Our Brands, Ourselves

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Two Sundays ago, Bryan posted this photo and complained about all the ACC logos visible therein. This led to a lengthy back-and-forth in the comments section about logo creep — mostly about swooshes and other maker’s marks, not about conference logos. The discussion, which I did not take part in (I was at a bar watching football and caught up on the comments later), featured several arguments and analogies that I hear again and again regarding logo creep — arguments that are, frankly, way off-base. Some similar arguments came up yesterday regarding Michael Jordan’s taped-over Adidas logo.

As you all know, I hate logo creep and see it as a symptom of a much bigger problem (i.e., the encroachment of advertising into public space). I know some of you feel differently, and I also know that to a certain extent this is generational: I grew up in an era when there were no manufacturer’s logos on uniforms; many of you have grown up in an era when such logos are ubiquitous. But even if we disagree on whether logo creep is a problem, we can at least try to keep the debate on a logical plane and not make straw man arguments or apples/oranges comparisons.

With that in mind, I’m going to try to address many of the arguments that came up two Sundays ago, along with some other arguments I frequently hear. I know some of you are tired of this topic, but you’ll have to deal with it for one more day — I wanted to get all my thoughts on the matter in one place, and that place is here.

Let’s start with a simple premise that I think everyone here can agree with: Uniforms are special. They serve as the primary bond between fan and team. Players come and go, yet we keep rooting for (or against) that uniform, no matter who wears it. Jerry Seinfeld described this as “rooting for laundry”; I go further and say it’s a unique form of brand loyalty. Elsewhere on the consumer landscape, your loyalty to a brand is at least somewhat dependant on the content and quality of that brand — it has to taste good, or function well, or whatever. If the content changes, your loyalty will probably change too (that’s what the Coke execs learned with the New Coke debacle). But with sports, the content of a team, and the quality of that content, is changing all the time, yet we remain loyal to that logo, those colors, that uniform.

Just to make the point in a more specific way: Everyone here knows that I love the Mets and hate the Yankees. But if those two rosters were traded for each other today — straight up, 25 guys for 25 guys — who would I root for tomorrow? It’s a no-brainer: I’d root for the guys wearing the Mets uniforms, even if I hated them the day before. That, my friends, is a very special and unique bond. And that’s ultimately why most of us are here at this site to begin with.

Personally, I feel that cluttering up the fan/team bond with advertising logos — whether it’s a Nike swoosh, a McDonald’s patch, or a big soccer sponsorship insignia — cheapens and sullies that bond. It diminishes the team and, by extension, all of us. You may disagree. Let’s discuss…

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Look, of course companies are gonna put their logos on the uniforms they make. Duh, it’s called marketing.
Yes, we all know it’s called marketing. The question isn’t about why they do it; the question is whether there are some places — like, say, on a uniform — where marketing is inappropriate.

But it is appropriate on a uniform. It makes sense for a company to put its logo on the clothing it makes. They’d be stupid not to do it.
Take a look at your feet right now. Unless you’re wearing sneakers, I’m willing to bet that there are no logos on your footwear. There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either. If you’re wearing a tie, there’s almost certainly no visible logo on that. Are the manufacturers of those products stupid?

More to the point, look at any pre-1990 major-level sports photo. You won’t see any manufacturers’ logos there, either. Were Spalding, Wilson, and Rawlings all stupid for decades, and then they suddenly wised up in the 1990s? Or did the sportswear industry decide to push the boundaries to see how much advertising they could push into the public eye?

While we’re at it, let’s look at some non-sports uniforms, like the ones being worn by UPS deliverymen, cops, airline pilots, or Burger King employees. See any manufacturers’ logos on any of those?

Look, a sports uniform is a logo, and it already stands for a brand — the brand of the team that wears it. The uni manufacturer is simply a vendor providing a product to a client. The client (i.e., the team) is what’s important, not the vendor.

Here’s another way to look at it: Some company made the buttons on the uniform, and another company made the zippers, and some mill made the fabric, and another mill made the thread, and some sewing shop stitched all the components together. But you don’t see all their logos on the uniform, right? Of course not — what matters is the end-product brand, not all the little sub-contracted components. And in the case of a uniform, the end-product brand is the team.

Saying that the Reebok logo shouldn’t appear on, say, the Cowboys’ football uniform is like saying a car company shouldn’t put its logo on a car that it makes.
No, that’s a poor analogy. Let’s take, for example, the Ford Focus. The brand that it stands for is, y’know, the Ford Focus, so of course Ford is gonna put their name on it. But the Cowboys uniform stands for the Dallas Cowboys — it has nothing to do with Reebok. (In fact, the Cowboys’ uniform has been largely unchanged for decades, so what exactly is the difference between their uniform now, when it has the Reebok logo on the sleeve, versus 10 years ago, when it had the Nike swoosh on the sleeve? Nothing, except for the change in logos. In short, a different company bought advertising space on the jersey.)

Getting back to the car analogy: What if the steel mill that produced the steel for the Focus insisted that its logo be visible on all of the car’s doors? And what if the manufacturer of every other component of the car did the same? That’s the proper analogy — that would be the automotive equivalent of logo creep. But of course those companies don’t put their logos all over a car, nor would it be appropriate for them to do so.

Wait a minute, my car has Firestone tires and AC sparkplugs, and those logos are visible.
But those are items that you, the driver, can switch out and replace with other brands — they’re more akin to a fielder’s glove or a goalie’s pads. They’re equipment, which can be purchased from a variety of sources, not part of the car’s “uniform.” I’ve never had a problem with logos on equipment, because equipment is a matter of personal choice, not team uniformity.

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OK, maybe you have a point when a company is just the latest manufacturer to produce an old, pre-existing design. But in a lot of cases, the sportswear companies are actually creating the designs we see on the field. Why shouldn’t they take credit for that in a visible way?
Do you know who designed the chair you’re sitting in right now? Or the building where that chair is situated? Or any of the hundreds of objects with which you interact on a daily basis? For better or worse, designers in our culture generally don’t get to sign their work — they, like the manufacturers they work for, are simply vendors supplying a service for a client.

Even if you think designers should get visible credit (an argument that I agree has some merit, but one that we’ll save for another day), that doesn’t really change the parameters of the logo creep debate as it applies to uniforms. Small example: Todd Radom designed the Anaheim Angels’ uniforms — so should his logo or initials be on the sleeve? I think most of us (maybe even Todd) would agree that the answer is no. And if that’s the case, then why should a uniform designed by Nike carry a swoosh?

Look, sports is all about business now, so logo creep is just part of the deal.
Romantic nostalgia aside, sports has always been a business. You think Walter O’Malley wasn’t a businessman? Or Calvin Griffith? Or Charles Comiskey? In fact, the team owners from that era were arguably more revenue-obsessed than today’s owners, because most of them had no other business holdings besides their teams, while many of today’s owners got wealthy in other industries and then bought a team as a vanity project. So while the dollar amounts may be bigger today, it’s not as though sports has suddenly morphed into a business after spending generations functioning as something else.

Anyway, the “It’s just business” argument misses the larger point: Yes, sports teams are business entities, but I would argue, strongly, that they’re also civic entities — that’s why we care about them so much! They carry the name of our cities and states, we rally around them, we live and die with them. Moreover, most of them have gotten big tax breaks and/or play in facilities that were built with public money, and many college and most high school teams represent public scholastic institutions, so the public has a stake in their behavior — a stake that goes beyond the bottom line of the accounting ledger. In short: I don’t want to see my team, in which I have a huge emotional investment, selling out part of its uniform to an advertiser. These teams already make tons of money — there’s a big difference between business and greed.

How can you tell a team, or a league, or anyone else, not to capitalize on a potential revenue stream? That’s just common sense, plus it’s the American way.
Just because you can sell something, that doesn’t mean you should sell it. You could make a lot of money selling a kidney, putting your family’s heirloom silverware up for auction on eBay, or pimping out your sister, but that doesn’t mean any of those things is a good idea. There are certain things that we, as a society, have said are not for sale. Remember the outcry when MLB wanted to put Spider-Man 2 ads on the bases a few years back? Personally, I see little difference between that and a swoosh on a uniform sleeve, although I realize many fans don’t see those as comparable examples.

In the larger sense, the “It’s just business” argument essentially boils down every human interaction to its economic value, which is both reductive and offensive. The things we value most highly — love, faith, art, genius, charity, friendship, family, nature, community, etc. — all transcend monetary issues. In fact, that’s a big part of why we value them so highly. I believe the fan/team relationship, as symbolized by the uniform, should fall into that category too.

As for the “American way” argument, putting ad logos on uniforms is actually the European way. We’ve mostly avoided that here in America, except for manufacturer’s marks. I wish we could avoid those, too.

Well, good for you, Mr. Holier Than Thou, but the horse is already out of the barn. Look around you — you’ve lost the argument. Logo creep is everywhere in sports. Give it up already!
First of all, it’s not everywhere. There are no manufacturer’s logos on NBA uniforms (to David Stern’s everlasting credit), or on college basketball jerseys, or on MLB caps, or on socks in any of the four major pro leagues, and I want to make sure those situations stay that way. Moreover, I want to raise awareness about the encroachment of advertising in places where I don’t think it belongs. Even if it’s too late to keep the Majestic logo off of a baseball uniform, I hope it’s not too late to make sure a MasterCard sleeve patch never appears there. And it’s never too late to make people think a bit harder about what they see during a sporting event — that’s what Uni Watch is all about.

Well, it’s fine for you to say a team shouldn’t maximize its revenue. But Nike gives college athletic departments a lot of money in return for all those swooshes, and that money goes a long way toward helping all sorts of student athletes. If they turn down that money, how are you gonna replace it? Are you gonna write a big check yourself?
I’m not going to get into a long discussion over the cesspool of money that characterizes so much of college sports, but the above-stated argument makes two major suppositions: (1) Major funding for college athletics is an entitlement, and (2) the athletic department is essentially for sale to the highest bidder. I reject both of these notions.

But for the sake of argument, let’s go along with the idea that big money for college athletics is a good thing. Now, we both know that Nike isn’t giving out all that money from the goodness of their hearts — they’re doing it because they think they’ll get a good return on that investment, which means it’s essentially dirty money. By way of analogy, let’s say American Express offered to give the state of Illinois a huge sum of money targeted for the state’s school system — but in return, the AmEx logo would have to be printed on the statehouse dome, AmEx ads would have to be posted throughout state facilities, and the state itself would have to be renamed “American Express Presents Illinois.” Would that be a good idea? Not to me, no matter how much money they were offering. And if you think that hypothetical example is ridiculous, ask yourself how ridiculous “the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl” and “the FedEx Orange Bowl” would have sounded 15 years ago.

I’m sick of all this corporate-bashing — you just hate brands and products and capitalism and consumerism.
If you knew anything about my pre-Uni Watch writing, you’d know that I’m fascinated by consumer culture. Hell, I have an iconic product tattooed on my right arm. Again, my problem isn’t with consumerism per se — it’s with consumerism run amok. We may all have different ideas of what “run amok” means, but to me it means, among other things, a Nike logo on a uniform sleeve. And it certainly means MJ having to tape over the Adidas logo on his practice jersey.

You’re such a hypocrite. If you hate logos so much, why do you slap the Uni Watch logo on T-shirts, coffee mugs, and lots of other merchandise?
Yes, I put my logo on T-shirts, just like the Mets put their logo on T-shirts, and Nike puts a giant swoosh on T-shirts. I have no problem with any of that — I just don’t want a swoosh and a Mets logo together on the same shirt, because they have nothing to do with each other. I’m not taking issue with marketing per se — my gripe is about marketing in inappropriate places, like on a uniform.

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Yeah, but you’re still a big phony, because the Google logo appears all over the Uni Watch home page. Now there’s some logo creep!
Actually, quite a few logos appear on the Uni Watch home page. That’s advertising for ya. Publications and web sites are traditional and appropriate places for ads to appear — that’s how publications and web sites stay in business (especially web sites, since most of them — including this one — give away their content for free, as opposed to most publications, which have a cover price). One more time: I’m not opposed to advertising and marketing per se — I’m simply opposed to them in places where I feel they don’t belong. I think a team’s uniform is one of those places.

You know, I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but I’m sick of hearing about it. I love sports, I love uniforms, and I want to enjoy them without thinking too hard about any of this stuff.
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I’m actually more sympathetic to this point of view than you might expect. I think we all have areas where we’d rather have blinders on and ignore troubling information because it gets in the way of our enjoyment. Case in point: I love animals, but I also love eating meat. When I hear vegetarians talking about the deplorable conditions in cattle feedlots and such, I tend to tune it out — not because I think they’re wrong, but because I want to keep enjoying my steak without wrestling too hard with any ethical and moral implications. This is, as Al Gore puts it, an inconvenient truth.

So I understand that I may come across as a crank regarding this issue. And really, I’m not trying to ruin your good time — it’s just something I happen to feel strongly about. And that feeling comes from the same place as the rest of Uni Watch.

Thanks for listening. From now on, when logo creep discussions break out in the comments section, I’ll just refer people to this page.

Raffle Results: The five winners of the holiday raffle, in descending order from first prize to the fith prize, are M. L. Durón, Dave Kendrick, Patrick Taylor, Gabe Kleinfeld, and someone who didn’t leave his name but whose e-mail address starts with “Shadydem” (I’m not printing his full address, to protect his privacy). These five people should all contact me as soon as possible to claim your prizes.

Uni Watch News Ticker: Yet another reason to always wear your helmet. … Maybe the Vikings were actually ahead of the curve. … Jared Wheeler just sent me some awesome photos. First, check out these 1940s shots of the Freddy Shubach, who was the Eagles’ equipment manager. Next, look at this gorgeous game-worn Phillies jersey from 1945, with black felt insignia, chain-stitched sleeve patch, and nylon underarm ribbing. Meanwhile, what the fuck is that on Pete Rose’s head? … I’ve previously run this shot of Clarence Weathers and his FNOB. But Randy Williams was watching footage of the 1986 Jets/Browns divisional playoff game and noticed Weathers wearing a handwritten “20” on his helmet. Anyone know what that was about? … The first trailer for Leatherheads is out, and the uniforms look sensational. Check it out here (with thanks to Ronnie Poore). … Quick someone buy Vince this for Xmas (good find by Brendon Yarian). … In a vaguely related item, check out the best Browns helmet design concept ever here. … Ohio State and LSU will both wear home uniforms in the BCS title game, but that’s not exactly a major story since LSU normally wears white at home anyway. … In the spirit of the season, and to provide a light-hearted counterpoint to today’s lengthy and serious main entry, here’s my favorite Christmas video (if the embedded video isn’t visible below, just click here). The dialogue is definitely NSFW, so use headphones. Enjoy.

 

278 comments to Our Brands, Ourselves

  • Rich | December 20, 2007 at 9:32 am |

    I think the “20” on Clarence Weathers’ helmet was for Don Rogers, a safety for the Browns who died in June 1986 from cocaine poisoning, not too long after Len Bias’ death.

