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Would Uni Advertisers Really Be on Board in 2020?

Yesterday, as a tangential issue regarding the Rams’ new uniforms, I addressed the topic of whether their new jersey patches are a precursor to NFL uniform ads. (They’re not.) Today I want to explore another aspect of uniform ads that lots of people have been discussing this week: Whether leagues can use uniform ads to restore the revenue they’re losing due to the pandemic.

That idea began began circulating on Tuesday on NBC Sports’s Pro Football Talk site, where PFT honcho Mike Florio suggested that the pandemic is providing the NFL with a golden opportunity to increase in-game advertising — including advertising on uniforms.

Florio began by citing a CBS Sports article that had been published earlier in the day. That CBS article included the following (apologies in advance for the large chunks of text I’m going to be quoting here):

Team sources agree that, in order to deliver value to [existing in-stadium] sponsors, the league must relax its advertising rules for this unique season. One rule in particular is the so-called “40-foot rule,” which mandates teams cannot have local advertising in the space 40 feet above field level. (For context, the goalposts top out at 35 feet.)

It wouldn’t be permanent, and no, it probably wouldn’t make every existing sponsor happy. But it’d be a way to cover some of the losses. Some opportunities that the NFL hasn’t fully tapped include giving sponsors placements:

• On the walls surrounding the field

• Using a tarp across empty seats in the lower bowls

• On the goalpost net, a very visible placement for field goals

• In-stadium virtual advertising that could be rotated throughout a game

But Florio then took the idea a step further, bringing up an idea that wasn’t mentioned in the CBS article:

But why stop there? At a time when fans will be starved for sports, will anyone complain about, for example, the placement of ads on uniforms? Or how about a green-screen decal on the helmet that becomes a rotating advertisement during close-up shots?

Interestingly, Florio more or less admitted — admiringly! — that this would basically be a cynical way for the NFL to exploit the pandemic as a way to make uniform ads a permanent thing — sort of a “Let no tragedy go to waste” approach:

As the NFL tries to turn a negative into a positive, one very lucrative positive could be an opportunity to jump with both feet onto what had long been regarded a third rail for the NFL and embrace a proliferation of advertising, all in the name of replacing the revenue lost via the absence of fans.

And then, once fans are back and the bridge has been crossed, the new approach to advertising will simply continue, ostensibly to help further replace the revenue lost during the 2020 season. Then, after a few years of getting everyone used to it, the ads will just stay put.

Note the use of “ostensibly” there — he’s basically acknowledging that the whole pandemic/revenue rationale would be bullshit, and he’s encouraging them to shovel as much of that bullshit as possible.

A few hours after Florio’s article appeared, Bartstool Sports’s popular Starting 9 podcast tweeted this:

They didn’t have any more to say about it than that, at least not in writing. I don’t know if they discussed it on their podcast. (Anyone..?)

Now, as you all know, I’m very opposed to uniform ads. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Instead of addressing whether more uniform advertising would be good or bad, I’m more interested in whether these scenarios — scenarios in which uniform advertisers would suddenly flock to the NFL and MLB if given the chance — are actually plausible. Obviously, Florio and Starting 9 think it would happen, and I had enough back-and-forth with people on social media this week to get the sense that many fans think it’s a slam-dunk as well. But is that actually realistic?

Let’s review what we know:

1. When the NBA introduced uniform ads in 2017, many people (myself included) thought all 30 teams would hook up with advertisers fairly quickly. Instead, it took about a year and a half — and that was in the midst of a fairly strong economy.

2. As we learned from the anonymous CEO who I interviewed last week, many NBA teams are now seeking new uni advertisers, which suggests that the initial advertisers were not happy with the results.

3. The economic downturn caused by the pandemic has changed the advertising landscape, because advertisers are feeling the pinch just like everyone else. On Tuesday, for example (the same day Florio and Starting 9 called for more uniform advertising), The Wall Street Journal reported (paywalled) that television advertisers are set to cancel $1 to $1.5 billion in ad buys for the third quarter. As for how this might affect uniform ads, let’s look back at this exchange I had with that CEO:

Uni Watch: [A]ll the potential advertisers and sponsors will be facing financial challenges of their own, and will probably be cutting back on their own marketing budgets, especially since so many consumers are out of work or at least cutting down on spending because the future is so uncertain, which means advertising probably won’t provide the same kind of ROI that it did in the past, so we could actually see a decrease in sports sponsorships [due to the pandemic]. What’s your take on that?

CEO: […] From an advertiser standpoint, or from a brand standpoint, when times get tough, your level of scrutiny on every dollar out the door gets more and more focused. You get super, super-tight on it. So if I know that my TV commercial is going to cost me X and make me Y, then that’s a very certain thing. But when you start thinking about a patch on a uniform, that’s much more about keeping your brand top-of-mind for people. It’s a high-level awareness, but it’s harder to quantify. So when you’re a business, in a climate like this, you need to see performance right away.

Budweiser, Pepsi, Coke, those kinds of brands, they may need to just maintain top-of-mind awareness. But when you start thinking about brands that are in the business of retailing things — and that could be everything from a car down to a T-shirt — the further you get away from sales performance, the harder it is to justify.

