As NBA teams have announced their jersey advertisers, I’ve dutifully covered the announcements and run photos of the patches. Simple.
But in recent weeks, a reader/commenter named Cole has been questioning my approach. He has repeatedly said (I’m paraphrasing here), “Why do you keep showing the ad patches? That’s what the advertisers want! You’re just giving them more exposure.” My initial response to Cole, which I repeated several times, was, “Look, news is news, and it’s my job to cover uni-related news, even if it’s news that I find distasteful.”
But after thinking about it a bit more, I’ve decided that Cole was right. Or, rather, we were both right. It’s entirely possible to cover the newsworthy aspects of an ad patch announcement without amplifying the advertiser’s message.
So: Yesterday the Knicks became the 17th NBA team to announce a uniform-advertising deal (a particularly annoying development for me, because it means I’m gonna have to see that fucking patch every time I’m in a bar this winter and glance up at the TV). If you really need to know the identity of the advertiser, I’m sure you can find that in some other corner of the internet. From a Uni Watch perspective, the only thing that really matters is (a) the Knicks are now in the ad-clad category and (b) their uniforms will look terrible as a result. How terrible? This terrible (click to enlarge):
That isn’t what their ad patch actually looks like, of course. But the net visual effect is the same: The ad patch ruins the jersey, and Mr. Yuk (yes, that’s really what he’s called!) also ruins the jersey. Same difference. Mr. Yuk also nicely captures the sense of uniform ads being toxic to the uni-verse, which they are.
Feel free to share those photos.
Now let’s shift into FAQ mode:
Are you going to keep doing this every time an NBA team announces a new jersey advertiser?
Well, ideally there will be no more NBA teams announcing new jersey advertisers. But if there are any, then yes, I hope to keep doing this.
More than half of the league’s teams have already announced their jersey advertisers. Aren’t you locking the barn after the horse is already gone?
Yeah, I wish I’d thought of this sooner. But hey, better late than never.
What if a team uses its ad patch for a charity initiative, as the Jazz have done?
I’ll gladly show that type of patch. Good deeds deserve positive reinforcement.
Will you be Photoshopping the ad patches every time you run an NBA game photo on the site?
I’d love to do that, but the reality is that it would be too cumbersome. I’ll continue to do it when teams announce a new ad patch, however. And I’ll do my best to avoid mentioning the name of any uniform advertiser, at least here on the blog.
What about on ESPN? What about Twitter?
I think it’s safe to say that Mr. Yuk will not be appearing on ESPN. As for Twitter, I’ll have to think about that going forward.
If you’re not going to be consistent about it, why bother?
Because this website is my personal space, a place where I can control my own personal message. If I can do that without rubber-stamping or amplifying the exposure of the NBA’s uniform advertisers, that’s what I’m going to do. Think of it as a small way of expressing mockery, outrage, and despair over the uni ads.
Isn’t it your job to tell us what’s happening?
I’m telling you the only things that matter from a Uni Watch perspective: The Knicks have decided to go ad-clad, and their jersey looks awful as a result. The other details aren’t particularly relevant from a Uni Watch standpoint and mainly serve to further the advertiser’s agenda, which is something I’d prefer not to do if I can reasonably avoid doing it. (As an aside: While I won’t mention the Knicks advertiser’s name, I will mention that their corporate slogan is “Make it beautiful,” which is particularly ironic in this context.)
What about putting Mr. Yuk over the Nike logos?
Don’t tempt me.
You’re such a hypocrite! You’re trashing these ads, but there are ads all over this website.
Sigh. We’ve been over this so many times. Here, read this.
Isn’t this a lot of fuss over a small patch?
I realize it may seem that way to some people. But uniform ads are a big deal to me, and so is the larger spread of advertising where it doesn’t belong. Obviously, we all have to choose our battles. This is one that I’ve chosen.
There are currently 13 ad-free teams. The regular season begins in six days. #NoUniAds
(My thanks to Steve Vibert and Nic Schultz for their Photoshop assistance, and to Cole for pushing me on this issue.)
By Alex Hider
Baseball News: The Cubs had a Reynolds Wrap ad on their tarp during the regular season. Now that it’s the postseason, they just have a plain tarp, because the advertiser isn’t an official postseason ad partner (from Kasey Ignarski). … This story breaks down how the Indians choose their jerseys (from Phil). … Esquire ran a piece on the best and worst baseball uniforms. No arguments here (from Jason Hillyer and Phil). … Astros IF Marwin Gonzalez is selling these shirts for charity (from Ignacio). … Tom Brady sighting at the Indians’ fall league game yesterday (from Aaron Bachmann and Robert Hayes).