  • Fez Whatley | December 20, 2007 at 9:34 am |

    Is that Pete’s Cherry Hill, NJ place in it’s 1980’s glory? Maybe Pete had to help paint the Sade Olympique too.

  • Talon Lardner | December 20, 2007 at 9:40 am |

    Pretty cool write-up on logo creep overall, and made me think quite a bit about how much logo creep I have on me. For example, on my person, I have the Apple logo on my iPod (with the podcast I am listening to’s logo on the screen), an adidas hoodie with its three stripes along the length of each sleeve, a small “Vans” tag on my shoe, that little leather thingie on my jeans which displays who made my jeans, “Sonoma” on my backpack, “Mountain Dew” on my drink, Dell’s logo on the back of my laptop screen, and the only thing WITHOUT a logo visible on it is my winter coat and underwear. I wonder how this compares to generations past…

  • Eric S. | December 20, 2007 at 9:41 am |

    A million things to discuss about this picture, but I’m posting it here for logo creep purposes.

  • Nicefellow31 | December 20, 2007 at 9:41 am |

    That’s correct Rich. If I remember correctly Rogers died the night before his wedding. He was going to be a heck of a player too.

  • u2horn | December 20, 2007 at 9:42 am |
  • Frank | December 20, 2007 at 9:42 am |

    Just glancing at this, at work here.

    I’m somewhere between the “I don’t necessarily disagree but..” and outright disagreeing categories. That said the article looks great, I’m probably not going to agree with everything, but that’s okay and even where I disagree you made good arguements. Certainly a fine piece to turn refer to next time the logo creep issue comes up.

  • al | December 20, 2007 at 9:44 am |

    Great piece Paul.

    When you wrote, “Here’s another way to look at it: Some company made the buttons on the uniform, and another company made the zippers, and some mill made the fabric, and another mill made the thread, and some sewing shop stitched all the components together. But you don’t see all their logos on the uniform, right? Of course not — what matters is the end-product brand, not all the little sub-contracted components. And in the case of a uniform, the end-product brand is the team.” —

    Made me think about today’s “look at me” players who celebrate to get all the attention, while the other 10 men on the field who did their job get “overlooked”.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 9:44 am |

    [quote comment=”188825″]No logos on college basketball uniforms?[/quote]

    Not on jerseys. That’s banned by the NCAA.

  • steve | December 20, 2007 at 9:46 am |

    Forget about Pete’s hat. Check out the white velcro closure shoes.

  • Jason Axel | December 20, 2007 at 9:49 am |

    Great article Paul. I agree with pretty much everything and I feel like I’m very simple in my ideals on uniforms, but being in Marketing for a professional arena, my job conflicts with my ideals. We make SWAG all the time that has Van Andel Arena logos and wordmarks all over it to get our name out to everyone. Our logo is on all the promo posters we send out. Like you said though, there are the right time and place for logo’s to be had, but even in the real world with marketing, sometimes I feel like the exposure to a company’s logo can be overwhelming.

  • Original Jim | December 20, 2007 at 9:50 am |

    Might be just a fashion cap that Rose is wearing. He played for Montreal in the early 80’s when painter’s caps were the trend. Maybe that’s what it is.

    It’s certainly no worse than the helmet-cut of hair he usually had.

  • Shaftman | December 20, 2007 at 9:51 am |

    Would this be considered logo creep?

  • Hank | December 20, 2007 at 9:51 am |

    Paul: Good article on the proliferation of logo creep. Another point that could be made is this. With all the advertising already in arenas and stadia, and the endless TV time outs and commercials, why not just let the uniforms be adorned with the team’s logo? Is that asking too much?

  • Rick | December 20, 2007 at 9:52 am |

    There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either.

    Paul, I must disagree with your statement about no visible logos on shirts or sweaters. Nearly everyone in my office wears shirts and sweaters with either a Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Nautica, Express, Timberland, or some other sort of logo. I’d say there are more shirts and sweaters with logos than without!

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 9:55 am |

    [quote comment=”188838″]There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either.

    Paul, I must disagree with your statement about no visible logos on shirts or sweaters.

    Nearly everyone in my office wears shirts and sweaters with either a Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Nautica, Express, Timberland, or some other sort of logo. I’d say there are more shirts and sweaters with logos than without![/quote]

    Well, I guess it depends on your office. Your average dress shirt, unless it’s made by Lauren or Hilfiger, is logo-free. Same goes for your average sweater.

  • TBDRO | December 20, 2007 at 9:58 am |

    I probably agree with 99.99% of what you wrote about logo creep.

    If I think I can do it without damaging the item, I remove the manufacturer’s logo from my sports gear. For example, a manufacturer’s logo visible on the outside of a cap. I buy it for the team logo. I don’t mind if there is a league logo on the side or back, but the manufacturer’s logo must go.

    And for that my wife thinks I’m crazy.

  • dgc | December 20, 2007 at 9:59 am |

    [quote comment=”188838″]There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either.

    Paul, I must disagree with your statement about no visible logos on shirts or sweaters.

    Nearly everyone in my office wears shirts and sweaters with either a Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Nautica, Express, Timberland, or some other sort of logo. I’d say there are more shirts and sweaters with logos than without![/quote]

    I think this would be the difference between designer brands and the no-name stuff you would get at Walmart. If you buy a Polo, you want people to see the Polo logo otherwise you just overpaid for a shirt (quality of material/workmanship assumed to be the same).

    For a sports jersey, you want people to see your team’s logo, the Majestic/Reebok/Nike/Adidas logo isn’t what you care about.

  • Kevin | December 20, 2007 at 9:59 am |

    That Brown’s logo is a riot. Very funny stuff.

  • jhack | December 20, 2007 at 10:01 am |

    There is logo creep on cars – It may be on the inside of the car, rather than the outside – but it is there. One could purchase the standard base model, but for a few thousand more dollars, I can opt for the model with the infinity sound system or jbl sound system. Isn’t this at the very least comparable? It makes the consumer consciously aware of what brand of stereo they get in their cars and in turn, maybe but in their house. The same thing reebok is doing with their logos on the unis…

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 10:03 am |

    [quote comment=”188843″]There is logo creep on cars – It may be on the inside of the car, rather than the outside – but it is there. One could purchase the standard base model, but for a few thousand more dollars, I can opt for the model with the infinity sound system or jbl sound system. Isn’t this at the very least comparable?[/quote]

    Again, that’s equipment — like a fielder choosing a Rawlings glove instead of Wilson, or goalie choosing Reebok pads instead of Nike. Equipment is different than the uniform.

  • Eddie Jay | December 20, 2007 at 10:04 am |

    You know what also kinda bothers me? How on NFL Jerseys it is the NFL Equipment sheild at the neck, if there’s gonna be something there, it should JUST be the nfl sheild logo.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 10:04 am |

    [quote comment=”188841″][quote comment=”188838″]There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either.

    Paul, I must disagree with your statement about no visible logos on shirts or sweaters.

    Nearly everyone in my office wears shirts and sweaters with either a Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Nautica, Express, Timberland, or some other sort of logo. I’d say there are more shirts and sweaters with logos than without![/quote]

    I think this would be the difference between designer brands and the no-name stuff you would get at Walmart. [/quote]

    Um, go to any department store (Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks, Nordstrom, etc.) and look at all the dress shirts. The vast majority of them have no visible logo on the outside of the shirt, even if they’re made by big menswear designers like Jospeh Aboud, Ike Behar, Calvin Klein, etc.

  • jsdryden | December 20, 2007 at 10:05 am |

    Totally off topic, but in this article from NHL.com, I found this little tidbit.
    “Players on both teams will be outfitted in retro team jerseys bearing “football-sized numbers,” for better viewing.”

    http://www.nhl.com/n...

    I hope it does not coming off cartoony…

  • Jeff B | December 20, 2007 at 10:06 am |

    How do you feel about conference/league logos? Do you mind a Big Ten logo say or an MLB logo?

  • Colin | December 20, 2007 at 10:08 am |

    I have to disagree with the Paul on the non-sneaker shoes to a point. I’m a teacher (currently on my prep hour, so don’t worry about wasted tax dollars)and I wear Dr. Martens to work. When I first started wearing them, kids would point them out because of the yellow string used to connect the sole to the leather upper. It would be hard to convice me that they do this to make a better product. It’s to single out thier product, just like a logo. I know this isn’s the case with all shoes, but I’m sure there are othe examples as well.

  • Steve | December 20, 2007 at 10:08 am |

    I am not looking forward to the day when NHL hockey, or any sport for that matter, looks like European Hockey

  • Robert | December 20, 2007 at 10:08 am |

    Wow, I just made it through the manifesto. Well done.

  • Charlie | December 20, 2007 at 10:08 am |

    [quote comment=”188823″]A million things to discuss about this picture, but I’m posting it here for logo creep purposes.[/quote]

    Gotta love Women’s volleyball…

    on a side note…what’s with the really scary black girl!?!

  • Jeff B | December 20, 2007 at 10:09 am |

    Also, I like the infinite regressions on that Browns helmet. It would almost be better if the helmet logo was the Browns blank helmet, ie our logo is our blank helmet

  • douglas | December 20, 2007 at 10:10 am |

    Very good article!! Excellent and truthful!!
    I differ in the brand/customer conception as today, uniforms are designed for retail, not the game itself, wich brings lots of money and exposure to the teams. Removing the brands would therefore decrease the value and quality perception of the uniforms. I think if you check uni sales volume and quality before the Nike era (1990’s), that should prove my point.
    As for corporate uniforms, I see a lot of cobranding (i.e Mc Donalds uni made by some famous clothing brands, or celeb fashion designer creating new unis for police or mailmen, etc…)
    Another example of next step sponsorship : has anyone heard of 2002-2005 spanish powerhouse Atletico Madrid? They have worn a different jersey for each game, sponsored by a giant studio (warner or paramount I don’t remember) that advertised the blockbuster of the week. Interesting…

  • Robin | December 20, 2007 at 10:11 am |

    Looks like Pete Rose is the conductor for the Expos Railroad.

    Oh, and Paul, the link to your book says used copies start at $.01!!!
    We actually ARE paying a penny for your thoughts.

  • Jeff B | December 20, 2007 at 10:11 am |

    [quote comment=”188855″][quote comment=”188823″]A million things to discuss about this picture, but I’m posting it here for logo creep purposes.[/quote]

    Gotta love Women’s volleyball…

    on a side note…what’s with the really scary black girl!?![/quote]

    What’s with the photographer who probably told the one black girl on the team to look scary?

  • Jay | December 20, 2007 at 10:12 am |

    Been kinda waiting for this. Well said Paul.

    No to turn back to the disasters that are my beloved Bengals…

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 10:14 am |

    [quote comment=”188857″]I differ in the brand/customer conception as today, uniforms are designed for retail, not the game itself…[/quote]

    And that is a huge part of the problem.

  • Tim | December 20, 2007 at 10:18 am |

    the “20” on Clarence Weathers’s helmet was to honor Don Rogers who dies of a drug overdose during the offseason prior to 1986.

  • JoeS | December 20, 2007 at 10:18 am |

    Nice article, Paul. I agree on all your points in an ideal world, but in the actual world I am torn, as my girlfriend is an advertising copy writer and she is constantly trying to come up with new and creative ways of advertising. Though, she doesn’t call it “logo creep”, she calls it “alternative media”.

  • Tom Carlson | December 20, 2007 at 10:18 am |

    I am curious if the uniform companies prior to the era of logos on uniforms were in the business of producing consumer sportswear. Would you be able to walk into a clothing store in the 1950s and buy a Spaulding shirt that you intended to wear as a casual piece of clothing and not during an athletic endevour?

    Would the relaxed standards of dress that we currently enjoy be a contributing factor to logo creep?

  • BuckeyeMark | December 20, 2007 at 10:18 am |

    I agree with about 105% of what was said but you need a better analogy than the car thing. many Dodge pick up trucks are now branded “Cummins Diesel.” Cummins makes engines (hardly optional equipment, pretty much mandatory in a car or truck) and somehow manages to get their logo on the truck.

    so logo creep has reached the automotive world…

  • Jeff B | December 20, 2007 at 10:18 am |

    How do you respond to the idea, as you have mentioned before, that consumers get ‘advertising numb’ where they/we just don’t notice or respond to more ads, and adding more ads is ineffective, as we don’t see them? If we don’t respond to them, does it matter that they’re there? Maybe in this situation, a uniform without advertising stands out more than any ad ever will.

  • Mark N | December 20, 2007 at 10:21 am |

    I noticed that the 1973 Browns helmet on ebay has the newer clear hardware clips on it. I believe it should have the bigger grey clips.

  • FC | December 20, 2007 at 10:21 am |

    Logo creep rant = living in the past = only
    appealing to an older generation.

    Why make your website’s appeal narrower?

    Then again, I’m the same guy who LOVES it when the ‘traditional’ stadium name gets replaced with the corporate name. (U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago)

  • Craig | December 20, 2007 at 10:21 am |

    I think people are forgetting the best arguement Paul made. That uniforms are the biggest bond we have with the team. When the evil Modell sold his soul to satan and moved the team, the fans of Cleveland flooded the NFL and all the owners’ faxes and emails demanding they do something. What did they do? They gave us an expansion team complete with colors, history and name that we grew up with. If they had gone with the Baltimore Browns and the Cleveland Dawgs, it wouldn’t have been the same. I dont have a bond with my shirt or sweater…I have a bond with that orange helmet and those brown jerseys. Reebok, Nike, Adidas et al are slapping their brand on our tradition and history. No one…not one single person, would buy a jersey simply because it has a swoosh or three stripes on it. We buy the team. Logos are unnecessary and intrusive. They add nothing and subract plenty from the value of the jersey. Let em slap that crap on ball caps, knit caps, coaches gear and sweatshirts. Lets leave the uniforms alone.

  • Jeremy Brahm | December 20, 2007 at 10:23 am |

    Having grown up in Oregon, with Nike based here, we always forget that Nike is a brand. When we see the University of Oregon here in this state, we tend to associated Nike and University of Oregon as one and the same, even though they are two separate brands.

    This is where the controlling of a brand comes into play. Has Oregon given control of it’s sports branding to Nike, without a doubt, that is why we have the funky colors and designs.

    But, when you look at the university, itself, it has to separate itself from the Nike brand entirely, because for the education portion of the school, Nike is not sponsoring the math department. (Just imagine the professor walking in an all lightning yellow suit with a big green swoosh) It would just look weird in a classroom setting.

    With all of the stuff I send in on Japanese sports, many of the high schools and colleges do not have have athletic sponsors of any kind on their jersey. Only Waseda University, which has only recently acquired sponsorship from Adidas is the only major school with any athletic sponsorship. Most institutions still keep the logos off the field for athletes until they are professionals. It just is not as invasive there for the uniforms.

    As for the professional baseball leagues, they have always had some sort of company sponsorship (company ownership), but have added small patches to the uniforms for additional sponsorship money. They are not big in size, but get the job done. Do I like seeing these ads, not necessarily.