In other words, the CEO said that a uniform patch — something that provides visibility but not a specific marketing pitch that generates measurable cause-and-effect sales results — would be harder for most companies to justify in the current economic climate.

4. Assuming these sports come back this year, there’s some major fiasco potential. The low-grade fiasco (at least from the leagues’ perspective, although it would be more calamitous for society at large) is that we see a resurgence of virus outbreaks around that country that makes sports untenable and forces the leagues to shut back down. Advertisers don’t like that kind of uncertainty. Do you really want your company’s logo to be associated with an abortive season tied to one of the worst calamities in modern history?

The high-grade fiasco would be if athletes start to test positive. Imagine two NFL teams facing each other on Sunday, and then two players — one from each team — come down with symptoms and test positive on Friday, and then SportsCenter finds the play where Player A tackled Player B and keeps showing it over and over in slow motion all weekend long while Scott Van Pelt says, “Right there, that could be the moment where the transmission of the virus occurred.” Is that really the kind of setting where you want your company’s logo to be prominently featured? You might not have thought of that, but I can assure you that professional marketers are thinking about it right now, and it’s their worst nightmare.

———

When you add all of those things together, it doesn’t seem at all certain that uniform advertisers would come flocking to the NFL or MLB, assuming such an opportunity were offered to them (which, let’s remember, neither league has actually proposed). Is it possible that some companies would jump at the chance? Sure. Is it also possible that it might be a tough sell with few takers? Also sure. Either way, it’s clearly not slam-dunk scenario, and anyone who claims otherwise — like, say, Mike Florio or the Starting 9 crew — is definitely talking out of his/her ass. That’s my main point with this post, to remind everyone that all the armchair experts out there are either cranking out pointless coronavirus filler, exhibiting a serious lack of critical thinking, or both.

Meanwhile: I saw a lot of people responding to the PFT and Starting 9 posts with statements that more or less boiled down to “I don’t like uniform ads, but I’d be willing to accept them if that’s what it takes to restore live sports this year.” Leaving aside the question of whether billionaire owners need to have their operations underwritten by more uni ads, I thought it would be interesting to frame that choice the way Florio outlined it — with the one-season ad experiment serving as a Trojan horse for ad-clad uniforms for perpetuity. So I set up a Twitter poll to see how many of my followers would be willing to accept a lifetime of NFL uni ads in return for a 2020 NFL season:

Obviously, a poll of my followers is not representative of all sports fans, and all sports fans are not representative of the public at large, and so on. It’s just a Twitter snapshot — no more, no less. Interesting, though!

(My thanks to @RustyFlynn, who was the first to point me toward the PFT article, and also to @SDubs35, who let me know about the Starting 9 tweet.)

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Soccer Star Buys Former Team’s Ad Spaces
By Jamie Rathjen

Yesterday, English League Two team Leyton Orient revealed their shirts for next season with a coronavirus-related twist: In what the club said is the first arrangement of its kind, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane bought the front-of-shirt ad spaces on all three shirts and donated them to charities.

The first shirt (shown above) displays a message thanking National Health Service workers; the second shirt features the logo of Haven House, a local children’s hospice; and the third shirt showcases Mind, a mental health charity that is already incorporated into the English Football League’s number and NOB font.

Kane’s relationship to Orient is that he was sent to the then-League One club on the first of four loans away from Tottenham for the last few months of the 2010-11 season, and secured his first professional start and goals there. If you’re not familiar with the loan system, it allows clubs around the world to send players to other clubs for short periods, generally of up to one season, for various reasons while retaining the player under contract. In the U.K., loans are favored as a way for young players to gain experience in lower divisions with real pro teams, because club youth teams play most of their games against one another in competitions such as Premier League 2 and Scotland’s SPFL Reserve League.

Most loanees’ contributions to their temporary homes don’t extend beyond their short loan spells, for which they might be at least fondly remembered if not signed by the team afterwards. But Kane decided to give back — an excellent gesture by an excellent player.

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ITEM! Purp Walk preview and yet another raffle: Two days from now — Sunday, May 17 — will be the 14th anniversary of the very first post on this website. Per longstanding tradition that means it will also be Purple Amnesty Day — the one day of the year when I accept purple-inclusive membership card orders.

Only this year, due to the anniversary falling on a Sunday, I will accept purple orders on two days — May 17 and also May 18, which will be Purple Amnesty Day (Observed). So if you’ve been waiting to order a Ravens-, Rockies-, LSU-, or Northwestern-based membership card, you’ll have a 48-hour window in which to do so — 100% more than our usual 24-hour window!

As usual, designer Bryan Molloy and I will also offer a special item of purple merchandise. Only this year, we will have two items, whoop-whoop! These will only be available on Monday — 24 hours, no exceptions! Just to whet your appetite, I’m going to show them to you now.

First up is a T-shirt. Although the website is hitting its 14th anniversary, Purple Amnesty Day itself is hitting its 10th anniversary, so Bryan and I wanted to commemorate that. Dig (click to enlarge):

Not bad, right? Bryan gets all the credit for the design concept, and also for sourcing the great purple-on-purple ringer shirt.

Here’s a closer look at the front and back graphics:

This shirt will be available for 24 hours on Monday — midnight to midnight. After that, it will never be seen again.

