catch by J.K. who noticed Dak Prescott wearing the wrong silver pants with his white jersey in a Tostitos ad. ”

    Big improvement. The Cowboys’ silver green pants are awful.

  • Wade Heidt | August 30, 2017 at 9:22 am |

    Bucks throwback uniform looks great. I would love to see them change it up for a throwback in the future. How about the double green 1980s uniforms? My favourite Bucks uniform and colour scheme. I would be a fan of them returning to this colour scheme full time:

    https://farm1.staticflickr.com/495/18293651539_108308442a_b.jpg

    • Winter | August 30, 2017 at 9:31 am |

      That’s also my favorite.

  • Dumb Guy | August 30, 2017 at 9:23 am |

    Apparently SI thinks he ain’t the *only* one that is indomitable.

    https://www.si.com/nfl/photo/2017/08/29/sports-illustrated-nfl-preview-2017-covers

  • Dumb Guy | August 30, 2017 at 9:26 am |

    SI covers…..

    All are kneeling. All have same blurry background.

  • Woody Post | August 30, 2017 at 9:39 am |

    I contend that Nike did not do a good job with the typography on the Bucks throwback. The letterforms on the new set are within the same area code as the original, but that’s about as close as they get. Of particular concern is the shape of the “C” and the horizontal scaling of the individual letters. It’s a shame; this one wasn’t that difficult to get right.

    Here’s a good shot of the original:

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c5/3b/4e/c53b4eeb10dba9fab86b57ded17eff26–pro-basketball-basketball-players.jpg

  • Mainspark | August 30, 2017 at 9:46 am |

    No link to the Brian Sipe mention in the Ticker.

  • Nick Jones | August 30, 2017 at 10:04 am |

    This is a minor gripe, but is anyone else not able to load the mobile version of the site?

    • walter | August 30, 2017 at 10:36 am |

      It seems a continuation of yesterday’s miseries with the site. Firefox is still M.I.A., even after cleaning the cache. Luckily, I have more than one Internet provider at work. At home, however, I’m shut out.

      • Special K | August 30, 2017 at 1:25 pm |

        Yeah, I still don’t get the mobile version of the site on my phone.

        Regarding clearing the cache, I was still having trouble so I emailed Paul, who had John Ekdahl respond. It turned out that the problem was I was going to http://www.uni-watch.com, when I needed to just go to uni-watch.com without the www. Another cache cleaning, and it worked fine after that.

        • walter | August 30, 2017 at 9:56 pm |

          That did the trick. Thanks!

  • Marcus | August 30, 2017 at 10:26 am |

    I wonder how the Toronto arena’s future name, Scotiabank Arena, will affect the NBA’s Raptors, who are aligned with BMO, one of Scotiabank’s competitors. BMO has its marks all over Raptors events.
    https://history.bmo.com/toronto-raptors/

    • mike 2 | August 30, 2017 at 11:23 am |

      I assume the answer is “not at all” because the same company owns the Raptors, the Leafs and the arena. The Raptors are an owner, not a tenant of the Leafs, so they must have considered this.

      • Marcus | August 30, 2017 at 11:48 am |

        I wasn’t sure because some companies feel some type of way when they see competitors’ signage where their own signage is. Since MLSE signed a 20-year deal, I hope that the company did whatever it could to prevent any awkward situations since 2 different banks will have signage in there when the Raptors play.

  • Kurt | August 30, 2017 at 10:37 am |

    So do Astros get some new road and alternate uniforms made up, or do they continue to wear BP tops – or even worse, break out Players Weekend jerseys.

  • Scott Criscuolo | August 30, 2017 at 11:06 am |

    I think Naming Wrongs” needs a “I’ll call it Maple Leaf Gardens”, or “I miss Maple Leaf Gardens”, or whichever terminology applies.