    Lastly, sumo wrestling in Japan has had sponsorship. It is always shown as the guys hold up signs before the big matches, but you will never see a sponsor on the belts. If I ever saw one, I would say that sumo’s days were numbered because there is not enough money to support the sport at that point.

  • anthony | December 20, 2007 at 10:24 am |

    Awesome article! As a creative director for a national marketing agency, you couldn’t have been more dead on about the role of manufacturer and brand logos in the culture of the sports world today.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 10:24 am |

    [quote comment=”188869″]Logo creep rant = living in the past = only
    appealing to an older generation.

    Why make your website’s appeal narrower?[/quote]

    In response to this brilliant analysis, I’d like to announce that this site will become a porno hub as of tomorrow. The appeal should be massive.

  • S. Bennett | December 20, 2007 at 10:24 am |

    PL wrote: “Elsewhere on the consumer landscape, your loyalty to a brand is at least somewhat dependant on the content and quality of that brand — it has to taste good, or function well, or whatever. If the content changes, your loyalty will probably change too (that’s what the Coke execs learned with the New Coke debacle). ”

    Coke claims it’s about taste, but it remains largely a branding issue Content is rarely an issue with branding. – “cool” is. In fact, branding is the attempt to substitute critical thinking skills about the product with images of how cool it is, and how cool you are by extension. Regardless of how crappy the product is, people will continue to buy. Brand loyalty, once established, is very difficult to break. In a solidly branded market, product product becomes immaterial (unless it REALLY fails to hold expectations – a recall or history of recalls, for example). The reason why Coke floundered with new Coke wasn’t about taste, it was about going against their own brand. After convincing people for almost 100 years that it was “the real thing” – telling people that it was an essential key to being part of Western pop culture – you can’t turn around and change what “real” is to them. You make them feel gullible and stupid, which is not a good idea. Especially when you’re casing in on gullibility and forfeiture of critical thinking skills (a.k.a. stupidity) to make profits.

    Had they changed the formula and said nothing, they could have passed off the transition as people’s imaginations getting the best of them and nobody would have challenged otherwise. After a few weeks, the new flavour would “be” Coke, plain and simple. By making a big production about the shift, they basically tried to compete against their own brand and got beat down. Whoever hatched this idea at Coke clearly underestimated just how thoroughly branded they were.

    PL:
    “More to the point, look at any pre-1990 major-level sports photo. You won’t see any manufacturers’ logos there, either. Were Spalding, Wilson, and Rawlings all stupid for decades, and then they suddenly wised up in the 1990s?”

    To play Devil’s Advocate, in a word, YES. Nike and Reebok blew the doors off of advertising budgets in the 1990s, not just in sports, but advertising, period. Adapt or die is the nature of the beast. As Louisville, you might hate slapping a scary huge logo on Ricky’ Henderson’s bats, but it’s a better better option than bankruptcy.

    SB

  • dgc | December 20, 2007 at 10:25 am |

    [quote comment=”188857″]Very good article!! Excellent and truthful!!
    I differ in the brand/customer conception as today, uniforms are designed for retail, not the game itself, wich brings lots of money and exposure to the teams. Removing the brands would therefore decrease the value and quality perception of the uniforms. I think if you check uni sales volume and quality before the Nike era (1990’s), that should prove my point.
    [/quote]

    Does it? Did anyone really wear replica jerseys until the ’90s? I don’t think it was a quality/value thing as much as it being unfashionable to wear a jersey at all.

  • The Ol Goaler | December 20, 2007 at 10:27 am |

    [quote comment=”188829″][quote comment=”188825″]No logos on college basketball uniforms?[/quote]

    Not on jerseys. That’s banned by the NCAA.[/quote]
    And the logos on the pants may only be a certain (fairly small) size.

    Then there’s golf, where a certain player has created a “brand” of his own… (All the other guys wearing logos on their hats/visors/shirts are using that company’s equipment, so I guess that would fall into the “non-uniform” category.)

  • diz | December 20, 2007 at 10:29 am |

    [quote comment=”188859″][quote comment=”188855″][quote comment=”188823″]A million things to discuss about this picture, but I’m posting it here for logo creep purposes.[/quote]

    Gotta love Women’s volleyball…

    on a side note…what’s with the really scary black girl!?![/quote]

    What’s with the photographer who probably told the one black girl on the team to look scary?[/quote]

    looks like he told them all to look scary. and all but one of them failed.

  • Shaftman | December 20, 2007 at 10:29 am |

    [quote comment=”188865″]I agree with about 105% of what was said but you need a better analogy than the car thing. many Dodge pick up trucks are now branded “Cummins Diesel.” Cummins makes engines (hardly optional equipment, pretty much mandatory in a car or truck) and somehow manages to get their logo on the truck.

    so logo creep has reached the automotive world…[/quote]

    True…and what about the Ford Explorer; “Eddie Bauer Edition” or the F150; “Harley Davidson Edition”. Not to mention all the times you see a dealers logo on a car that they sold.

  • Shane | December 20, 2007 at 10:31 am |

    Imagine how Sufjan Stevens’ album would’ve turned out if it actually was “American Express Presents Illinois”.

    Heh. My logo-creep count today is 5. Four Converse/All-Star logos on the shoes and a Levis patch on the jeans.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 10:31 am |

    [quote comment=”188876″]Content is rarely an issue with branding. – “cool” is.[/quote]

    Depends on the brand. Some brands aren’t about “cool”; they’re about integrity, stability, trust. There are different core values all across the consumer spectrum.

  • David | December 20, 2007 at 10:32 am |

    not to demean the ticker or anything, but that OSU-LSU article about both teams wearing home uniforms was the most useless piece i’ve ever read. i really hope someone didn’t get paid for writing that article. and if they did, where do i sign up?

  • Cullan | December 20, 2007 at 10:32 am |

    You had me at Makers Mark. Ummm…

  • Robin | December 20, 2007 at 10:33 am |

    [quote comment=”188869″]

    Then again, I’m the same guy who LOVES it when the ‘traditional’ stadium name gets replaced with the corporate name. (U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago)[/quote]

    I don’t get why someone would want a crappy corporate logo attached to their home stadium. It’s why I hope they never sell the naming rights to the Louisiana Superdome, I don’t care how much money is involved.

    Same thing with the college bowls. WTF is the Chik-Fil-A Bowl??

  • ryan c #40 | December 20, 2007 at 10:34 am |

    “But if those two rosters were traded for each other today — straight up, 25 guys for 25 guys — who would I root for tomorrow?”

    …hey, is any team out there willing to do that with the pirates?!?! please???

  • Jeff B | December 20, 2007 at 10:34 am |

    “…let’s say American Express offered to give the state of Illinois a huge sum of money targeted for the state’s school system — but in return, the AmEx logo would have to be printed on the statehouse dome, AmEx ads would have to be posted throughout state facilities, and the state itself would have to be renamed “American Express Presents Illinois.” Would that be a good idea? Not to me…”

    While I agree with the almost sanctity of the uniform, I have written in the past for multiple venues that this would in fact be an excellent idea. I think corporate sponsorship, from a purely financial and marketing standpoint would be a good move on America’s part. I feel a higher quality education for more people is worth a few say Coke or McDonalds ads in a school, provided these sponsors only provide funding, not educational materials.

  • TBDRO | December 20, 2007 at 10:36 am |

    [quote comment=”188869″]Logo creep rant = living in the past = only
    appealing to an older generation.

    Why make your website’s appeal narrower?[/quote]
    I’m 28. Am I part of the older generation?

  • Kevin M. | December 20, 2007 at 10:36 am |

    [quote comment=”188886″][quote comment=”188869″]
    Same thing with the college bowls. WTF is the Chik-Fil-A Bowl??[/quote]

    I still call it the Peach Bowl. It will always be the Peach Bowl.

  • Bill | December 20, 2007 at 10:37 am |

    Well said Paul. Any discussion of logo creep always makes me think of NASCAR vehicles and how silly they look plastered with logos.

  • Robin | December 20, 2007 at 10:38 am |

    [quote comment=”188890″][quote comment=”188869″]Logo creep rant = living in the past = only
    appealing to an older generation.

    Why make your website’s appeal narrower?[/quote]
    I’m 28. Am I part of the older generation?[/quote]

    I agree here, I’m 26, and I’m not a fan of logo excessiveness.

  • JoeS | December 20, 2007 at 10:41 am |

    [quote comment=”188880″]Not to mention all the times you see a dealers logo on a car that they sold.[/quote]
    I’m not usually anal about stuff like this, but that was the first thing I did when I bought my car was remove the dealer sticker and dealer plate on the front. Mustang is the brand I’m loyal to, not the dealership.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 10:42 am |

    [quote comment=”188892″]Well said Paul. Any discussion of logo creep always makes me think of NASCAR vehicles and how silly they look plastered with logos.[/quote]

    That’s a whole different scene. I feel individual sports are different than team sports, because there are no team uniforms involved. And yes, I know there are NASCAR “teams,” but you know what I mean — it’s still an individual sport. Let’s please NOT turn this into a discussion on NASCAR or other individual sports — keep the discussion on team uniforms, please.

  • Kent Skor | December 20, 2007 at 10:43 am |

    I grew up in an era when there were no manufacturer’s logos on uniforms; many of you have grown up in an era when such logos are ubiquitous.

    When I played Little League in the Bronx, the name of my team was “Daisy Cleaners”. The name was written right across the shirt. We played against teams like Zarro’s Bakery and B’nai B’rith. And this was back in 1966. So commercial involvement has always been there—just in different ways.

  • Eriq Jaffe | December 20, 2007 at 10:43 am |

    Here’s a bit of logo creep circa 1988. Of course, since I’m posting it, it’s a White Sox jersey:

    Please note the “Rawlings” script on Dave LaPoint’s right sleeve.

  • TBDRO | December 20, 2007 at 10:43 am |

    [/quote]Not to mention all the times you see a dealers logo on a car that they sold.[/quote]
    Yep, those either never go on (by my request) or come immediately off.

    I’ll never forget the day I picked up my first car. Brought it home, pulled it in the garage and admired the beauty. Then I noticed the huge, white dealership decal they added to the back of the car while prepping it before I picked it up. My dad spent about an hour carefully removing the decal, and then proceeded to call the dealership and let them know that if they wanted to advertise on his son’s car they’d need to provide us with monetary compensation.

    Whenever I’m in traffic, I can’t help but notice all of the decals and license plate covers with dealer names and logos.

  • Eriq Jaffe | December 20, 2007 at 10:44 am |

    [quote comment=”188896″]I grew up in an era when there were no manufacturer’s logos on uniforms; many of you have grown up in an era when such logos are ubiquitous.

    When I played Little League in the Bronx, the name of my team was “Daisy Cleaners”. The name was written right across the shirt. We played against teams like Zarro’s Bakery and B’nai B’rith. And this was back in 1966. So commercial involvement has always been there—just in different ways.[/quote]

    Of course, there was also the Federal League’s Brooklyn Tip Tops, who were named after the Tip Top Bakery, which was owned by team owner Robert Ward.

  • Robert | December 20, 2007 at 10:46 am |

    [quote comment=”188845″][quote comment=”188843″]There is logo creep on cars – It may be on the inside of the car, rather than the outside – but it is there. One could purchase the standard base model, but for a few thousand more dollars, I can opt for the model with the infinity sound system or jbl sound system. Isn’t this at the very least comparable?[/quote]

    Again, that’s equipment — like a fielder choosing a Rawlings glove instead of Wilson, or goalie choosing Reebok pads instead of Nike. Equipment is different than the uniform.[/quote]

    I know that this is more co-branding than logo creep, but I have to mention it just because I like cars a lot. There are many instances of non-auto logos appearing on special edition vehicles:

    Fila Thunderbird
    Levis Jeep
    various high-toned versions of Town Cars

  • douglas | December 20, 2007 at 10:47 am |

    [quote comment=”188877″][quote comment=”188857″]Very good article!! Excellent and truthful!!
    I differ in the brand/customer conception as today, uniforms are designed for retail, not the game itself, wich brings lots of money and exposure to the teams. Removing the brands would therefore decrease the value and quality perception of the uniforms. I think if you check uni sales volume and quality before the Nike era (1990’s), that should prove my point.
    [/quote]

    Does it? Did anyone really wear replica jerseys until the ’90s? I don’t think it was a quality/value thing as much as it being unfashionable to wear a jersey at all.[/quote]

    yes, and who’s been setting ALL the fashion trends eversince? 90% of shoes are sneakers, ust an example of the sports/urban culture dominance.
    [quote comment=”188861″][quote comment=”188857″]I differ in the brand/customer conception as today, uniforms are designed for retail, not the game itself…[/quote]

    And that is a huge part of the problem.[/quote]

    I know, but who makes the rules anyway?? Sports industry is a circle from cash to best players to victory to more cash. Fans want victory rather than stylish gear (and not necessarly Uniwatch approved).

    As for the quality/manufacturer/subcontractor name on the unis debate, just look at any racing organization, where everyone from lubricants to tyres is mentionned on both uniform and vehicle.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 10:47 am |

    [quote comment=”188896″]I grew up in an era when there were no manufacturer’s logos on uniforms; many of you have grown up in an era when such logos are ubiquitous.

    When I played Little League in the Bronx, the name of my team was “Daisy Cleaners”. The name was written right across the shirt. We played against teams like Zarro’s Bakery and B’nai B’rith. And this was back in 1966. So commercial involvement has always been there—just in different ways.[/quote]

    Yeah, but that’s a different animal. When it comes to Little League, the teams aren’t brands, and we don’t root for the uniforms — we root for a team because a particular kid is on that team, not the other way around. And the sponsors are part of the local community, not multinational corporations.

  • Randy | December 20, 2007 at 10:52 am |

    I think this would be the difference between designer brands and the no-name stuff you would get at Walmart. If you buy a Polo, you want people to see the Polo logo otherwise you just overpaid for a shirt (quality of material/workmanship assumed to be the same).

    I don’t even think you want to get into this argument. I agree with Paul here. Thats a cheese ball statement to make about wanting people to see your logo.

    First of all if your Polo shirt has a logo on it, well then my friend that isn’t a “dress” shirt. None of Polo’s real dress shirts have logos on them. The more casual shirts will. Same goes for all dress shirts, whether it be Ike Behar, Zegna, or Wal-Mart.

    So if you are in an office setting right now where you are assumed to be a professional, and you look down at your attire and see a logo, I have one word for you: shame. Its about time to grow up and graduate from middle school.

    Do us all a favor and be classy and suit up.

  • SouthSider | December 20, 2007 at 10:53 am |

    I think that a more appropriate analogy in the automotive space is to look at the way that dealerships tag the back of your new car with a decal that says “Bob’s Auto Barn” or some other such nonsense.

    It’s one thing for them to provide a license plate holder with their name on it, which can be discarded by the car’s owner (akin to tearing the price tag off of a new shirt). But it is something completely different to permanently affix an ad for the dealership onto your bumper.