In addition, we’re offering this snapback cap:

The cap will also be available for that same 24-hour window on Monday. But the cap will become a Purp Walk mainstay — each year going forward, Bryan and I will create a new purple merch item (a shirt, a patch, a helmet, whatever) and will also bring back the cap for an annual 24-hour cameo. Think of it as an evergreen — or an everpurple.

If you like these two items, you’re in luck, because reader Tim Cox — the man who came up with the whole idea for Purple Amnesty Day 10 years ago — has generously offered to sponsor a Purp Walk merch raffle for two lucky Uni Watch readers. The two winners will get to choose a cap or a T-shirt — their choice.

This will be a one-day raffle. To enter, send an email to the raffle address by 8pm Eastern tonight. One entry per person. I’ll notify the two winners over the weekend, and they will have to claim their prizes during the 24-hour window on Monday — no exceptions!

Speaking of Purp Walk raffles, the two winners of yesterday’s raffle are Dan Morgenthaler and Alex Weston, who’ve each won the chance to order a complimentary purple-inclusive membership card on Sunday or Monday. Congrats to them, and big thanks to reader Judy Adams for sponsoring this one.

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Too good for the Ticker: Oh baby, check out this shot of Willie Mays stealing third base during the 1960 All-Star Game — so good! That’s Frank Malzone playing third base. Lots of uni-notable details:

• Sixty years later, the Giants still wear that road uniform, and the Red Sox still wear that same home uni!

• Mays was not wearing a helmet on the bases, as that was not required for baserunners at the time.

• Third base ump Tom Gorman was wearing a full wool suit and necktie — for a day game in July!

After I tweeted that photo, reader Clark Hare responded by posting this wire pic, which was taken just an instant prior to the other one (click to enlarge):

Man, my hand hurts just looking at Willie’s left hand there. No sliding gloves in those days!

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All dressed up and no place to go: I recently scored this vintage durene jersey on eBay. It’d be even better if it had a beagle mascot in the center, but the clipart slugger is still pretty sweet.

Blank on the back. It’s the latest of several vintage jerseys in my collection that were made by Durack. Here’s their label:

And speaking of new additions to my wardrobe, look what else just showed up:

Now I’m getting hungry….

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Membership update: I recently featured reader David Swingle’s early-1960s Reds-based membership card design. As you can see above, he’s very pleased with the finished product!

As for that helmet David’s wearing, he offers this little story:

That Reds plastic collectible helmet is one of many MLB helmets I owned when I was around 10 or 11 years old. My parents would buy one for me each time we took a weekend trip to our local JCPenney. I found my collection, which I believed was lost forever, in the attic of my childhood home a couple years ago. My siblings and I were cleaning out our parents’ home shortly after my mother passed a couple years ago and there they were! They must have been in storage for at least 35 years. Brought back wonderful memories.

Isn’t that nice?

Ordering a membership card is a good way to support Uni Watch (which, frankly, could use your support these days). And remember, as a gesture of comm-uni-ty solidarity, the price of a membership has been reduced from $25 to $20 until further notice.

As always, you can sign up for your own custom-designed card here, you can see all the cards we’ve designed so far here (now more than 2,700 of them!), and you can see how we produce the cards here.

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Completely addictive: This video isn’t new (it came out about six months ago), but I didn’t learn of its existence until my friend Sunshine pointed me toward it yesterday. It’s a video infographic that shows the top 10 best-selling music artists from 1969 through 2019, and it is absolutely mesmerizing. Once you start watching, it’s hard to stop!

It’s also really interesting to see certain artists and trends falling in and out of favor as the video moves along the timeline. Mainly, though, it’s just a really satisfying animation — enjoy.

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The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: A group hoping to bring Major League Baseball to Nashville has applied for a logo trademark (from Kenneth Traisman). … Riverfront Stadium in Wichita, home of the Triple-A WindSurge, has some pretty neat bike racks (from @PhillyPartTwo). … Not uni-related, but MLB commish Rob Manfred described the coronavirus testing protocols that the sport is hoping to implement if and when big league baseball returns to the field.

NFL News: The Saints have a uniform history page on their website (from Justin C. Cliburn). … The Eagles announced their rookie uni numbers in a Twitter video. The weird thing is, the number font used in the video doesn’t match the font the Eagles actually use on their jerseys (from Craig W. and Sam McKinley). … The Giants also released their rookie uni numbers. One notable number is G Shane Lemieux taking No. 66, and yes, that’s a nod to Super Mario (from Neil Vendetti). … The new Hulu animated series Solar Opposites featured a character wearing a Rob Gronkowski Patriots jersey. The series premiered last week, but was originally produced back in 2018, before Gronkowski’s first retirement (from Patrick Lenertz). … Rams P Johnny Hekker is wondering why fans can’t buy his jersey in the NFL’s online shop (from Chris Cruz). …  Here’s a relatively in-depth article about the Rams uni history (from Kary Klismet). … Former Rams RB Eric Dickerson doesn’t like the Rams’ new uniforms because he thinks they look “soft,” which he thinks is inappropriate for a “man’s sport.” Ironically, Dickerson was among the few NFL players ever to wear goggles on the field — wonder if anyone ever criticized him for being “soft.”