NFL News: A Cowboys fan lost a bet with his wife over Sunday’s game and had to burn his jersey. Unfortunately, he decided to burn the jersey while he was still wearing it (from Brinke). … We may have mentioned this before, but the 49ers players wear jerseys with an ad patch during community events (from Ryan Maquiñana). … Curtis Akey was watching Manhunt: Unabomber, a show that takes place in 1995. One character appears in a scene wearing an Eagles jacket with a modern logo, which wasn’t introduced until 1996. … ICYMI from the baseball section: There was a Tom Brady sighting at the Cleveland Indians’ fall league game yesterday (from Aaron Bachmann and Robert Hayes). … NFL commish Roger Goodell wants players to stand for the national anthem, although it’s unclear how he intends to ensure that. Meanwhile, a labor union has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board regarding Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s threat to bench any player who doesn’t stand.
College Football News: The Gators aren’t the only Florida team wearing a wild one-off this weekend: UCF will wear space-themed helmets on Saturday against ECU (from Paul Kilgas). … Miami will go BFBS on Saturday against Georgia Tech. … A member of Northern Iowa’s band lost his or her instrument in the field goal netting during a game last weekend. … Southern Miss will wear 1980s throwback helmets for homecoming this weekend (from Ben Goss). … North Texas will go black/black/white this Saturday (from Garrett Gough). … The ACC Tracker has been updated for week six.
Hockey News: The Golden Knights went without advertising on the boards for their first-ever home game. Instead, they memorialized the Route 91 shooting victims with “Vegas Strong.” It was the first NHL game without advertising on the boards since — anyone know? … In that same game, the officials wore “Vegas Strong” helmet decals. … The Green Bay Gamblers will wear military appreciation unis on Oct. 28 (from Brian Kehrin). … The Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League have changed their nameplate design (old on left, new on right) (from David Hein). … The Colorado Eagles are moving from the ECHL to the AHL in 2018-19 (from Wade Heidt). … New sweaters for Youngstown State (from Robert Hayes).
Basketball News: The Nuggets announced that they will retire Fat Lever’s No. 12 during their game against the Lakers on Dec. 2. Lever played six seasons in Denver, beginning in 1984 (from Mike Chamernik). … New uniforms for Cal (from Phil).
Soccer News: Jan Vertonghen appeared in his record-breaking 97th match for the Belgian men’s national team yesterday, and the team awarded him with a No. 97 jersey — including patches! (From our own Jamie Rathjen). … Tailor made for Uni Watchers: Hank Willis Thomas is a British artist that works in soccer uniforms (from Sean Kane). …
Grab Bag: Here’s an interesting look at the uniforms of eSports athletes (from Adam Lambert). … Benji King found a house in Bountiful, Utah, that has a Utes’ block-U logo built into it. … Australia is currently in the midst of a vote that could legalize gay marriage. Nike sent some Australian athletes sneakers that incorporate the Nike logo as a “Yes” vote (from Alan Evans). … It looks like a manufacturer confused Georgia and Georgia Tech on this golf shirt (from Mike Nessen). … Joseph Schmitt, a key technician on NASA’s early space suits, has died (from Tommy Turner). … The U.S. Army is bringing back the old “pinks and greens” uniform (from Ethan Sheets).
Click to enlarge
What Paul did last night: After work yesterday, I joined my friend Carrie in Manhattan to check out a pair of gallery shows. Our first stop was the David Zwirner Gallery, where we wanted to see the exhibit of wire sculptures by the late sculptor Ruth Asawa.
You can see the main exhibit room in the photo above — the stuff is completely amazing! Here are some additional photos (if you can’t see the slideshow below, click here):
If you want to see this show, it’s at David Zwirner, 537 West 20th St., NYC, through Oct. 21.
After that, we walked a few blocks to the Sikkema Jenkins Gallery to check out the new current exhibit of paintings by Kara Walker, which I wasn’t able to get good photos of (the work is very large and my pics don’t do it justice). Then we walked a bit on the High Line, where we came upon this sculpture, which seemed like an apt metaphor for any number of things (click to enlarge):
After all that art, we were hungry, so we went to my favorite Chelsea pub for burgers and beers. A very nice evening. Hope yours was good, too.