    I have, in the past, said to a dealer that they’ll have to take $500 off of the price of the car if they want me to drive their billboard around for 5 years. It’s amazing how fast they find a heatgun to peel that ad off the back of the car…

    With Champion, Russell, Adidas, Reebok, Nike, et al, it’s the same thing. I’ve never quite understood why someone would buy a plain t-shirt with only a Polo player or Swoosh in the middle of the chest (even though I owned a couple of those when I was 15). It just seems to me that they should give you one of those for free with the purchase of some other expensive products (like $150 shoes).

    I’ve taken to coloring in the logos on my caps with a permanent Sharpie. If I buy a cap, I want to say that “I’m a fan of the Lugnuts”, not “I’m cool ‘cuz I wear Nike.” I guess that makes me uncool…

  • Adrian Newman | December 20, 2007 at 10:53 am |

    Excellent, excellent piece on logo creeps. I agree with 100% of what you said (especially about the steak. Mmmmm…. steak…)

    Anyway, I want to get your opinion on something:

    Let’s say the NFL announces an expansion team for, say, Los Angeles. They also announce that the teams new owner is Nike. Nike announces that the team name will be the Los Angeles Swoosh and uses their current corporate brand as the team logo. I’m talking a big swoosh on the helmet and at the 50 yard line of Swoosh Field.

    It’s obvious that it would be a disgusting display, but it is feasible, right? And therefore, wouldn’t constitute a logo creep.

    Thoughts?

  • Kek | December 20, 2007 at 10:55 am |

    …sigh, nearly 3,000 words on logo creep (2,906 to be exact).

    I’m wearing my Polamalu jersey today at work. The Reebok logo is like an inch by two inches on either sleeve… I think I’ll survive.

    Unless things start to get like they do in Europe with hockey than I don’t think we have anything to worry about. Arena Football seems to be slowly moving towards this but that doesn’t concern me that much as that’s considered a fringe sport by most.

    Also, it seems like our minor league sports in America flirt with the Euro look (for example, the Johnstown Chiefs of the ECHL have had a BIC razor ad on the back of their unis for a few years) but things have managed to stay relatively logo-free (from an advertising point of view.)

    This leads into my next point: there is a big difference between a supplier (i.e. Nike, Reebok, Adidas, etc) putting a small logo on a jersey versus a large corporation plastering a player like a billboard. Or even more subtly like in soccer in Europe. T-Mobile is on the front of the jersey of German soccer team Bayern Munich (I know there are many others, this is just my favorite european soccer club). I’m sure they paid millions of dollars to have the right to advertise on that jersey as many other kit sponsorship deals suggest.

    The corporate sponsor, in most cases, is the predominant thing you see on the jersey. The team’s crest is normally in the upper corner of the jersey, much smaller in size. Only when “Dodgers” is replaced with “Starbucks” or “Celtics” is replaced with “Dell” would I be concerned. (OK, Starbucks with the green would probably go better with the Celtics but you get my point!)

    To other things, I clearly remember that photo of Pete Rose and knew what it was before I even clicked the link! That was part of the era when the Pirates-style pillbox hat was sold as a fashion item around the country. I remember seeing the A’s having one and some other teams too.

    Colin, great comment on Docs. There is no other reason for that stitching to be yellow but you know right away. The logo is stamped in the outside corner of the shoe, but most people can’t see it or it’s covered by your pants. I just bought my first pair over the summer and love them. (Anyone know where I can get replacement laces though? They seem to be hard to come by and one of my tips is starting to fray)

  • Matt | December 20, 2007 at 10:58 am |

    Great post Paul. Keep it up. Do NOT stop talking about logo creep. I love reading about it, and I would be very sad to see it stop.

    PS. My girlfriend makes fun of me for complaining about logo creep- but I won’t stop. Coincidentally, she’s a VT alum.

  • Justin B | December 20, 2007 at 10:59 am |

    [quote comment=”188893″][quote comment=”188890″][quote comment=”188869″]Logo creep rant = living in the past = only
    appealing to an older generation.

    Why make your website’s appeal narrower?[/quote]
    I’m 28. Am I part of the older generation?[/quote]

    I agree here, I’m 26, and I’m not a fan of logo excessiveness.[/quote]

    24. I’m not a fan of the logo creep or renaming stadiums and especially bowl games.

  • Steve | December 20, 2007 at 10:59 am |

    Right now I’m wearing a pair of Keen shoes – their (Take a look at your feet right now. Unless you’re wearing sneakers, I’m willing to bet that there are no logos on your footwear. There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either. If you’re wearing a tie, there’s almost certainly no visible logo on that. Are the manufacturers of those products stupid?

  • Justin | December 20, 2007 at 11:00 am |

    True…and what about the Ford Explorer; “Eddie Bauer Edition” or the F150; “Harley Davidson Edition”. Not to mention all the times you see a dealers logo on a car that they sold.

    True! I think the special editions are kinda cool…… but I HATE the dealers logos on my car! I have the remove it at the dealership.

  • Steve | December 20, 2007 at 11:02 am |

    Sorry for the repost – I think that the ( Take a look at your feet right now. Unless you’re wearing sneakers, I’m willing to bet that there are no logos on your footwear. There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either. If you’re wearing a tie, there’s almost certainly no visible logo on that. Are the manufacturers of those products stupid?

  • Justin | December 20, 2007 at 11:03 am |

    [quote comment=”188890″][quote comment=”188869″]Logo creep rant = living in the past = only
    appealing to an older generation.

    Why make your website’s appeal narrower?[/quote]
    I’m 28. Am I part of the older generation?[/quote]

    I’m 23 and agree with Paul… how old is older??

  • Steve | December 20, 2007 at 11:04 am |

    Sorry for the repost – I think that the keen logo which I originally posted with an open paren and the less than key been an HTML tag and cut off my message.

    Right now I’m wearing a pair of Keen shoes – their logo is on the heel and name branded on the side. It is snowing here in New England – my Timberland hiking boots that I wore into the office have their logo branded on the heel, the button-down twill shirt that I have on has a tiny Chaps tag on the pocket and the Levis jeans that I am wearing have the tag on the back pocket as well as their V stitching on the back pocket, and the jacket that I wore has the North Face logo on both the front & back. To go further – my boxers have GAP woen into the band. The only items that I am wearing that do not have a logo are my socks and the sweatshirt that I keep in my office for cold days.

    So, I never really though about it, but I’m covered in logos. What is a bit ironic is that I own an embroidery company so what I sell is logo’d apparel, and I do not have a thing on with my own logo – if I had the energy I could fix that and put something on my sweatshirt.

    Take a look at your feet right now. Unless you’re wearing sneakers, I’m willing to bet that there are no logos on your footwear. There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either. If you’re wearing a tie, there’s almost certainly no visible logo on that. Are the manufacturers of those products stupid?

  • paddy | December 20, 2007 at 11:05 am |

    2 things.

    Am I wrong in saying the car Rose is getting into has no headlights?

    Paul, can we get a UniWatch logo on a shirt with a manufacturer’s logo just for laughs?

  • The Ol Goaler | December 20, 2007 at 11:06 am |

    [quote comment=”188858″]Looks like Pete Rose is the conductor for the Expos Railroad.[/quote]

    Looks like the “spam-blocker” ate my previous reply, so here goes nuthin’ again… that “thing” on Rose’s head is the Expos’ version of the 1976 “Bicentennial” hat, worn by some MLB clubs to celebrate the USA Bicentennial. (Why a Canadian-based team would want to celebrate a USA anniversary is beyond me, but wotdaheck…)

    This is the best-known version of the hat (since the Pirates continued to wear it for several years,) but the Cardinals, Mets, and Reds also had versions. No photographic evidence, but the Cardinals also added the “stripes” to their batting helmets in ’76!

  • dilbert719 | December 20, 2007 at 11:09 am |

    [quote comment=”188887″]”But if those two rosters were traded for each other today — straight up, 25 guys for 25 guys — who would I root for tomorrow?”

    …hey, is any team out there willing to do that with the pirates?!?! please???[/quote]

    As a Phillies fan, I’d be glad to offer you the roster of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

  • Robert | December 20, 2007 at 11:09 am |

    [quote comment=”188906″]

    So if you are in an office setting right now where you are assumed to be a professional, and you look down at your attire and see a logo, I have one word for you: shame. Its about time to grow up and graduate from middle school.

    Do us all a favor and be classy and suit up.[/quote]

    I have some kind of logo on nearly every shirt that I wear to the office (Cornhuskers, Reds, NASCAR, polo horse). Only in court do I go logo-free. If this makes me unprofessional, then so be it. Don’t hire me.

  • Pat | December 20, 2007 at 11:10 am |

    [quote comment=”188895″][quote comment=”188892″]Well said Paul. Any discussion of logo creep always makes me think of NASCAR vehicles and how silly they look plastered with logos.[/quote]

    That’s a whole different scene. I feel individual sports are different than team sports, because there are no team uniforms involved. And yes, I know there are NASCAR “teams,” but you know what I mean — it’s still an individual sport. Let’s please NOT turn this into a discussion on NASCAR or other individual sports — keep the discussion on team uniforms, please.[/quote]

    I agree. There is a difference between this and this. Besides the obvious Joey Harrington sucks and Roger Federer doesn’t argument, one is wearing a team uniform (Detroit Lions) which has identified itself with it’s own logo, color scheme and design. Roger Federer and other tennis players and golfers have no “team” for which they play. You can root for Roger Federer and know that he is never going to switch teams. If you want to look at it this way, his “team” is Nike.

    Joey Harrington used to play for the Lions, then he played for the Dolphins and now he sits on the bench in Atlanta. Unless you are a Joey Harrington fan (I think I’m the only one left pulling for him) you rooted for the Lions or Dolphins when Joey was there and then when he left.

    I have never had a problem with people wearing logos on their clothes. I don’t really have a problem with wearing logos on my clothes (right now I have an Ecko logo on my t-shirt and timberland logos on my boots. I don’t even REALLY have a problem with athletes wearing logos when they aren’t on the field. I have a problem with Reebok taking liberties with the team logos and incorporating their own branding into the team’s branding.

    I’m having a hard time finding a picture of it but I remember a few years ago seeing Red Sox t-shirts that said “Just Do It” on the front with a Red Sox logo. That, to me, is Nike taking the Red Sox and branding themselves with their logo.

    I’d much rather not have manufacturer logos on team uniforms, but at least they are usually toned down. A small swoosh on the chest. A small Reebok logo on the neck. But adidas is the absolute worst with their branding. The 3-stripes look may be the most disgusting display of branding in America today. I can’t stand adidas and if given the choice I would choose Nike or Reebok over them when buying apparel.

    It was one thing when they threw their regular company logo on the NBA All-Star uniform last year but then with the stripes down the sides? A little much. I don’t feel like listing more examples, this is just the first one that came into my mind.

    Enough of my rant. I didn’t really say it as eloquently as I would have liked to, but it’s the best I could do while trying to look like I’m being productive at work.

  • Miguel | December 20, 2007 at 11:11 am |

    Count me among the “it is what it is” crowd.

  • josh | December 20, 2007 at 11:12 am |

    that “thing” on Rose’s head is the Expos’ version of the 1976 “Bicentennial” hat, worn by some MLB clubs to celebrate the USA Bicentennial. (Why a Canadian-based team would want to celebrate a USA anniversary is beyond me, but wotdaheck…)

    Those hats weren’t celebrating the U.S. Bicentennial, they were celebrating the Centennial of the National League (which is why no A.L. teams had them). This makes the Expos participation seem more reasonable, non?

  • Marty Met | December 20, 2007 at 11:12 am |

    [quote comment=”188895″][quote comment=”188892″]Well said Paul. Any discussion of logo creep always makes me think of NASCAR vehicles and how silly they look plastered with logos.[/quote]

    That’s a whole different scene. I feel individual sports are different than team sports, because there are no team uniforms involved. And yes, I know there are NASCAR “teams,” but you know what I mean — it’s still an individual sport. Let’s please NOT turn this into a discussion on NASCAR or other individual sports — keep the discussion on team uniforms, please.[/quote]

    NASCAR is a sport? Next someone will tell me that drivers are actually athletes.

  • Floormaster Squeeze | December 20, 2007 at 11:12 am |

    I personally don’t like logos and I am not that old. I know that I am swimming decidedly upstream but that’s OK. I also have learned to make compromises. I appreciate the article and that it is thought-provoking.

    I have thought about the “European Way” vs. “American Way” in sport for a while and I think another important point has to be made. European teams have logos on their jerseys (soccer, cycling, basketball, whatever) and more on their fields of play (placards around fields/rinks). Americans have fewer corporate logos (although stadium advertising creep is keeps getting worse) on jerseys and stadiums. But one bugs me about the “American Way” is that there is also advertising on TV.

    The fact is I can watch a European sporting event like cycling and soccer with much fewer advertising interruptions–the participants are filled with ads but I get the action without interruption. In the U.S. we actually change the rules of the sport in order to get more TV advertising (length of time between innings, TV timeouts, etc.). The ads/logos on the field are a compromise of sorts–in fact, I know a few European people who insist that forcing fans to see more logos is better than foisting more ads to people at home.

    One of the interesting things in baseball is that executives always justify increased ad space in their venues (and logo creep in uniforms) as a necessary consequence of staying competitive in free agency and such. But they never actually let people decide because if they did people would probably say no to the advertising.

    As a soccer fan, I do have a one piece of advice related to logo creep. There is little you can do about not getting logos on a current jersey but you can buy team apparel that just has the team logo on it. Sometimes those items are cooler (particularly the “retro” collections). But even if you want to buy a current jersey there is a way to avoid getting the corporate sponsor–that is buy the goalie jersey! I bought one for my favorite team and while the maker logo (Kappa which is probably the most egregious logo creeper on unis) is still their the team’s current sponsor is at least gone.

  • Mets/Jets Fan in Chicagoland | December 20, 2007 at 11:14 am |

    [quote comment=”188855″][quote comment=”188823″]A million things to discuss about this picture, but I’m posting it here for logo creep purposes.[/quote]

    Gotta love Women’s volleyball…

    on a side note…what’s with the really scary black girl!?![/quote]

    Never mind her, the REALLY scary one is #7 directly to her left….and on a different level of scary, #14 to her right looks a little…oh…ANDROGYNOUS, shall we say? How the heck did that guy pass the physical? ;-)

  • Carl G | December 20, 2007 at 11:14 am |

    Paul, I also disagree partly with your statement about no visible logos on shirts or sweaters, but for a different reason. I think the comparison of these types of clothing items to uniforms is, to quote you, comparing “apples and oranges”.

    While Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Nautica, Express, Timberland, etc. certainly get some advertising exposure by having their logos on the shirts, I do not think this is why they do it. Instead, when someone wears an item with with a Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Nautica, Express, Timberland, or some other sort of logo, they are often doing it because the wearer specifically wants other people to know that they are wearfing that kind of item. The companies are just following consumer demand.

    In that regard, these types of clothing items are more akin to wearing a shirt with the Mets logo on it. They are trying to say to the world “Look, I am cool, I wear Hilfiger”, just like someone wearing the Mets shirt is saying “Look, I root for the Mets”. If people did not feel this way, and only wanted “clean” clothing items, I guarantee that every one of these companies would stop putting these logos on their shirts.