College/High School Football News: The helmet on Tim Hasselbeck’s ESPN set has a Boston College base and Colorado and Miami logo decals with Ohio State buckeye leaf merit decals. Tim, brother Matt, and wife Elisabeth all went to BC, while dad Don went to Colorado — which raises the question, why Miami and Ohio State? It can’t be for his or Matt’s kids, as they’re all too young to be college age. Hmmm (great spot by Jack Long).

Hockey News: Warrior wanted to be ready while then-Senators D Erik Karlsson was being shopped during the 2018 NHL offseason, so they made a pair of gloves with each of in the colors of his most likely trade destinations. So while Karlsson ended up with the Sharks, “EK65” gloves were made in Predators colors (from Wade Heidt). … The San Francisco Chronicle used an outdated Sharks logo three times in graphics on their sports page.

NBA News: Here’s a nice retrospective on a prospective 1993 Clippers redesign that never took. I can’t be the only one who thinks they’d actually look better than they ever had if they had followed through with the redesign.

Soccer News: The NWSL’s Seattle Reign — now known as OL Reign after being purchased by France’s Olympique Lyonnais — were almost called the Seattle Sirens (paywalled) (from our own Jamie Rathjen). … New kits for Brazilian team Grêmio (from Ed Żelaski). … Also from Ed: New away kit for Northern Ireland’s Cliftonville FC . … Maryland Bobcats FC, who play in both the NPSL and UPSL, have some pretty nice new kits (from @IcarusFCphl). … Umbro is upset that the Twitter account for Mexican team Cruz Azul photoshopped out their logo in an old photo. Umbro hasn’t been Cruz Azul’s kit provider since 2014, and Los Cementeros’ kits are currently provided by Joma after a four-year spell with Under Armour (from Germán Cabrejo). …  The Columbus Crew have revealed a few more renderings of their new downtown stadium (from Wade Heidt and Kary Klismet). … Also from Kary: it appears Kim Jong-un’s health scare has not halted the progress of renovations on Pyongyang’s Yanggakdo Football Stadium. … Devin Mathias is running a poll to gauge public opinion on the best USMNT kit in history. Come on, Waldos!

Grab Bag: The Sun Belt Conference has released its new logo set, confirming previous leaks. … The US Olympic and Paralympic Museum has a new logo (from Timmy Donahue). … Milwaukee’s PBA team now has a name — the Brew City Ballers — and a logo (from @mikeobs). … The University of Florida has offered its facilities to any MLB, NBA or NFL team that wants to train there (from Kary Klismet). … Here’s a thorough and depressing assessment of how sportswriting may never recover from the pandemic (WaPo link).

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What Paul did last night: Our neighbor Jason was walking by yesterday evening. He’s a nice guy and an interesting character, so we invited him to stop and chat for a bit. While we were doing that, the clock hit 7pm, so the Racket started. I said, “Jason, do you usually participate in this?” He said, “Oh, sure,” and then nonchalantly pulled a pair of maracas out of his bag, like it was the most normal thing in the world. We laughed and he started maraca-ing, which was fun. (In the background, you can see our neighbor with the cymbals, who I recently mentioned, across the street.)

The branch is still there.

As always, you can see the full set of Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos here.

Have a great weekend. I’ll check in on Sunday to mark the site’s 14th anniversary, and then I’ll have some special content on Monday for Purple Amnesty Day (Observed). See you then. — Paul

84 comments to Would Uni Advertisers Really Be on Board in 2020?

  • Ed | May 15, 2020 at 8:56 am |

    On the Purp Walk logo…I can’t get past that the human figure looks like his feet have been cut off. I know that’s what the crosswalk sign looks like, but…

    • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 8:59 am |

      We tried adding feet. Didn’t look right.

      • Ed | May 15, 2020 at 10:12 am |

        I took a crack at it. I needed to rotate the figure slightly to make it look better:

        https://pbase.com/edhahn/image/170711230

        • Mark in Shiga | May 16, 2020 at 7:19 am |

          With those feet it looks perfect!

  • Dumb Guy | May 15, 2020 at 9:01 am |

    I was scrolling thru TV channels yesterday and saw this logo. Reminded of the new Rams logo.

    https://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/galavision_logo.gif

  • Eric | May 15, 2020 at 9:02 am |

    Paul, I saw your tweet about last night about work being tough for sportswriters right now because many are losing their jobs. I truly sympathize with the situation for most however, where was this sympathy when you couldn’t wait to gloat to people about the XFL shutting down? Thousands of people lost their jobs, including people in the media who were assigned to cover that, yet you just wanted to go on Twitter and gloat about being right that it wasn’t going to last and tell everyone “I told you so”.

    • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 9:14 am |

      Actually, I have never “gloated” about anyone losing their job, nor would I ever (well, except maybe for Wayne Hagin). I simply pointed out, accurately, that a historically unsuccessful business category — the category of non-NFL pro football leagues — was once again unsuccessful, and that pretty much anyone could have seen that coming, pandemic or no pandemic, and that those who believed otherwise were, as I said all along, engaging in magical Tooth Fairy thinking. That’s all.

      Is it sad that those people lost their jobs? Yes, obviously. Is it surprising? No, also obviously.

