[Looking to order a gift membership for a lucky recipient? Click here.]
I hear it again and again. “Thank god I found Uni Watch,” people tell me. “Until now, I thought I was the only one who looked at sports this way.”
As you’ve no doubt discovered by now, you’re not the only one. But if your friends still look at you a bit funny when you point out a player’s sleeve length, or the wife rolls her eyes when you wax rhapsodic about the pleasures of a well-tailored set of stirrups, salvation is finally at hand. Now, as over 1800 readers have already done, you can show your solidarity with other uniform obsessives and proclaim your citizenship in the larger uni-related community — and get a discount on other Uni Watch merchandise while you’re at it — by enrolling in the official Uni Watch membership program.
The heart of the program is the official Uni Watch membership card, which comes fully laminated. It will have your name on the front and can be customized with your own name and number on the back, just like the back of a jersey.
For the back of the card, you can choose to go with the basic Uni Watch colors, which we offer in a variety of styles for the NOB (that’s “name on back”):
Or, if you prefer, you can choose the design style of your favorite team:
Most MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA teams are available, plus we can do some throwback designs, most NCAA designs, and you officiating types can opt for zebra stripes. We also consider special requests (that one was in honor of the great middle-distance runner Roger Bannister) on a case-by-case basis. You can see a gallery of all the rear-card designs that we’ve created so far here.
Keep in mind that if you opt for a team-based treatment, your name must appear in the style used by that team. In other words, you can’t ask for a A’s treatment with vertically arched lettering, or a Yankees treatment with any name at all. Teams that use nameplates (as opposed to direct-sewn lettering) will have a little nameplate outline visible on their cards.
There are several restrictions on the membership card designs, so please keep them in mind:
1. We will not do a card based on the uniform of any team with a Native American-based name (Redskins, Indians, Braves, Chiefs, Blackhawks, etc.), because we think those team names are inappropriate and we don’t want anything to do with them.
2. We will not do any designs based on camouflage uniforms.
3. We do not do cards based on the front of a jersey — only the back. We also don’t add sleeve elements onto the back design or include anything else that wouldn’t normally be visible from a back view of the jersey.
4. We will not include manufacturers’ logos or advertisers’ logos, even if they are visible on the back of the jersey.
5. In keeping with longstanding Uni Watch chromatic policy, we will not execute any design that includes even a tiny bit of purple. Yes, this rule is very arbitrary, and no, it is not negotiable — except on May 17 of each year, which is the anniversary of the site’s founding. That date is designated as Purple Amnesty Day, the one day when we accept purple-inclusive card design requests.
Also: All membership cardholders are eligible for a 15% discount on any of the Uni Watch merchandise shown in our Teespring store. Your discount code will be sent to you as soon as we receive your card order.
So how do you join?
The price is $25. As a gesture of pandemic-related solidarity for the Uni Watch comm-uni-ty, the price has been cut to $20 until further notice. To order, send payment via Venmo (use @Paul-Lukas-2 as the payee), Zelle (email@example.com), or Google Pay (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you’d rather use Apple Pay or a paper check, contact me and I’ll give you the info you need. Sorry, no PayPal. But if you’re outside the USA and PayPal is your only option, shoot me a note and I’ll let you know how we can do a workaround.
Once you’ve made your payment, send me an email with the following information:
• The name that you want to appear on the front of the card. This will presumably be your name — John Smith, or whatever. Middle names or initials are fine. Nicknames are fine, although really stupid or offensive ones will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
• The uniform number that you want on the back of the card.
• The name, if any, that you want to appear on the back of the card. Last names are preferable, but first names or nicknames will be considered and honored whenever possible (except for “He Hate Me,” which is off-limits because it’s just too stupid). But remember, if your back-card design is based on a real-world uniform that doesn’t include player names, like a Yankees jersey, then we can’t include your name as part of the design.
• The design treatment you want for your name and number on the back of the card. If you’re choosing Uni Watch colors, indicate if you want the name to be vertically arched, radially arched, straight, subscript, or no name at all; if choosing a team-based design treatment, indicate home or road (or dark jersey or light), and also give a second design option, just in case we don’t have the typeface for your first team choice. If possible, send rear-view photos of the design you’re requesting, just so I can be sure we’re both on the same page.
• Your shipping address.
That’s it. Your card should arrive within a month, although it may not take that long. Thanks for signing up!