    Moreover, if a company like Wal-Mart started producing a similar line of items, I think it is unlikely there would be a big wal-mart logo on the shirt. Wal-Mart is viewed as cheap, and most people, if buying a shirt made by Wal-Mart, probably would not want to advertise that their item was cheap. Thus, if you shop at Wal-Mart, rarely do the every-day items have any type of manufacturer logo on it (unless it is one of the above companies or Nike, Addidas, etc.)

  • Robert | December 20, 2007 at 11:14 am |

    [quote comment=”188920″][quote comment=”188858″]Looks like Pete Rose is the conductor for the Expos Railroad.[/quote]

    Looks like the “spam-blocker” ate my previous reply, so here goes nuthin’ again… that “thing” on Rose’s head is the Expos’ version of the 1976 “Bicentennial” hat, worn by some MLB clubs to celebrate the USA Bicentennial. (Why a Canadian-based team would want to celebrate a USA anniversary is beyond me, but wotdaheck…)

    This is the best-known version of the hat (since the Pirates continued to wear it for several years,) but the Cardinals, Mets, and Reds also had versions. No photographic evidence, but the Cardinals also added the “stripes” to their batting helmets in ’76![/quote]

    But Pete was wearing the hat many years later . . . .

  • Kerry P | December 20, 2007 at 11:14 am |

    [quote comment=”188869″]Logo creep rant = living in the past = only
    appealing to an older generation.

    Why make your website’s appeal narrower?[/quote]
    I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. For one, it’s his site to discuss something he loves and feels very passionately about. For him to ignore the things that he dislikes for the sake of keeping a few readers would be a contradiction to what he believes (at least what I gather he believes from reading the site for months).

    Personally, I disagree with his views on “logo creep”. I feel that a manufacturer/designer has the right to include its mark on the products it sells. What bothers me about Nike, Reebok and Adidas are the hideous changes to uniform design over the past decade as well as all of the templates they’re using now. Also, I feel that his analogy of the ford car vs the uniform isn’t a good comparison, one is a product manufactured by a company, the other is the equipment (I consider a uniform equipment) that a team is using. I think a better analogy is car tires vs uniforms – and we all know that tire manufacturers have their names all over the sides of their products.

    And I don’t think Nike, Adidas and Reebok are fully to blame here (if you do hate logo creep). You have to place much of the blame on the people that head up the NFL, NBA, NHL & MLB for allowing this to happen, and – now with the exclusive league-wide uni contracts – somewhat encouraging it to happen. The owners and league leaders should be just as much to blame (if you think there is something wrong) because they’re making a lot of money off the licensing agreements as well.

    The thing is with UPS and similar sitautions is that no one really wants to buy a UPS uniform…but I HAVE seen the UPS logo on other things, namely the NASCAR jackets they’re selling now.

    Just because he goes on a rant that other people don’t agree with doesn’t mean he is alienating them at all. I, for one, enjoy a good intelligent debate/discussion, and I think a lot of other people on here do as well.

  • The Ol Goaler | December 20, 2007 at 11:16 am |

    [quote comment=”188886″][quote comment=”188869″]

    Then again, I’m the same guy who LOVES it when the ‘traditional’ stadium name gets replaced with the corporate name. (U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago)[/quote]

    I don’t get why someone would want a crappy corporate logo attached to their home stadium. It’s why I hope they never sell the naming rights to the Louisiana Superdome, I don’t care how much money is involved.

    Same thing with the college bowls. WTF is the Chik-Fil-A Bowl??[/quote]
    One city’s “corporate invasion” is another city’s “civic tradition”… when Anheuser-Busch bought the St. Louis Cardinals in 1954, brewery/team CEO August A. Busch, Jr. (aka “Gussie”) wanted to rename Sportsman’s Park “Budweiser Stadium.” MLB wouldn’t let him do that, but did let him rename it “Busch Stadium”!

    That same name’s been used on three different St. Louis ballparks (even though the brewery sold the Cardinals and bought “naming rights” for the newest park.)

    The other side of the coin is what happened to beautiful Pac Bell Park in San Francisco… where the name of the stadium changed every time the telephone company involved was swallowed by a larger telephone company!

  • Carl G | December 20, 2007 at 11:17 am |

    [quote comment=”188849″][quote comment=”188841″][quote comment=”188838″]There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either.

    Paul, I must disagree with your statement about no visible logos on shirts or sweaters.

    Nearly everyone in my office wears shirts and sweaters with either a Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Nautica, Express, Timberland, or some other sort of logo. I’d say there are more shirts and sweaters with logos than without![/quote]

    I think this would be the difference between designer brands and the no-name stuff you would get at Walmart. [/quote]

    Um, go to any department store (Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks, Nordstrom, etc.) and look at all the dress shirts. The vast majority of them have no visible logo on the outside of the shirt, even if they’re made by big menswear designers like Jospeh Aboud, Ike Behar, Calvin Klein, etc.[/quote]

    And just to reply to this, you are right, but for different reasons. I think their are gaps in who wants to show what they buy. people buying really expensive clothes probably do not need to advertise how expensive their clothes are. It is the middle group – those insecure about their appearance or monetary situation who often want others to know that they are doing well (or appear that they are affluent or cool), and thus want to tell people they are buying and wearing a Hilfiger shirt.

  • LI Phil | December 20, 2007 at 11:17 am |

    [quote]You could make a lot of money selling a kidney, putting your family’s heirloom silverware up for auction on eBay, or pimping out your sister[/quote]

    wait…what?

  • Graf Zeppelin | December 20, 2007 at 11:24 am |

    [quote comment=”188879″][quote comment=”188859″][quote comment=”188855″][quote comment=”188823″]A million things to discuss about this picture, but I’m posting it here for logo creep purposes.[/quote]

    Gotta love Women’s volleyball…

    on a side note…what’s with the really scary black girl!?![/quote]

    What’s with the photographer who probably told the one black girl on the team to look scary?[/quote]

    looks like he told them all to look scary. and all but one of them failed.[/quote]

    They don’t look scary, they look annoyed. Then again, there are few things scarier than an annoyed teenage girl…

  • Robin | December 20, 2007 at 11:24 am |

    [quote comment=”188936″][quote comment=”188886″][quote comment=”188869″]

    Then again, I’m the same guy who LOVES it when the ‘traditional’ stadium name gets replaced with the corporate name. (U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago)[/quote]

    I don’t get why someone would want a crappy corporate logo attached to their home stadium. It’s why I hope they never sell the naming rights to the Louisiana Superdome, I don’t care how much money is involved.

    Same thing with the college bowls. WTF is the Chik-Fil-A Bowl??[/quote]
    One city’s “corporate invasion” is another city’s “civic tradition”… when Anheuser-Busch bought the St. Louis Cardinals in 1954, brewery/team CEO August A. Busch, Jr. (aka “Gussie”) wanted to rename Sportsman’s Park “Budweiser Stadium.” MLB wouldn’t let him do that, but did let him rename it “Busch Stadium”!

    That same name’s been used on three different St. Louis ballparks (even though the brewery sold the Cardinals and bought “naming rights” for the newest park.)

    The other side of the coin is what happened to beautiful Pac Bell Park in San Francisco… where the name of the stadium changed every time the telephone company involved was swallowed by a larger telephone company![/quote]

    Good point, if only New Orleans had a fortune 500 company that was embedded into the city’s culture as deep as the Superdome is, i might be ok with it.

  • Carl G | December 20, 2007 at 11:25 am |

    [quote comment=”188865″]I agree with about 105% of what was said but you need a better analogy than the car thing. many Dodge pick up trucks are now branded “Cummins Diesel.” Cummins makes engines (hardly optional equipment, pretty much mandatory in a car or truck) and somehow manages to get their logo on the truck.

    so logo creep has reached the automotive world…[/quote]

    I dont think this is logo creep though. It is again a situation where the driver of the car looks better because he has a certain engine in it. Like a car that says “hemi” on it

  • Cowboy7130 | December 20, 2007 at 11:26 am |

    That face mask on the 1973 Browns helmet on ebay is wrong. They did not come out with double-bar horizontal nose guards until the early 1980’s. I remember. I was there.

  • Ryan | December 20, 2007 at 11:26 am |

    [quote comment=”188830″]Forget about Pete’s hat. Check out the white velcro closure shoes.[/quote]

    When I saw that pic of Pete Rose’s hat, it brought back a horrible mental picture of the the “squeal like a pig, boy!” guy from Deliverance. Check out his lid, which is very similar to Pete’s:

    http://home.eol.ca/~...

  • josh | December 20, 2007 at 11:27 am |

    A couple years back, the Car Talk boys did a piece on the Car/Product tie-ins. The one that started them off was the Subaru Outback-L.L.Bean addition, which they decided was perfect. They then came up with others they thought would work:

    Porsche 911-Viagra Edition
    Hyundai Excel-Dominoes Pizza Edition
    Mercury Marquis-AARP Edition
    New Beetle Convertable-(Insert Your Sorority Here) Edition
    Volvo Station Wagon-NPR Edition

  • Carl G | December 20, 2007 at 11:29 am |

    [quote comment=”188877″][quote comment=”188857″]Very good article!! Excellent and truthful!!
    I differ in the brand/customer conception as today, uniforms are designed for retail, not the game itself, wich brings lots of money and exposure to the teams. Removing the brands would therefore decrease the value and quality perception of the uniforms. I think if you check uni sales volume and quality before the Nike era (1990’s), that should prove my point.
    [/quote]

    Does it? Did anyone really wear replica jerseys until the ’90s? I don’t think it was a quality/value thing as much as it being unfashionable to wear a jersey at all.[/quote]

    I am 30 now. In the 80’s, I lived and died for football jerseys to wear of my favorite team, the New York Jets, as well as any other football jerseys I could get my hands on. The problem is that it was so difficult to find jerseys at that time. During the Holiday season, my family and I would go to Florida and visit the Aventura mall, which had a great store that sold nothing but team jerseys (the store was ahead of its time). My mom and I would walk through the store and I would pick out the football jerseys that alm ost always composed all my chanukah presents. It was, with all joking aside, the highlight of my year (granted, I was only about 10-14 at the time)

  • Ryan | December 20, 2007 at 11:30 am |

    [quote comment=”188868″]I noticed that the 1973 Browns helmet on ebay has the newer clear hardware clips on it. I believe it should have the bigger grey clips.[/quote]

    Agreed. Noticed the same thing. I alswo dont’ think you saw that facemask style (like Thurman Thomas wore) until the late 70’s at best or, more realistically, the early 80’s.

  • Mark | December 20, 2007 at 11:31 am |

    Paul, I agree with most of what you say, and I am on the edge on some, probably due to my profession as an advertising copywirter (surprising amount of people in advertising on this board, no?) but damn do you say it well. For me, I don’t mind a small majestic logo on the Cubs jersey, only because it is small and somewhat tasteful. However, we have to fight against any change so that we do not get on a slippery slope where the team logos are the ones who are creeping up. Great work!

  • Mets/Jets Fan in Chicagoland | December 20, 2007 at 11:31 am |

    [quote comment=”188938″][quote]You could make a lot of money selling a kidney, putting your family’s heirloom silverware up for auction on eBay, or pimping out your sister[/quote]

    wait…what?[/quote]

    “but that doesn’t mean any of those things is a good idea.”
    Unless you’re one of the Spears girls

    :-o

  • Carl G | December 20, 2007 at 11:32 am |

    [quote comment=”188894″][quote comment=”188880″]Not to mention all the times you see a dealers logo on a car that they sold.[/quote]
    I’m not usually anal about stuff like this, but that was the first thing I did when I bought my car was remove the dealer sticker and dealer plate on the front. Mustang is the brand I’m loyal to, not the dealership.[/quote]

    Every time I have bought a car, I tell the dealer I will not pay for it and take it home with me if there is a dealers sticker or insert on the back of the car.

  • Rick | December 20, 2007 at 11:33 am |

    [quote comment=”188906″]I think this would be the difference between designer brands and the no-name stuff you would get at Walmart. If you buy a Polo, you want people to see the Polo logo otherwise you just overpaid for a shirt (quality of material/workmanship assumed to be the same).

    I don’t even think you want to get into this argument. I agree with Paul here. Thats a cheese ball statement to make about wanting people to see your logo.

    First of all if your Polo shirt has a logo on it, well then my friend that isn’t a “dress” shirt. None of Polo’s real dress shirts have logos on them. The more casual shirts will. Same goes for all dress shirts, whether it be Ike Behar, Zegna, or Wal-Mart.

    So if you are in an office setting right now where you are assumed to be a professional, and you look down at your attire and see a logo, I have one word for you: shame. Its about time to grow up and graduate from middle school.

    Do us all a favor and be classy and suit up.[/quote]

    I work in an office, but it’s a casual environment, so I wear Polo shirts (with the logo) often. Randy, no offense, but I hate to break the news to you, but not everyone on Uniwatch that works in an office wears a suit everyday! In the summer, in my office building, you ALWAYS see people wearing short sleeved collared shirts with many different logos, whether it be IZOD, Lacoste, Polo, etc. Some people even wear Ashworth golf shirts, which have a huge logo. As a matter of fact, even though it’s winter, I have a co-worker wearing this shirt today:

    http://i9.ebayimg.co...

    Yes, that logo is Rocawear.

    On another topic, car dealers should not be allowed to put decals of their dealership on your car without your permission. License plates with their logo are fine. They’re harmless. I always remove the license plate when I get a new car, but that’s just my preference.

  • Smail | December 20, 2007 at 11:33 am |

    Interesting bit about OSU-LSU. For the past two years, Tressel has chosen to wear the road whites, even though we’ve been the higher seeded team. I was hoping he’d do it again to force LSU into wearing their less favored purple jerseys.

  • Kek | December 20, 2007 at 11:33 am |

    [quote comment=”188906″]I think this would be the difference between designer brands and the no-name stuff you would get at Walmart. If you buy a Polo, you want people to see the Polo logo otherwise you just overpaid for a shirt (quality of material/workmanship assumed to be the same).

    First of all if your Polo shirt has a logo on it, well then my friend that isn’t a “dress” shirt. None of Polo’s real dress shirts have logos on them. The more casual shirts will. Same goes for all dress shirts, whether it be Ike Behar, Zegna, or Wal-Mart.

    So if you are in an office setting right now where you are assumed to be a professional, and you look down at your attire and see a logo, I have one word for you: shame. Its about time to grow up and graduate from middle school.

    quote]
    I’m not sure I agree with this statement about Ralph Lauren. I’ve seen more people than not wear a tie with that oxford shirt (the one sans the breast pocket). That shirt retails for nearly $80, I would think that’s more than a casual look.

  • Jason Axel | December 20, 2007 at 11:36 am |

    [quote comment=”188893″][quote comment=”188890″][quote comment=”188869″]Logo creep rant = living in the past = only
    appealing to an older generation.