      • Phil P | May 15, 2020 at 10:16 am |

        What’s with these people giving you a hard time over any XFL/alternate league takes? Just a weird thing to hitch one’s wagon to. As you said, those leagues have been historically unsuccessful yet some folks are arrogant/naive enough to think that their version will make it. Between college and NFL there’s too much football, I think. I’m certainly not clamoring for more of it and I imagine many people feel the same. Like you said, it’s unfortunate that people lost jobs but it doesn’t change the fact that the ideas/execution were dumb to begin with.

      • Eric | May 15, 2020 at 10:20 am |

        Your first tweet following the XFL closing “XFL: So now the excuses for why upstart football leagues have failed (had a bad TV deal, didn’t have the right financial backers, didn’t have legit coaches, blah-blah-blah), will include, “Didn’t see the pandemic coming.” Or maybe upstart football leagues just aren’t very good”
        Sounds like you couldn’t wait to post that a be the smartest guy in the room..

        • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 10:25 am |

          See, now you’re not even trying to defend your original false claim of “gloating” — you’re just trolling and lobbing personal insults.

          It’s not hard to be the “smartest guy in the room” when so many people insist on being dumb. Here’s how it works, time and time again:

          1) New alternate pro football league launches.

          2) League releases new uniforms. I write about the new uniforms and say something along the lines of, “Take a good look at them while you can, because we won’t be seeing them for long.”

          3) Magical thinkers get all triggered and indignant, saying, “That’s not fair — this league is different! This time they have a good commissioner [or the right amount of money, or a good TV contract, or good coaches, or some other magic ingredient that will make this pro league different from all the previous failed leagues]!”

          4) I point out that the same thing, or something like it, has been said about every previous failed pro football league and that pretending that this time will be different is akin to believing in the Tooth Fairy. I add that it would be nice if it were actually true, just like it would be nice if the Tooth Fairy actually existed.

          5) New league shows signs of disarray and dysfunction.

          6) New league goes bust.

          7) I point out the fairly self-evident reality that anyone with half a brain could have seen that coming.

          8) Tooth Fairy believers get all triggered and indignant.

          9) Cycle repeats a few years later when next pro football league debuts.

          The end.

      • BvK1126 | May 15, 2020 at 1:13 pm |

        What’s your beef with Wayne Hagin?

    • Frank Southerly | May 15, 2020 at 11:09 am |

      Eric is so right on this one!!!

  • Brad Eenhuis | May 15, 2020 at 9:02 am |

    Just a guess, but I’d bet that Matt Hasselbeck helmet is from a college all-star game. The tradition of those games has been to trade helmet logos with other players and plaster them all over your helmet.

  • Jason Hillyer | May 15, 2020 at 9:11 am |

    Re the Dickerson Ticker item, I believe he is on record as saying he wore every extra piece of equipment/padding he could get his hands on (e.g. full cage facemask, goggles, neck roll, etc, etc).

    Makes his comments even more incongruous.

    • John | May 15, 2020 at 9:53 am |

      I specifically remember him saying this to John Madden, the quote being along the lines of “if they make a piece of protective equipment, I’m wearing it. I’m not getting hurt!”

    • walter | May 15, 2020 at 5:23 pm |

      “Soft” is sort of a wishy-washy thing to say, when longtime visitors to the site have praised football uniforms which are Columbia blue, turquoise, pink, magenta, yellow, and creamsicle orange. Sounds to me like another old man who wishes the kids would get off of his lawn.

  • Bob | May 15, 2020 at 9:17 am |

    Florio is a noted hack and troll whose site has also been rumored for years to be backed by investors with ties to player agents. He’s also a thin-skinned ninny who aggressively blocks comments on his site and gets into Twitter fights over the smallest things. No surprise he would advocate for something pretty distasteful.

  • Alec | May 15, 2020 at 9:20 am |

    Always and forever, Barstool Sports is a stain on our society.

    • MG | May 15, 2020 at 10:05 am |

      Pretty much.

    • Greg | May 15, 2020 at 11:14 am |

      Upvote.
      I’d love to see a pizza shop put laxative on his pizza one time.

  • Jeff | May 15, 2020 at 9:21 am |

    I’m onboard with that Clippers’ design. Kind of Vancouver Grizzlie-ish but I like the choice in colors. They’re different and the Wave logo just kind of fits. Definitely levels above their current catastrophe they are wearing currently.

    • MJ | May 15, 2020 at 9:37 am |

      Agree on this. Better than the mishmash they wear now and they’ve never been more than generic – red/white/blue, script font (now all-caps), now BFBS. That concept is ’90s as the Macarena and would look very dated today. But still an improvement over generic dreck.

  • Chuck | May 15, 2020 at 9:26 am |

    Love those infographic videos. Sort of puts “Beatlemania” into perspective seeing they were still a top 10 selling group two decades after breaking up.

    If Drake stopped making music tomorrow could you say the same about him two decades from now? – I doubt it.

  • Chuck | May 15, 2020 at 9:34 am |

    I liked the Rams’ dark blue and white horned helmet with the white facemask. I thought they should have worked around that to simply tweak their old stuff to match better.

    Regardless, I wouldn’t be surprised if they revisit an overhaul to a more ‘traditional look’ five years from now.