  • Lom Tandry | August 30, 2017 at 12:51 pm |

    RE: Dak Prescott picture. Those are NOT the blue jersey pants. Those are the “green” home pants edited to look more silver. They still have royal blue trim and are metallic, while the road blue pants have navy trim and are matte.

    In most all Cowboys marketing involving the home white uniform the pants are edited/adjusted to look almost entirely silver. It really begs the question of why the team doesn’t just “fix” the current pants and make them 90% silver and 10% blue instead of 40% silver, 30% blue, and 30% green that they currently are.

    • Lom Tandry | August 30, 2017 at 12:53 pm |

      There is clearly a filter on that picture as the jersey numbers even look navy instead of the royal blue that they are.

  • Oakville Endive | August 30, 2017 at 1:02 pm |
    • walter | August 30, 2017 at 10:07 pm |

      Good article; a reminder of how even the most competent research can yield an undesirable result. The Edsel was brought out based upon the most exhaustive study money could buy.

  • Rydell | August 30, 2017 at 1:06 pm |

    Anybody know how to get this site back to mobile viewing on a iPhone 6? It originally was and now it has switched to a large screen making the letters tiny with all the ads on the sides

    • Brent | August 30, 2017 at 2:16 pm |

      I thought I did something wrong. My phone offers me the option to make it “mobile friendly” but it doesn’t change anything. I hate it.Hoping they change it back. I read uniwatch on my phone during the week.

  • Josh B | August 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm |

    Those new Saskatoon sweaters are beauts. Plus, they’re a good enough excuse to post this:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6oFIA8rvOD0

    • Wade Heidt | August 30, 2017 at 3:10 pm |

      They are great. Back to the future for the Blades. They had quit wearing these uniforms back in 1993 (except when worn as throwbacks) and have had a few redesigns since.

      Even though the tube blade does not exist on hockey skates anymore, the logo is a classic.

      Here is the unveiling video from their website:

      http://saskatoonblades.com/video/breaking-the-pac-is-back

  • Josh | August 30, 2017 at 2:42 pm |

    The Suns re-opened a previous arena for a public scrimmage in 2015.
    They held the scrimmage in thir previous home , the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
    http://arizonasports.com/story/397003/suns-madhouse-on-mcdowell-scrimmage/

  • Tim | August 30, 2017 at 8:04 pm |

    There were probably more people there for the Astros/Rangers game than normally show up for a Rays game…

  • Rees | August 30, 2017 at 11:16 pm |

    When will we find out about the Nike practice jerseys for the NBA? And we do know ads will be out before pre-season correct?

  • Brett Alan | August 31, 2017 at 1:39 am |

    The new naming rights holder for the Leafs and a Raptors had the name of the Senators’ home arena until a few years ago. Has there been a case before of the same company getting the name of two different arenas belonging to competing teams in the same league, albeit at different times, before this?

    • BurghFan | August 31, 2017 at 3:17 am |

      Like the American Airlines Arena and American Airlines Center? Or does at the same time not count?

      • Brett Alan | August 31, 2017 at 8:40 am |

        I didn’t even know about that, which shows you how much I follow the NBA. Thanks.

  • Cole | August 31, 2017 at 2:14 am |

    If you are truly against uniform ads, you may want to limit the number of times you mention the name of the advertiser and show the advertisement on the jersey. I read this and thought – wow how jazzed is [advertiser] for the number of mentions – especially the zoomed in close up of the ad on the jersey. This is literally free advertisement on your site. It’s doing nothing but reenforcing that jersey ads are worth the cost to the advertiser.
    Lots of people call it “Washington football team” in protest.
    Maybe you just call it “advertiser” in protest.

    • Cole | August 31, 2017 at 2:15 am |

      And if you really mean it, blur the ad on the jersey.

  • Russell Burnett | September 3, 2017 at 4:55 pm |

    Love the Bucks new look and this throwback. Ad patches don’t bother me in the slightest. I actually like the winged boot on the Cavs’ new unis. You guys are all worked up over these ad patches…