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New Era Logo FAQ

Over the past few months I’ve often retweeted photos posted by people who’ve removed the New Era logos from their MLB caps. (If you want to learn how to do this yourself, there’s a good tutorial here.) This often leads to the same questions and discussions taking place over and over again, so I’ve created this page to help address most of the points that usually come up.

Ready? Here we go:

Why do you hate New Era?

I don’t hate New Era at all. On the contrary, I have tremendous respect for the huge role they’ve played in baseball’s visual history. But I’m opposed to their logo appearing on MLB game caps, which began in the 2016 postseason and expanded MLB-wide in 2017.

Why are you opposed to the logo being there?

Because a uniform isn’t like other types of clothing. A uniform already stands for a brand: the brand of the team. It’s a tremendously powerful visual signifier — that’s why we root for our favorite team’s uniform, no matter who’s wearing it. That bond between fan and team shouldn’t be watered down with other branding. When I’m watching the Mets, the only logos I want to be thinking about are Mets logos.

I don’t see this same outrage being directed at the Majestic logo on the jerseys.

Actually, I’ve long been opposed to maker’s marks on all uniform elements, and I’ve been writing about these types of issues for nearly 20 years now.

So you’re also opposed to the Nike logo on NFL uniforms, and the Adidas and Under Armour logos on various uniforms, and so on?

Yes. Have been for many years.

But all these other people who are removing the New Era logo from their caps, do they feel the same way as you? Are they removing logos from their jerseys, or just the New Era logo from their caps?

I can’t speak for anyone but myself. But if I had to guess, I’d say (a) people are more upset about the New Era logo at the moment because it’s new for this season, so it feels like a big change, and (b) the New Era logo takes up a much bigger proportion of space on a cap than the Majestic logo does on an MLB jersey. The cap logo really sticks out like a sore thumb.

It makes sense that a company would want to put its logo on its products.

Yes, we all understand why New Era wants to put the logo there, but that doesn’t mean the logo belongs there.

But all companies put their logos on their products.

Oh really? Quick, where is the visible logo on your desk, belt, pillowcase, door knob, chair, and bathroom mirror? When you’re done looking for those, find the logos on your sofa, kitchen cupboard, bookcase, and silverware.

Okay, but clothing companies always put logos on their products.

No they don’t. I’m wearing shorts and a T-shirt right now, and their manufacturers’ tags are both on the inside, where nobody can see them. Do you wear a jacket and tie to work? If so, I’m willing to bet that there’s no external logo on your jacket, tie, or dress shirt. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Now, it’s true that some clothing companies use a lot of externally visible logos. But like I already explained, a uniform isn’t like other clothing. It already stands for a brand — the brand of the team. That’s the only logo that belongs there.

Yeah, but my jacket and tie aren’t getting exposure on national TV. And neither are my desk, pillowcase, or all the other stuff you mentioned. New Era wants their logo on the cap because it can get big exposure.

Yes, exactly. What you’re essentially saying is that the New Era logo on the cap is a form of advertising. And you’re right — that’s precisely what it is. And some of us don’t want to see ads on our favorite teams’ uniforms.

They have a right to advertise on the caps that they made.

Nobody said they don’t have the right to do it. But that doesn’t automatically make it okay. Just because you can do something, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should do it. Some of us think putting the logo on the cap is a bad idea, so we’re opposed to it.

I don’t think it’s fair for you to oppose it. After all, they paid a lot of money to have the logo there!

When you watch TV, do you pay close attention to every commercial, or do you get up and go to the bathroom? When you DVR something and watch it later, do you watch the commercials, or do you fast-forward past them? When you’re watching a YouTube video, do you watch the entire pre-roll commercial, or do you click the “Skip Ad” button? When an ad pops up across a web page, do you thoughtfully consider it, or do you click the “X” in the top-right corner (or do you just have an ad-blocker installed on your browser)? After all, those advertisers all spent a lot of money on those ads!

I could go on, but you get the idea. Just because advertisers have paid a certain price in order to get our attention, that doesn’t mean they’re automatically entitled to that attention.

Look, they’re in business to make money. That’s how it works!

No, it isn’t as simple as that. Here, read this.

Every part of the game is advertised now — the starting lineup, the pitching changes, the speed of the first pitch — so what’s the big deal if the caps are too?

Those other things being advertised aren’t the uniform. The uniform is different. It’s special — or at least it should be — because it already stands for a brand: the brand of the team.

All uniforms have manufacturers’ logos on them.

That’s not true. For starters, MLB caps never had a maker’s mark until now. NFL helmets, which are arguably the most iconic uniform elements in all of sports, do not carry a manufacturer’s logo. And no NBA uniform had ever had a maker’s mark until the fall of 2017.

The New Era logo has appeared on minor league caps for years.

True enough. But that’s a serious case of apples vs. oranges, because minor league teams do all sorts of things with their uniforms that a big league team would never do (Stars Wars unis, tuxedo unis, etc.). Frankly, I wish the New Era logo didn’t appear on minor league caps either, but minor league uniforms aren’t that important to me. MLB caps are.

True cap fans know that the New Era logo is the mark of quality.

If you say so. But some of us aren’t cap fans — we’re just baseball fans, and the only logo we want on the cap is the team logo.

If you don’t like the logo on the cap, don’t buy the cap.

Actually, I’ve never bought MLB caps. It’s not my thing. But I still have to see the annoying maker’s mark on the caps that the players wear, so I support the fans who are removing the logos from their caps.

It seems wrong to deface a nice cap by removing the logo.

Some of us think the logo is the thing that’s defacing the nice cap.

I live in Buffalo, and New Era is an important part of our community and economy. They employ a lot of people here.

As I already said, I have nothing against New Era per se. I’m not trying to drive them out of business. I’m just opposed to this particular form of advertising that they’re engaging in. (Also: Maybe they’d employ even more people in Buffalo if they didn’t make so many of their caps overseas. Just sayin’.)

I’m fine with the logo being there. In fact, I prefer it.

That’s great! You’re certainly entitled to your opinion. But some of us feel differently, and we’re going to continue to express our point of view. Thanks.