  • Joe | May 15, 2020 at 9:45 am |

    I always believed that Eric Dickerson wore prescription goggles due to his eyesight… hence he wears eyeglasses off the field. There are many people, like myself, that prefer to wear glasses and not contacts. I have a prescription set of Oakley glasses that I wear while playing baseball and another set when I golf.

    • RICKAZ | May 15, 2020 at 10:59 am |

      Exactly. He wore googles so he could see, not because he was “soft” and wanted eye protection.

      • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 11:04 am |

        Nobody said he wore them because he was “soft.” The issue is whether anyone teased him for it because it *looked* “soft” — just like he doesn’t like the new uniforms because they look “soft.”

  • Johnny O | May 15, 2020 at 9:53 am |

    We (I) need more haiku poems, Paul.

    I have been scrolling slowly every day in case I blew past them.

    Any plans on bringing them back?

    • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 9:59 am |

      They haven’t been auto-generating in my head lately. But if they do, I’ll definitely share them.

  • Nestor Chylak | May 15, 2020 at 9:53 am |

    I’m calling bullshit on the Best Selling Music Artists 1969-2019 animation.

    Billy Joel popping up in 1971, three years before Elton John? I think only Billy Joel’s family had heard of him in 1971.

    • Nate Rathjen | May 15, 2020 at 10:57 am |

      Cold Spring Harbor, originally released Q4 1971 when he shows up in the chart, was re-released in 1983 and hit the album charts in multiple countries; I wonder if those sales were combined by the data source and/or video creator.

      • Nestor Chylak | May 15, 2020 at 11:18 am |

        That’s a good speculation, but considering Elton’s huge-selling back catalog beginning in 1970, it seems he won the race with Billy Joel.

  • bill | May 15, 2020 at 9:57 am |

    “many NBA teams are now seeking new uni advertisers, which suggests that the initial advertisers were not happy with the results”

    I’ve wondered whether uniform advertising is actually worth the investment. I assume the prices involved would preclude the small guy, so the advertising would focus on larger companies that already have brand awareness along with the money to burn. Is a patch on a uniform just to maintain a level of awareness and how do you quantify the effectiveness? What do you even measure to calculate ROI? The CEO comments likely indicates they don’t know. I can’t help but think that uni advertising is mostly about selling to corporate ego.

    Interesting article for online advertising casting doubt on the big players who claim to be able to measure its effectiveness. I realize this is not sports advertising, but I have to think the customer psychology is similar. https://thecorrespondent.com/100/the-new-dot-com-bubble-is-here-its-called-online-advertising/13228924500-22d5fd24

    • Phil P | May 15, 2020 at 10:23 am |

      I posed a similar question on the original posting, mainly along the lines of soccer, using the example of Manchester United, which has Chevy has a jersey advertiser. ManU has a big international following, notably in Asia where a lot of soccer teams are focusing their marketing attention, so it makes sense for Chevy to want to increase brand recognition in lots of markets, but has that awareness resulted in sales? I imagine some curious individual with time on their hands could dig into publicly available info and try and line up jersey ads and some measure of sales/profits over the time they are on soccer jerseys.

  • Cork G | May 15, 2020 at 10:07 am |

    Tim Hasselbeck played in the 2001 East-West Shrine Game. That is almost certainly his helmet from that game where decal swapping is (was?) common.

  • Rich | May 15, 2020 at 10:14 am |

    Congrats on the 14th Anniversary and the 15th Ordinal.

    One of my favorite things is just looking at all the details of the Porch Pics. I absolutely LOVE the neighbor with the cymbals’ driveway fence. It’s a chain link with those plastic privacy strips and it’s a fantastic cream color with red diagonal lines. Looks great, and reminds me of the “old days” when that was more common.

  • Pedro | May 15, 2020 at 10:15 am |

    Hi Paul.
    The drummer on this video (from around 1991) as a durene jersey just like yours (but not from the Beagles, it says Davis St Christians).

  • Scott Steffes | May 15, 2020 at 10:27 am |

    Hey Paul – got a few more of those Milwaukee Brat ringer tees? Yum yum – hope it has kraut on it.

  • Jacks | May 15, 2020 at 10:36 am |

    Quick edit. Only the top flight league is called the Premier League. The second division in the EFL Championship, then EFL League 1, and finally EFL League 2

    • Jamie Rathjen | May 15, 2020 at 10:38 am |

      I don’t mean the EFL. I was talking about reserve/youth team competitions. Premier League 2 is a competition for under-23 teams.

      • Jack | May 15, 2020 at 12:59 pm |

        I saw that after I made my comment. Lol.

  • Grant | May 15, 2020 at 10:46 am |

    Oh man, really digging the Purp Walk hat. Would be awesome if it came in Flex Fit or even from EFF like the regular one in the future.

  • wittnesss | May 15, 2020 at 10:51 am |

    Has Uni-Watch after delved into the use of college conference patches, or for that matter league patches? SBC in the ticker got me thinking…

    The NFL’s is usually front and center on the collar, which (maybe since I grew up with it there) seems natural and fitting. The anniversary logo seemed unnecessary and I didn’t like.