    Why make your website’s appeal narrower?[/quote]
    I’m 28. Am I part of the older generation?[/quote]

    I agree here, I’m 26, and I’m not a fan of logo excessiveness.[/quote]

    I’m 22…if I have to be, I’ll be apart of the “older generation” if I can stick to simplicity.

  • ryan c #40 | December 20, 2007 at 11:38 am |

    #8 by al on 12.20.07 9:44 am | Quote

    Great piece Paul.

    When you wrote, “Here’s another way to look at it: Some company made the buttons on the uniform, and another company made the zippers, and some mill made the fabric, and another mill made the thread, and some sewing shop stitched all the components together. But you don’t see all their logos on the uniform, right? Of course not — what matters is the end-product brand, not all the little sub-contracted components. And in the case of a uniform, the end-product brand is the team.” —

    Made me think about today’s “look at me” players who celebrate to get all the attention, while the other 10 men on the field who did their job get “overlooked”.

    …GOOD POINT!

    In response to this brilliant analysis, I’d like to announce that this site will become a porno hub as of tomorrow. The appeal should be massive.

    …bout damn time! now i can get that “level six” membership i’ve been eyeing up… sure does put new meaning to the “vertically arched” membership though… amongst a few others…

  • ryan c #40 | December 20, 2007 at 11:40 am |

    P.S.

    i have on a long sleeve polo with a “Bahia Marina-Ocean City” logo on the front… and the “Ocean City” flag on the sleeve. one of my favorite shirts… and places!!!

  • Jeff B | December 20, 2007 at 11:45 am |

    If that’s what were doing, I have on a sweater I got from Kohls that I think said it was made in Vietnam, but I don’t see those kids putting their logo on it.

  • Mets Fan AZ | December 20, 2007 at 11:46 am |

    [quote comment=”188940″][quote comment=”188879″][quote comment=”188859″][quote comment=”188855″][quote comment=”188823″]A million things to discuss about this picture, but I’m posting it here for logo creep purposes.[/quote]

    Gotta love Women’s volleyball…

    on a side note…what’s with the really scary black girl!?![/quote]

    What’s with the photographer who probably told the one black girl on the team to look scary?[/quote]

    looks like he told them all to look scary. and all but one of them failed.[/quote]

    They don’t look scary, they look annoyed. Then again, there are few things scarier than an annoyed teenage girl…[/quote]
    i don’t understand why they have all their pads on? remember how much grief we gave the “white sox shorts team picture” guy with his knee wrapped up? these girls aren’t about to go play, their hair is down. and no, they’re not very pretty either.

  • Justin B | December 20, 2007 at 11:47 am |

    Yes, we all wear logos on our clothing at work. Everyone seems to be making that point. But if we wear the company polo shirt do we want a big nike under it or what about a polo with our home town that says “just do it” under it or with a three strip addidas?

  • […] Paul Lukas holds back nothing in this awesome and definitive case against corporate logos on sports uniforms. Highly recommended. […]

  • Jeff B | December 20, 2007 at 11:58 am |

    The three stripes Adidas is a unique design element that Adidas does and has become a brand identifier. I don’t think anyone minded when Adidas put three stripes on their shoes. All of Ford’s new cars have this grill. Thats not a bad thing, but Adidas putting this on their clothes is? A full fledged jersey with the stripes like MJ was wearing yesterday would be terrible, but that was a warmup/practice jersey he had on so it’s ok.

  • Peter Wunsch | December 20, 2007 at 11:59 am |

    I bought my first car back in the days when dealer bolted his dealership on the trunk. I told the dealer that I would charge him $200 (the new car only cost $1,950 back then) for the advertising. He argued that he had to do it. I walked out of the dealership and bought the car elsewhere.

    However, I disagree about the naming rights. I am currently a school board member on Long island (NY) and am willing to sell the rights to everything if it will keep taxes down. What is wrong with “Commack High School sponsored by Home Depot?” That branding could “buy” two more teachers.

    However, when a pro team sells naming rights like “Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium” it is a different issue. Why do the newspapers and TV/radio insist on referring to the game as being played at the Izod Center. I have no idea what tam plays there. In fact I have no idea what city it is located in.

    Last week, the NHL announced that Jaromir Jagr set a record for scoring in the most number of arenas. How about one of the Uniwatchers figuring our which venue has had the most number of names? And, I remember when the the Dodgers and Angels shared the same ballpark it was Dodger Stadium for one and Chavez Ravine for the other.

  • Mark M | December 20, 2007 at 11:59 am |

    I admit not reading the other comments, so I apologize if I repeat too many points already made.

    Primarily thanks to Paul for defining logo creep. It is reasonable and rational, whether you agree or not. There can’t be a good discussion without proper term definition.

    Second, logo creep is out of hand. My “tipping point” was seeing the iconically spartan Penn State football uniforms with a swoosh plastered inappropriately on the breast. It was as if the athletic department said we don’t feel the need to flash our school name about, but we will let Nike slap its uninspired logo anywhere they want.

    Of course they did this for the money, but the nature of athletic competition is that there is never enough money. If your organization has spare money they should spend it on something that will make the team(s) better or someone else will.

    If the NCAA simply said that no student-athlete could display any manufacturer logo some money would be sucked out of the athletic departments mosts schools. Some would be hurt worse than others. But they would adjust (how is a different debate) and move on. Is this desirable. Paul is simply say “Hell Yes.” I happen to agree.

  • Chance | December 20, 2007 at 12:00 pm |

    [quote comment=”188848″]You know what also kinda bothers me? How on NFL Jerseys it is the NFL Equipment sheild at the neck, if there’s gonna be something there, it should JUST be the nfl sheild logo.[/quote]

    Me, too.

    I’m really hoping that the NFL takes the opportunity to fix this when they replace the shield next year.

    Paul, anybody over at the NFL you could call, put in a good word?

  • Bruce | December 20, 2007 at 12:02 pm |

    [quote comment=”188903″][quote comment=”188896″]I grew up in an era when there were no manufacturer’s logos on uniforms; many of you have grown up in an era when such logos are ubiquitous.

    When I played Little League in the Bronx, the name of my team was “Daisy Cleaners”. The name was written right across the shirt. We played against teams like Zarro’s Bakery and B’nai B’rith. And this was back in 1966. So commercial involvement has always been there—just in different ways.[/quote]

    Yeah, but that’s a different animal. When it comes to Little League, the teams aren’t brands, and we don’t root for the uniforms — we root for a team because a particular kid is on that team, not the other way around. And the sponsors are part of the local community, not multinational corporations.[/quote]

    Furthermore, youth leagues don’t charge admission to their games. Therefore the majority of the team/league funding comes from these local corporate sponsor’s. This is very different from professional sports where the majority of funding comes from ticket sales. However, I don’t know where “Red Bull New York” would fit into this comparison.

  • Jeff Millard | December 20, 2007 at 12:07 pm |

    Is Rose’s hat a Montreal expo bicenntenial hat (’76)? It looks like those from that year.

  • S. Bennett | December 20, 2007 at 12:08 pm |

    [quote comment=”188888″]“…let’s say American Express offered to give the state of Illinois a huge sum of money targeted for the state’s school system — but in return, the AmEx logo would have to be printed on the statehouse dome, AmEx ads would have to be posted throughout state facilities, and the state itself would have to be renamed “American Express Presents Illinois.” Would that be a good idea? Not to me…”

    While I agree with the almost sanctity of the uniform, I have written in the past for multiple venues that this would in fact be an excellent idea. I think corporate sponsorship, from a purely financial and marketing standpoint would be a good move on America’s part. I feel a higher quality education for more people is worth a few say Coke or McDonalds ads in a school, provided these sponsors only provide funding, not educational materials.[/quote]

    Actually, you’re already there. When the big tobacco companies were forced to compensate states for the negative effects of tobacco products, the payment was twofold; billions upfront, then a multi-year (20 or so) payment plan. A number of stated sold bonds on “future income” looking to the tobacco money of tomorrow to balance the budgets today. Now, a fair number of states in the US are financially dependant on the success of tobacco to avoid bankruptcy.

    Remember, a good chunk of that money was supposed to go toward cessation programs. How are those doing in the USA? So well, they left it to the tobacco companies to creating the anti smoking materials. Is there a worst case of the fox guarding the hen house? You don’t get logo creep, per se, you just get ads that are as ineffective as possible in convincing kids that smoking is a terrible idea.

    SB

  • Jeff B | December 20, 2007 at 12:08 pm |

    [quote comment=”188965″]However, I disagree about the naming rights. I am currently a school board member on Long island (NY) and am willing to sell the rights to everything if it will keep taxes down. What is wrong with “Commack High School sponsored by Home Depot?” That branding could “buy” two more teachers.

    However, when a pro team sells naming rights like “Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium” it is a different issue. Why do the newspapers and TV/radio insist on referring to the game as being played at the Izod Center. I have no idea what tam plays there. In fact I have no idea what city it is located in.[/quote]

    I commented earlier about this. I commend you for this view, wish more school boards were with your view, and wish you best of luck on getting that passed.

  • KT | December 20, 2007 at 12:09 pm |

    I think I had a pillbox hat of somebody.

    They sucked.

    Others have mentioned Don Rogers, that was the first thing that came to my mind. I remember working in radio when that happened – wasn’t there another NFL death about that time?

    Funny how the league didn’t do anything and a guy had to resort to hand-writing a teammate’s number on his helmet. Now (almost) everybody in the league has a #21 on their helmet.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 12:10 pm |

    [quote comment=”188965″]However, I disagree about the naming rights. I am currently a school board member on Long island (NY) and am willing to sell the rights to everything if it will keep taxes down. What is wrong with “Commack High School sponsored by Home Depot?” That branding could “buy” two more teachers.[/quote]

    I strongly disagree (and not just because I’m a product of the Long Island public school system). Once you take that money from Home Depot, you’re beholden to the corporation, and you’re unlikely to be able to escape that entanglement. If you’ll let Home Depot sponsor your school district, why not let junk food companies, a political party, or Penthouse magazine do it too? It’s all the same thing. If you lie down with dogs, expect to get fleas.

    School taxes are among the most appropriate forms of taxation we have, because public education is in everyone’s public interest. Letting schools be ad-free zones is in the public interest, too — kids are bombarded with enough ads as it is.

  • Kenny | December 20, 2007 at 12:14 pm |

    [quote comment=”188886″][quote comment=”188869″]

    Then again, I’m the same guy who LOVES it when the ‘traditional’ stadium name gets replaced with the corporate name. (U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago)[/quote]

    I don’t get why someone would want a crappy corporate logo attached to their home stadium. It’s why I hope they never sell the naming rights to the Louisiana Superdome, I don’t care how much money is involved.

    Same thing with the college bowls. WTF is the Chik-Fil-A Bowl??[/quote]

    Chick-Fil-A

  • Big L | December 20, 2007 at 12:15 pm |

    Paul cares a lot about logo creep. I admire that. I, too, have a uni-issue and that is the direction sports are taking in marketing uniforms–especially throwbacks or alternates in the NBA.

    I am a traditionalist and prefer home whites and colored jereys for road teams, and have purchased alternate jerseys in the past. But over the last few years, 1999 being the earliest I can remember of seeing road teams wear white to allow the home team wear their alternate or throwback uni. (Jazz-Bulls ’99 opener with Utah in black alts at home and the Bulls in white)

    Boston wore green at home last night against the Pistons (who wore their throwbacks). Understandable, somewhat. But, what threw me for a loop last night was Atlanta wearing their regular road jerseys at home with Miami in their regular white jerseys in ATLANTA. What gives?
    Sorry for the rant, Paul just inspired me today.

  • Mike | December 20, 2007 at 12:16 pm |

    Wait, Paul, can we see a picture of this tattoo?

  • Kek | December 20, 2007 at 12:18 pm |

    I’m glad some posters are mentioning stadium/arena naming rights here. I think those issues are much bigger than the so-called issues with logo creep.

    Not just naming rights of the venues, that’s bad enough, but the secondary naming rights say of a playing surface at a venue. I’ve seen teams “brought to you by”. This is all a bit much. I think the money a lot of these places get from public funding would mean you wouldn’t have to name and advertise EVERYTHING.

    This leads to my next point, this is more with arenas, advertising on the playing surface (and boards) is out of control. I watch a lot of old games on ESPN Classic and more recently the NHL Network (great channel if you can get it by the way) and some of the stuff isn’t even that old yet it’s like night and day when you look at the NBA and NHL. Every possible piece of hockey board is plastered and on-ice isn’t off limits either. As to basketball, while the courts have stayed relatively uncluttered, the scrolling ad boards at the scorer’s table annoy me to no end.

    Furthermore, when you go to a game, you are force fed some much advertising. “this power play is brought to you by…”, etc. And there isn’t any escaping it on TV, watch games on network TV and you always have to hear about that networks sitcoms or dramas. I know it’s a way of life, but that I could do without.

    A few years back at PNC Park they did a game with no music, in between innings crap, nothing. It was old school. I could be wrong but I think it was for the interleague series with the Bosox when they did throwbacks from the early 1900s.

    It was a refreshing break from the perogi races, pirate jukebox and hot dog shooting that normally go down on Federal Street.

  • Kenny | December 20, 2007 at 12:19 pm |

    [quote comment=”188961″][quote comment=”188940″][quote comment=”188879″][quote comment=”188859″][quote comment=”188855″][quote comment=”188823″]A million things to discuss about this picture, but I’m posting it here for logo creep purposes.[/quote]

    Gotta love Women’s volleyball…

    on a side note…what’s with the really scary black girl!?![/quote]

    What’s with the photographer who probably told the one black girl on the team to look scary?[/quote]

    looks like he told them all to look scary. and all but one of them failed.[/quote]

    They don’t look scary, they look annoyed. Then again, there are few things scarier than an annoyed teenage girl…[/quote]
    i don’t understand why they have all their pads on? remember how much grief we gave the “white sox shorts team picture” guy with his knee wrapped up? these girls aren’t about to go play, their hair is down. and no, they’re not very pretty either.[/quote]

    The one above #4 looks disgusted

  • Chance | December 20, 2007 at 12:22 pm |

    [quote comment=”188929″]
    As a soccer fan, I do have a one piece of advice related to logo creep. There is little you can do about not getting logos on a current jersey but you can buy team apparel that just has the team logo on it. Sometimes those items are cooler (particularly the “retro” collections). But even if you want to buy a current jersey there is a way to avoid getting the corporate sponsor–that is buy the goalie jersey! I bought one for my favorite team and while the maker logo (Kappa which is probably the most egregious logo creeper on unis) is still their the team’s current sponsor is at least gone.[/quote]

    Really?

    Not for English clubs.

  • Chance | December 20, 2007 at 12:25 pm |

    [quote comment=”188979″]Wait, Paul, can we see a picture of this tattoo?[/quote]

    Yeah, I’d like to see that.

    I thought I was cool because I have a tattoo of a 1950s chrome toaster on my shoulder. But a Brannock Device? That’s outstanding.

  • Adam | December 20, 2007 at 12:29 pm |

    One thing about all this logo creep talk: yes, Paul and some people care. Maybe even the majority of people here. However, the majority of people in the world clearly don’t care, or at least don’t care enough, because if they did it wouldn’t happen.

    And for the record, I’m one who doesn’t care at all. I watch sports for the game. Sure, I’m interested in the uniforms and all that, but the people who say stuff like “I can’t watch sports now because of all the ads” or “I can’t watch sports now because of all the ugly uniforms”, that I’ll never get.

  • James Craven | December 20, 2007 at 12:31 pm |

    Nice story in USA Today about how they make the football logos and their artwork painted on the fields.

  • James Craven | December 20, 2007 at 12:33 pm |

    Bill Parcells becomes VP of football ops for the Dolphins. You think he’ll sack Cam Cameron and name himslef coach, then bring back the 1973 uniforms and logo?

  • Dan King | December 20, 2007 at 12:33 pm |

    [quote comment=”188968″][quote comment=”188903″][quote comment=”188896″]I grew up in an era when there were no manufacturer’s logos on uniforms; many of you have grown up in an era when such logos are ubiquitous.

    When I played Little League in the Bronx, the name of my team was “Daisy Cleaners”. The name was written right across the shirt. We played against teams like Zarro’s Bakery and B’nai B’rith. And this was back in 1966. So commercial involvement has always been there—just in different ways.[/quote]

    Yeah, but that’s a different animal. When it comes to Little League, the teams aren’t brands, and we don’t root for the uniforms — we root for a team because a particular kid is on that team, not the other way around. And the sponsors are part of the local community, not multinational corporations.[/quote]

    Furthermore, youth leagues don’t charge admission to their games. Therefore the majority of the team/league funding comes from these local corporate sponsor’s. This is very different from professional sports where the majority of funding comes from ticket sales. However, I don’t know where “Red Bull New York” would fit into this comparison.[/quote]
    the difference for that one is that Red Bull owns the team. you can also count me in on the part that doesn’t mind corporate advertising in soccer. when you watch european soccer you don’t really see any of the advertising. the camera rarely gets close enough to read the sponsor, and you don’t usually see the billboards on the side of the field.

    on the naming of stadiums some you don’t mind, like if the company is from the area, but when they renamed Gund Arena to the “Q” you still hear plenty of people call it the Gund.

  • S. Bennett | December 20, 2007 at 12:34 pm |

    [quote comment=”188974″][quote comment=”188965″

    I strongly disagree (and not just because I’m a product of the Long Island public school system). Once you take that money from Home Depot, you’re beholden to the corporation, and you’re unlikely to be able to escape that entanglement. If you’ll let Home Depot sponsor your school district, why not let junk food companies, a political party, or Penthouse magazine do it too? It’s all the same thing. If you lie down with dogs, expect to get fleas.
    [/quote]

    This already happens too. For example Smarties and M&Ms will give you all sorts of “educational strategies” that are little more than a way to get kids to play with Smarties and M&Ms during math class.

    SB

  • patrick | December 20, 2007 at 12:34 pm |

    [quote comment=”188829″][quote comment=”188825″]No logos on college basketball uniforms?[/quote]

    Not on jerseys. That’s banned by the NCAA.[/quote]

    Paul, on my college sweatshirt, my Zipper says XYZ…. I believe thats a company.

  • Jeff | December 20, 2007 at 12:35 pm |

    So, this isn’t about the logo-creep debate…

    But declaring “Blue Iris” http://www.pantone.c... as the color of the year will make me, and all of the other Howard Stern listeners think of the elderly adult-film star of the same name. http://en.wikipedia....

  • DenverGregg | December 20, 2007 at 12:35 pm |

    [quote comment=”188877″][quote comment=”188857″]Very good article!! Excellent and truthful!!
    I differ in the brand/customer conception as today, uniforms are designed for retail, not the game itself, wich brings lots of money and exposure to the teams. Removing the brands would therefore decrease the value and quality perception of the uniforms. I think if you check uni sales volume and quality before the Nike era (1990’s), that should prove my point.
    [/quote]

    Does it? Did anyone really wear replica jerseys until the ’90s? I don’t think it was a quality/value thing as much as it being unfashionable to wear a jersey at all.[/quote]
    Being of the older generation, I remember that replica jerseys were only available in children’s sizes (and that from the Sears Wish Book catalog). The one exception was Mary Tyler Moore in the opening credits of her eponymous show washing her car while wearing a Fran Tarkenton jersey. It was in the 80s that team gear (other than the occasional hat or t-shirt) started being made available for sale to the general public.

  • patrick | December 20, 2007 at 12:36 pm |

    [quote comment=”188843″]There is logo creep on cars – It may be on the inside of the car, rather than the outside – but it is there. One could purchase the standard base model, but for a few thousand more dollars, I can opt for the model with the infinity sound system or jbl sound system. Isn’t this at the very least comparable? It makes the consumer consciously aware of what brand of stereo they get in their cars and in turn, maybe but in their house. The same thing reebok is doing with their logos on the unis…[/quote]

    Also, I hate HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE when I see a car thats been, fr lack of a better term “tagged” witht he dealer that it was bought from. I dont want my car saying “hallock chevrolet” on it thank you very much

  • JJD | December 20, 2007 at 12:38 pm |

    It’s pretty distressing that since they have throwbacks in their games that when EA simulated a ’72 Fins-’07 Pats matchup the Dolphins appear to be wearing 2007 uniforms.

  • JJD | December 20, 2007 at 12:40 pm |

    I mean, come ON.

  • West | December 20, 2007 at 12:40 pm |

    I’m sorry but I’m going to have to go with the “get over it” argument. Like it or not, sports teams are brands and brands need to create synergy to continue to grow. Just like a publicly owned business, a sports team needs to satisfy its investors/fans and the best way to do that is to succeed in their field. Traditionally, for a team this means on-field/court/ice/pitch results. The best way to ensure these results are to provide your fans the best players to make it happen. For better or worse that means money. In pro sports, you buy them, in college you pay a good coach and build some nice facilities.
    Now the team/university can sell their own brand but they’re eventually going to need help getting their brand to more and more places and thats where the other sponsors come in.
    I’m in my early 20s so I’ve grown up with this and it doesn’t bother me one bit. So maybe I’m jaded. That’s not to say i don’t disagree with it, but i wholeheartedly accept it. I went to a major school (though currently awful) college football program. This school is one of the most recognizable and marketed Nike teams out there but the athletic department still barely comes out ahead so those swooshes are a big reason why are able to field any other sport besides football. This giving more kids the opportunity to get a college education.
    For all I care pro sports can be one giant logo, its not going to change my feelings for the team. Change is inevitable.

  • Frank | December 20, 2007 at 12:40 pm |

    Nice shot of the Phillies jersey. I especially liked the sleeve patch, since in ’43 and ’44 the team was also known as the Blue Jays, and the patch was still present in ’45.

  • josh | December 20, 2007 at 12:40 pm |

    The stadium name issue is a good one. When I was 10 years old,(Ford administration) I could name every ballpark, stadium and arena, and what city they were located for every team in the four major sports without batting an eye. Now I don’t think I could name half of them. The only ones I’m sure of are the ones that have the same names as when I was 10. I also have no clue where these corporate named arenas are located. PetCo Field, or QualCom Stadium could be in Houston, or Miami, or in Kansas City for all I know, or for all I care. I doubt this is the effect these teams, or their corporate johns had in mind.

  • Hank | December 20, 2007 at 12:41 pm |

    [quote comment=”188856″]Also, I like the infinite regressions on that Browns helmet. It would almost be better if the helmet logo was the Browns blank helmet, ie our logo is our blank helmet[/quote]

    Best part is in the comments section where one guy obviously “doesn’t get it” by going off on why do the Browns need a logo. Hope he was writing in jest.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 12:41 pm |

    [quote comment=”188988″]One thing about all this logo creep talk: yes, Paul and some people care. Maybe even the majority of people here. However, the majority of people in the world clearly don’t care, or at least don’t care enough, because if they did it wouldn’t happen.[/quote]

    Actually, most of the world doesn’t care about uniforms at all, so I guess I should shut down this site, right?

    I guess there’s no point in saying, “Bush sucks,” because he’s already the president. And there’s no reason to point out all the flaws in our health care system — hey, if people wanted it to be some other way, it would be some other way, thru the magic of the market!

    Things are the way they are because people want them that way, otherwise they’d be some other way, so there’s no point in having any point of view about anything — got it.

  • Jeff B | December 20, 2007 at 12:42 pm |

    [quote comment=”188974″][quote comment=”188965″]However, I disagree about the naming rights. I am currently a school board member on Long island (NY) and am willing to sell the rights to everything if it will keep taxes down. What is wrong with “Commack High School sponsored by Home Depot?” That branding could “buy” two more teachers.[/quote]

    I strongly disagree (and not just because I’m a product of the Long Island public school system). Once you take that money from Home Depot, you’re beholden to the corporation, and you’re unlikely to be able to escape that entanglement. If you’ll let Home Depot sponsor your school district, why not let junk food companies, a political party, or Penthouse magazine do it too? It’s all the same thing. If you lie down with dogs, expect to get fleas.

    School taxes are among the most appropriate forms of taxation we have, because public education is in everyone’s public interest. Letting schools be ad-free zones is in the public interest, too — kids are bombarded with enough ads as it is.[/quote]

    And? What’s wrong with that? You can write a contract to say basically whatever you want it to. Part of that is “This is what you can do, this is what you can’t.” As I’ve said many times, the more ads become an engrained part of our society, the less effective they become. They don’t stand out or draw our attenetion enough to sway our buying habits. The more ineffective they become, the less they will happen. And in the mean time, many more children get access to a better education through more and better teachers, better books, better technology etc.

  • joe | December 20, 2007 at 12:42 pm |

    [quote comment=”188857″]Very good article!! Excellent and truthful!!
    I differ in the brand/customer conception as today, uniforms are designed for retail, not the game itself, wich brings lots of money and exposure to the teams. Removing the brands would therefore decrease the value and quality perception of the uniforms. I think if you check uni sales volume and quality before the Nike era (1990’s), that should prove my point.
    As for corporate uniforms, I see a lot of cobranding (i.e Mc Donalds uni made by some famous clothing brands, or celeb fashion designer creating new unis for police or mailmen, etc…)
    Another example of next step sponsorship : has anyone heard of 2002-2005 spanish powerhouse Atletico Madrid? They have worn a different jersey for each game, sponsored by a giant studio (warner or paramount I don’t remember) that advertised the blockbuster of the week. Interesting…[/quote]
    I disagee, taking the manufacturers logos off the uni’s would not hurt retail sales at all. Leave them tagged as authentic on field/ice/court and people will still buy them. There are more sold today becuase there is more disposable income today. If someone wants an authentic uniform part they are not going to say “i’d love to get the Blackhawks sweater but its got a rbk logo on it, if only it had nike on it I would get it” There *are* people who will not buy it for the opposite reason.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 12:43 pm |

    [quote comment=”188986″][quote comment=”188979″]Wait, Paul, can we see a picture of this tattoo?[/quote]

    Yeah, I’d like to see that.

    I thought I was cool because I have a tattoo of a 1950s chrome toaster on my shoulder. But a Brannock Device? That’s outstanding.[/quote]
    Here.

  • Justin B | December 20, 2007 at 12:43 pm |

    So Paul or anyone for that matter, what about having a a ACC logo or a Big-Ten logo on something? Is this bad or good, or neither?

    I would also agree on Paul about not having a Home Depot school. Although I understand the need the statment about having addition funding. I however think that is more of a prioority of gov’t funding. Back to unis.

  • Alec | December 20, 2007 at 12:43 pm |

    [quote comment=”188863″]Nice article, Paul. I agree on all your points in an ideal world, but in the actual world I am torn, as my girlfriend is an advertising copy writer and she is constantly trying to come up with new and creative ways of advertising. Though, she doesn’t call it “logo creep”, she calls it “alternative media”.[/quote]

    And I call it consumerism run amok.

  • joe | December 20, 2007 at 12:44 pm |

    [quote comment=”188865″]I agree with about 105% of what was said but you need a better analogy than the car thing. many Dodge pick up trucks are now branded “Cummins Diesel.” Cummins makes engines (hardly optional equipment, pretty much mandatory in a car or truck) and somehow manages to get their logo on the truck.

    so logo creep has reached the automotive world…[/quote]
    thats very optional, you can choose to get a non cummings diesel and get a dodge gas engine.

  • Hank | December 20, 2007 at 12:45 pm |

    [quote comment=”188850″]Totally off topic, but in this article from NHL.com, I found this little tidbit.
    “Players on both teams will be outfitted in retro team jerseys bearing “football-sized numbers,” for better viewing.”

    http://www.nhl.com/n...

    I hope it does not coming off cartoony…[/quote]

    With Gary Bettman in charge, no doubt it will.

  • joe | December 20, 2007 at 12:46 pm |

    [quote comment=”188875″][quote comment=”188869″]Logo creep rant = living in the past = only
    appealing to an older generation.

    Why make your website’s appeal narrower?[/quote]

    In response to this brilliant analysis, I’d like to announce that this site will become a porno hub as of tomorrow. The appeal should be massive.[/quote]
    sweet!

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 12:46 pm |

    [quote comment=”189000″]I went to a major school (though currently awful) college football program. This school is one of the most recognizable and marketed Nike teams out there but the athletic department still barely comes out ahead so those swooshes are a big reason why are able to field any other sport besides football. This giving more kids the opportunity to get a college education.[/quote]

    Actually, if they did away with the athletic program and put that money into educational programs, THAT would give more kids the opportunity to get a college education.

  • Shaftman | December 20, 2007 at 12:47 pm |

    [quote comment=”188974″][quote comment=”188965″]However, I disagree about the naming rights. I am currently a school board member on Long island (NY) and am willing to sell the rights to everything if it will keep taxes down. What is wrong with “Commack High School sponsored by Home Depot?” That branding could “buy” two more teachers.[/quote]

    I strongly disagree (and not just because I’m a product of the Long Island public school system). Once you take that money from Home Depot, you’re beholden to the corporation, and you’re unlikely to be able to escape that entanglement. If you’ll let Home Depot sponsor your school district, why not let junk food companies, a political party, or Penthouse magazine do it too? It’s all the same thing. If you lie down with dogs, expect to get fleas.

    School taxes are among the most appropriate forms of taxation we have, because public education is in everyone’s public interest. Letting schools be ad-free zones is in the public interest, too — kids are bombarded with enough ads as it is.[/quote]

    To take this a step further. If Home Depot were the sponser and work needed to be done to the school, would you have to buy the material from Home Depot? If Nike was the sponser would you have to purchase Nike sports equipment.

    Some would say that they would probably supply it to you at no charge, but what I, as the AD (for instance) wanted to use Ping golf clubs or Rawlings baseball gloves? Would they let you? It just opens up a huge can of worms. I agree with Paul, when he says that certain entities are better left to be autonomous.

  • ALK | December 20, 2007 at 12:50 pm |

    This might add a twist to your analogy, but as any game worn NFL jersey collector knows – Reebok dosn’t even make the jerseys. Current “Reebok” NFL jerseys are made by Rippon in Berlin, WI. The only thing “Reebok” about them is the Reebok logo.