    Conference patches on the other hand… usually to the side, (maybe because they lack a standardized uniform template to put them in center?) and usually put into the composition opposite of the makers mark. I don’t like. Maybe if they were the only thing there I’d cut them more slack.

    I’m a longhorn, and I can’t stand this mess, and the conference is NOT helping: https://images.app.goo.gl/oWYPnCPEnYxvRPc99

  • Evan Stewart | May 15, 2020 at 10:56 am |

    This entry reminds me of a comment I ran across on a rugby board a few months back. Someone was complaining about ads on uniforms, and another person responded with “I’d rather had ads on the uniforms that during the tv broadcast”. It was an interesting way to frame it that I’d never thought of.

    Obviously football and baseball have some built in breaks. And tv ads are able to exploit them. However ads extend these breaks and for sure impact the flow of the game. It’s even worse for games that flow more constantly like basketball, hockey, soccer, etc.

    I’m still pretty opposed to uni ads, but I will admit that when reframing it this way I am more ok with them. The best solution I’ve ever run into was while watching a rugby game in South Africa. During a reset in play while showing replays of the try or whatever the action was taken to picture in picture basically and the bulk of the screen became an ad. When the action started again it was full screen.

    Anyway just a thought about a new way to frame ads. I’m curious if other people on here would give up TV ads, or at least most of them, in exchange for uni ads.

  • ChrisH | May 15, 2020 at 10:57 am |

    The Purp Walk cap has a curved bill, right?
    Does the inner seam taping have any messaging?
    Snapback…ok, velcro…better.

    • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 11:03 am |

      No message on inner taping.

      Brim is gently curved (and you can curve it more yourself, obviously), but is not one of the “extreme” curves that some caps have built-in.

  • Ted Nik | May 15, 2020 at 11:42 am |

    Re: 1960 All-Star game photo: “Sixty years later, the Giants still wear that road uniform, and the Red Sox still wear that same home uni!”

    Classic and timeless. I’m guessing you won’t be able to say that about the Arizona D-backs uniforms of recent vintage.

    Re: New Orlean Saints’ uniform history.

    Love those original Saints’ uniforms (circa 1967-69) with the true gold numbers and three sleeve stripes, which are replicated on their socks. For some reason, the Saints went away from that gold color. Too bad.

    • Scott | May 15, 2020 at 6:09 pm |

      Except both the Giants and Red Sox looked a lot different in, say, 1977 or 1978. So only classic and timeless because those teams returned to those looks. Who’s to say what will become the classic and timeless look for the Diamondbacks?

  • LKjus | May 15, 2020 at 11:50 am |

    In a response to the advertising on uniforms for a short term … I think it, in some ways that Paul says, that implies there are going to be advertisers who want to make that buy. I don’t think there is. Anecdotally, I work for a newspaper only to be laid off because the ad money dried up during this time. The television shows I watch are running ads for other shows, as the paid ads are drying up. Just because you put an ad on a helmet (or a prime spot on a basketball jersey), doesn’t mean sponsors will buy the spots.

  • Barton Hall | May 15, 2020 at 12:02 pm |

    The radio broadcast of the 1960 All Star Game is available here https://archive.org/details/OTRBaseballBroadcasts

    • Nestor Chylak | May 15, 2020 at 12:22 pm |

      All the mentions of the 1960 All Star Game – which was it?

      They played two from 1959-1962.

      • Bob A | May 15, 2020 at 12:40 pm |

        The second one. Photo cut line shows the date.

  • John H. | May 15, 2020 at 12:13 pm |

    I loved seeing the pic of David with his beautiful Reds membership card as, by coincidence, I received my white sweater Number 4 Bobby Orr tribute card in today’s mail.

    I’m happy to have finally become an official member of the “club” after many years of procrastinating on what I would want on my membership card. I’m even more pleased to support Paul who has provided us with so much high quality daily content for all these years.

    P.S. My card looks great and the timing was perfect considering that Bobby scored The Goal 50 years ago this past Sunday.

    • Bob A | May 15, 2020 at 12:49 pm |

      Love your card, John. Classic uni design.

      Speaking of membership cards… Is there any significance to David’s early-60s card not having the usual ‘bunting’ in the upper left corner?

      And I enjoy scrolling through the new cards every week or so. I’d love to see card owners enter a comment on what the card represents/means to them. I like the little backstories on stuff like this.

      • Mike Engle | May 15, 2020 at 2:30 pm |

        Agreed. I love the stories. Why that team and why the number? It’s great stuff.
        Here’s my story:
        https://www.flickr.com/photos/65516705@N00/5555907344/in/photolist-9sXtFW-6PmFti-rS6sHh-RGxpBW-6idU4U-2iF9kS6-SdBWks-SdBWdU-bXPrN5

        • Bob A | May 15, 2020 at 3:15 pm |

          Terrific card choice and story. And a perfect example of why I like the comments with the cards. I’d have never figured out what it represented.

      • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 3:52 pm |

        The bunting — how did we miss that???

        Will fix and get David a new card!

        • David S. | May 15, 2020 at 6:23 pm |

          It’s fine Paul. I didn’t notice the missing bunting until it was pointed out. Mine is close enough. Just glad to finally be a member, as John H. stated, after years of procrastinating!

        • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 7:31 pm |

          Thanks, David. But we’re making you a new card — will ship out soon-ish!

      • John H. | May 15, 2020 at 4:13 pm |

        I was going to go with the black sweater design but I scrolled through the 2600+ cards and saw that it had already been done as I would have wanted it a couple of times. I wanted mine to be somewhat original.

  • K W | May 15, 2020 at 12:16 pm |

    What is the “Racket”? I did a quick google search and I’m still unsure.

  • rpm | May 15, 2020 at 1:26 pm |

    I can’t even believe this debate. And the implication that if you are against the ads, you don’t really like the sport is madness. It is just the opposite, my respect for the athletes, the fans, and the sport is such that I think it inappropriate to lessen a sport, the athlete, or the fan to line the pockets of the people that are not considering those three in the least. Why we accept that dynamic in this country blows my mind. The nfl is not anywhere near bankrupt, The league prints money and exploits labor worse then any league, it’s Downright criminal. so now we accept a corporate entity not in need exploiting a situation and getting even more ad revenue from companies laying people off? Thats a joke, right?

  • BvK1126 | May 15, 2020 at 1:33 pm |

    Paul, I’m curious what your beef is with Wayne Hagin, if you con’t mind elaborating on it. I admittedly don’t know much about him, other than that he was a longtime broadcaster for the Rockies who still seems to have a farily positive reputation in these parts.

    It sounds like his three-year stint with the Mets did not work out well for either side, although I’m far too removed from that situation to know anyting about it. Is it from his time covering the Mets that your animosity toward him stems?

    • BvK1126 | May 15, 2020 at 2:14 pm |

      Scratch that about Hagin having a “fairly positive reputation” in Denver. It looks like he burned some bridges afer his Rockies broadcasting days were over by insinuating (inadvertently, he says) that Todd Helton took steroids:

      https://www.denverpost.com/2012/06/19/former-rockies-announcer-wayne-hagin-puts-family-ahead-of-baseball/

      It’s a rift that apparently has not been mended. This is mostly distant history for me, as I didn’t live in Colorado during most of Hagin’s tenure with the team (1993-2002) and was didn’t catch many Rockies games on the radio back then anyway. Anyway, if he was as careless with his words about Mets players as he was with Helton, I can ssee why he might have made some enemeies in New York.

    • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 3:56 pm |
      • ThatRodneyGuy | May 15, 2020 at 4:18 pm |

        there goes the next couple hours of my day.

        • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 4:38 pm |

          I just spent about 20 minutes re-reading some of it myself. Hadn’t looked at it in years and had forgotten most of the details, but now it’s all come rushing back. Can’t believe how bad he was!

  • Mike Engle | May 15, 2020 at 2:25 pm |

    Congrats to the two other lucky Purp Walkers! I just cued up an email with a purple-centric membership card order…guess I’ll wake up Sunday and send it off!
    (Yes, I’ve had a non-purple card since 2011, but hey, support the site and community, and like I said the other day, I got a fit of inspiration to honor my childhood. Can’t wait!)

  • Ben Miller | May 15, 2020 at 3:25 pm |

    Totally agree on the Clippers design. Very cool.

    • walter | May 15, 2020 at 5:38 pm |

      Oh, my God, another turquiose team in the nineties? Not too crazy about the colors but I like the design, especially the “wave” pattern on the trim and “Los Angeles” lettering of the black alternates (speaking of fads). The Donald Sterling years will always be stained by the hastily-cut tackle twill and filled-in counters of the script. Possibly the most badly detailed NBA uniforms in history.

  • Patrick in MI | May 15, 2020 at 6:01 pm |

    Glad to see a purple shirt and cap for next week. Definitely going to order one of each. Funny thing, my employer just gave out T-shirts to all staff this past week in support of our being essential. Of course, they are purple as that is one of our corporate colors.

    I’m seriously considering ordering a membership card as well after all these years of reading. Is there any way you could do one in the vein of a Purple Heart?

    • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 7:33 pm |

      We try to stick to sports uniforms (or at least sports-adjacent, like marching bands). If we go beyond that, it just opens up too much of a Pandora’s box.

  • Akul | May 15, 2020 at 7:33 pm |

    Paul, I love your blog and all of your takes, but the part of about Matt Hasselbeck’s helmet should be “raises the question” and not “begs the question,” which describes reasoning. I’m sorry, but it’s one of my pet peeves (I have a running list).

    • Akul | May 15, 2020 at 7:34 pm |

      Dammit. *Circular reasoning.

    • Paul Lukas | May 15, 2020 at 7:50 pm |

      You’re 100% correct. Now fixed.

  • Andy Schmidt | May 15, 2020 at 9:25 pm |

    I think what we’ve seen clearly here is that for uniform ads to work for the sponsors, the ads have to be as prominent as they are on Soccer jerseys or cycling jerseys. They have to go all the way or not at all. Anything less is just poor return on investment.

    I don’t think we’ll see that on the NBA or NFL level, so in some way, these ads might become a victim of their own lack of success and see themselves out the door quicker than anyone thought. For the love of God, you can’t hardly see the ads on NBA jerseys but every time Messi, Bale or Ronaldo score a goal, millions of people know that somehow Qatar Airlines is super important.