  • Hank | December 20, 2007 at 12:51 pm |

    [quote comment=”188843″]There is logo creep on cars – It may be on the inside of the car, rather than the outside – but it is there. One could purchase the standard base model, but for a few thousand more dollars, I can opt for the model with the infinity sound system or jbl sound system. Isn’t this at the very least comparable? It makes the consumer consciously aware of what brand of stereo they get in their cars and in turn, maybe but in their house. The same thing reebok is doing with their logos on the unis…[/quote]

    Not really. It isn’t like the pro/college player has a choice in wearing an RBK or Nike or Adidas uniform. They can only wear whatever the company that paid the most money to have their uni worn. With the car analogy, you have a choice of what manufacturer of a particular component to have installed. In sports, if a player likes a brand of shoe other than what the league approves (i.e. got paid for), they have to black it out or alter it. You don’t have to do that in your car.

  • Jeff B | December 20, 2007 at 12:51 pm |

    [quote comment=”189015″][quote comment=”189000″]I went to a major school (though currently awful) college football program. This school is one of the most recognizable and marketed Nike teams out there but the athletic department still barely comes out ahead so those swooshes are a big reason why are able to field any other sport besides football. This giving more kids the opportunity to get a college education.[/quote]

    Actually, if they did away with the athletic program and put that money into educational programs, THAT would give more kids the opportunity to get a college education.[/quote]

    The point should have been, without big football and big basketmall, many schools would have to shut down most of the rest of their athletics department which doesn’t make any money at all.

  • Dane | December 20, 2007 at 12:52 pm |

    Since we’re talking about competing logos, here’s an excerpt from an espn.com article about the schwag bags the “student-athletes” participating in bowl games will receive…

    The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is giving UCF and Mississippi State a plethora of Nike gear, including the Nike+ shoes, the Nike+ iPod kit (iPod chip for shoe), an Apple iPod, Nike back pack, Nike sunglasses and Nike sports sandals. Too bad UCF is an adidas-sponsored program.

    http://sports.espn.g...

  • West | December 20, 2007 at 12:55 pm |

    Paul – actually, they just raised over a billion dollars for education and are a top 50-60 school. thanks

  • B. Hill | December 20, 2007 at 12:56 pm |

    I’m behind the post 100%. I work for a uniform company that outfits most major hotel chains, as well as the healthcare, restaurant/bar, resort, and country club industry. We don’t have a single logo that appears on the outside of a uniform and most of our clothing is retail inspired (I often wear our dress shirts, ties and pants in the office, as well as our winter jacket out of the office – no external logos.)

    I’m okay with Adidas working the 3-stripe look into NBA uniforms because it’s more of a design cue and a silent nod than a blatant 3-leafer right on the shorts. As Paul said, YES, sports uniforms can be logo’d, but they don’t need to be. I’m a much bigger fan of the jersey that is brand identafiable by the cool logo/size tag on the bottom than the big swoosh below the neckline.

    In regards to the office attire vs. sports team attire and what should be logo’d: no one is cheering for you in your cubicle. People aren’t ponying up millions of dollars to watch you build spreadsheets and no one is looking to replicate your argyle and houndstooth style during Saturday afternoon jaunts to the grocery store. In addition, when was the last time the curvature of your pocket was altered to position a Ralph Lauren logo a la the back of some current hockey sweaters? It’s one thing to have a single logo adorning a sleeve, it’s another to alter the course of a color line to better display your logo.

    At the end of the day, it’s just a slippery slope. Every year the creep gets bigger and more diverse. How long before the whole sleeve of a football jersey is just the Reebok logo?

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 12:59 pm |

    [quote comment=”189023″]How long before the whole sleeve of a football jersey is just the Reebok logo?[/quote]

    Actually…

  • Christopher | December 20, 2007 at 1:06 pm |

    Let me throw my 2 cents in. I agree pretty damn near 100% with this article.

    What happens when anything is associated with a team, the fans tend to “cheer” for that thing, or become a “fan” of that thing. Majestic wants Yankee fans- subliminal or not- to be a fan of their brand because you’re a fan of, essentially, the Yankee brand.

    I’m as pro-capitalist as they come, but it really creeps me out when people cross over from simply preferring a brand (even if it is a rabid preference) to actually becoming a fan of- identifying themselves with- a corporate brand.

    The reason being, that deep of a relationship with a brand is incongruous with the whole idea what a corporation is really there for.

    If one is a “fan” of Nike, rest assured the relationship doesn’t go the other way.

    And then to use something as sacred to a community as a sports team to facilitate this relationship? I think that’s just wrong.

  • joe | December 20, 2007 at 1:07 pm |

    I’d much rather not have manufacturer logos on team uniforms, but at least they are usually toned down. A small swoosh on the chest. A small Reebok logo on the neck. But adidas is the absolute worst with their branding. The 3-stripes look may be the most disgusting display of branding in America today. I can’t stand adidas and if given the choice I would choose Nike or Reebok over them when buying apparel.

    personally I find the 3 stripes the least offensive since striping is being used as a design element. I’d rather have 3 stripes on the sides than the small 3 stripe logo on the chest that screams “look at me im a logo”.

  • B. Hill | December 20, 2007 at 1:08 pm |

    On a side note, I’m less angry about having a logo slapped on merchandise I buy in the store. In other words, if I want to buy a Penn State hat and there’s a big Nike logo on the back of it, I can deal with that. For me it’s really just the uniforms on the field.

  • mike | December 20, 2007 at 1:11 pm |

    After reading that I think I agree mostly with what Paul said except one thing; I think its perfectly okay to pimp out your sister!!!
    Slainte’
    Mike

    [quote comment=”188829″][quote comment=”188825″]No logos on college basketball uniforms?[/quote]

    Not on jerseys. That’s banned by the NCAA.[/quote]

  • Justin PGH | December 20, 2007 at 1:11 pm |

    [quote comment=”188980″]I’m glad some posters are mentioning stadium/arena naming rights here. I think those issues are much bigger than the so-called issues with logo creep.

    Not just naming rights of the venues, that’s bad enough, but the secondary naming rights say of a playing surface at a venue. I’ve seen teams “brought to you by”. This is all a bit much. I think the money a lot of these places get from public funding would mean you wouldn’t have to name and advertise EVERYTHING.

    This leads to my next point, this is more with arenas, advertising on the playing surface (and boards) is out of control. I watch a lot of old games on ESPN Classic and more recently the NHL Network (great channel if you can get it by the way) and some of the stuff isn’t even that old yet it’s like night and day when you look at the NBA and NHL. Every possible piece of hockey board is plastered and on-ice isn’t off limits either. As to basketball, while the courts have stayed relatively uncluttered, the scrolling ad boards at the scorer’s table annoy me to no end.

    Furthermore, when you go to a game, you are force fed some much advertising. “this power play is brought to you by…”, etc. And there isn’t any escaping it on TV, watch games on network TV and you always have to hear about that networks sitcoms or dramas. I know it’s a way of life, but that I could do without.

    A few years back at PNC Park they did a game with no music, in between innings crap, nothing. It was old school. I could be wrong but I think it was for the interleague series with the Bosox when they did throwbacks from the early 1900s.

    It was a refreshing break from the perogi races, pirate jukebox and hot dog shooting that normally go down on Federal Street.[/quote]

    Kek I know youre from Pittsburgh so I thought you’d be able to understand the value of the venue naming rights stuff. If the Pens weren’t able to sell the naming rights to the new arena they would have had to leave. The same can be said for Heinz Field and PNC Park. Those are both partially publicy funded venues (I’m sure you know the sales tax in Allegheny county is 7% while its 6% in the rest of the state). Had those companies not invested in the naming rights we, the taxpayers, would have to pay more than we already do. Not that is bothers me… I’m happy the new arena isn’t funded by taxes, but I would have paid anything to keep the Pens in town.

    That said I do miss the days of Three Rivers Stadium and the Civic Arena, but I’d rather deal with logo creep at a Steelers, Pirates, or Pens game than have to deal with not having any of the teams at all… even the Buccos.

  • felix | December 20, 2007 at 1:15 pm |

    [quote comment=”189008″][quote comment=”188986″][quote comment=”188979″]Wait, Paul, can we see a picture of this tattoo?[/quote]

    Yeah, I’d like to see that.

    I thought I was cool because I have a tattoo of a 1950s chrome toaster on my shoulder. But a Brannock Device? That’s outstanding.[/quote]
    Here.[/quote]

    Is that a Felix the Cat tattoo on your left arm?

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 1:16 pm |

    [quote comment=”189032″][quote comment=”189008″][quote comment=”188986″][quote comment=”188979″]Wait, Paul, can we see a picture of this tattoo?[/quote]

    Yeah, I’d like to see that.

    I thought I was cool because I have a tattoo of a 1950s chrome toaster on my shoulder. But a Brannock Device? That’s outstanding.[/quote]
    Here.[/quote]

    Is that a Felix the Cat tattoo on your left arm?[/quote]

    No.

  • Bruce | December 20, 2007 at 1:19 pm |

    [quote comment=”188965″]I bought my first car back in the days when dealer bolted his dealership on the trunk. I told the dealer that I would charge him $200 (the new car only cost $1,950 back then) for the advertising. He argued that he had to do it. I walked out of the dealership and bought the car elsewhere.

    However, I disagree about the naming rights. I am currently a school board member on Long island (NY) and am willing to sell the rights to everything if it will keep taxes down. What is wrong with “Commack High School sponsored by Home Depot?” That branding could “buy” two more teachers.

    However, when a pro team sells naming rights like “Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium” it is a different issue. Why do the newspapers and TV/radio insist on referring to the game as being played at the Izod Center. I have no idea what tam plays there. In fact I have no idea what city it is located in.

    Last week, the NHL announced that Jaromir Jagr set a record for scoring in the most number of arenas. How about one of the Uniwatchers figuring our which venue has had the most number of names? And, I remember when the the Dodgers and Angels shared the same ballpark it was Dodger Stadium for one and Chavez Ravine for the other.[/quote]

    This could be very interesting if someone could come up with a list of sports venues that have had the most name changes while in use.

  • Jason Axel | December 20, 2007 at 1:20 pm |

    I also am looking at the argument of advertising in arenas/stadiums…working at an arena, just THIS MORNING, we had installed were a ton of Country Fresh milk ad’s above all of the exit doors in the arena. It relates to uniforms and apparel, it all comes down to the the MONEY. Any company could careless how stupid something looks, or how much it will piss people off, as long as they make money on it, they could care less.

  • B. Hill | December 20, 2007 at 1:22 pm |

    [quote comment=”189024″][quote comment=”189023″]How long before the whole sleeve of a football jersey is just the Reebok logo?[/quote]

    Actually…[/quote]
    I was thinking of somthing more like this:
    http://i38.photobuck...

  • felix | December 20, 2007 at 1:23 pm |

    [quote comment=”189033″][quote comment=”189032″][quote comment=”189008″][quote comment=”188986″][quote comment=”188979″]Wait, Paul, can we see a picture of this tattoo?[/quote]

    Yeah, I’d like to see that.

    I thought I was cool because I have a tattoo of a 1950s chrome toaster on my shoulder. But a Brannock Device? That’s outstanding.[/quote]
    Here.[/quote]

    Is that a Felix the Cat tattoo on your left arm?[/quote]

    No.[/quote]

    Well, I was in the neighbourhood.

  • Kyle K. | December 20, 2007 at 1:24 pm |

    [quote comment=”188964″]The three stripes Adidas is a unique design element that Adidas does and has become a brand identifier. I don’t think anyone minded when Adidas put three stripes on their shoes. All of Ford’s new cars have this grill. Thats not a bad thing, but Adidas putting this on their clothes is? A full fledged jersey with the stripes like MJ was wearing yesterday would be terrible, but that was a warmup/practice jersey he had on so it’s ok.[/quote]

    It just depends what sport you’re watching. The three stripes are almost iconic in soccer. I am a high school soccer coach, and I outfit my team in adidas from head to toe. The three stripes actually have somewhat become part of the look of our team. Whether it is Varsity, JV, uniforms, warm-ups, home, away, goalkeepers, coaches, etc, we have equipment with the three stripes. We also are very careful in making sure that our logo, and wordmarks, are applied consistently on everything. The nice thing is that, no matter what, all 40 people associated with my team always look consistent. Something that would be pretty tough to do without the budget to create custom items for each of these elements.

    Now, I’m also a graphic designer in my day job, so I am very much marketing focused. And part of all of this comes down to outfitting my team in equipment that the kids like.

    Public high schools don’t recruit against other schools, they recruit against other sports in that school. And I would be surprised if some kids came out for my team just for the opportunity to wear some of the “schwag” to school. It is a tough enough team to make that they have to earn that opportunity, but if having nicer looking stuff than say the football, tennis, or cross country team gets a gifted athlete to try out for my team, then the marketing of my team has worked. And the three stripes definately play a part in that.

  • Gabe | December 20, 2007 at 1:25 pm |

    Paul – let me start by saying in principle I definitely agree with you; I can’t stand logo creep. And in general, I agree with most of your argument. However, I take issue with the logic behind part of what you’re saying.

    You mentioned “I’m willing to bet that there are no logos on your footwear. There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either. If you’re wearing a tie, there’s almost certainly no visible logo on that.”
    For the most part, that’s true. However, I would say that’s not a fair comparison, since those are items (sneakers, tie, sweater, shirt) a consumer would be expected to judge on “content and quality of that brand”, rather than the blind brand loyalty you insightfully ascribed to sports teams.

    Also, you mentioned “UPS deliverymen, cops, airline pilots, or Burger King employees”. These products are judged based on whether or not they deliver your package on time, protect you from criminals, fly you safely to your destination, or prepare a tasty burger. Again, the content and quality of the brand. But while we’re at it, advertising appears ALL OVER airports and airplanes nowadays.

    Lastly, the other big difference is that for the most part people don’t go out and buy a UPS uniform or airline pilot uniform to show support for the company. Sports are entertainment, and fans buy the jersey to to support their team. This means (a) more Reebok/Nike/Wilson/Spaulding/Rawlings products are sold, and (b) the logo increases brand recognition.

  • Justin | December 20, 2007 at 1:26 pm |

    [quote comment=”189015″][quote comment=”189000″]I went to a major school (though currently awful) college football program. This school is one of the most recognizable and marketed Nike teams out there but the athletic department still barely comes out ahead so those swooshes are a big reason why are able to field any other sport besides football. This giving more kids the opportunity to get a college education.[/quote]

    Florida State doesn’t offer a good education anyway.

    Actually, if they did away with the athletic program and put that money into educational programs, THAT would give more kids the opportunity to get a college education.[/quote]

  • Kyle K. | December 20, 2007 at 1:29 pm |

    Sweet Phillies jersey. I knew that the Phillies officially changed their name to the Blue Jays for a few years, and that it never caught on… but I never knew that they used both the Phillies name and the Blue Jay as a mascot at the same time. Strange.

  • Justin B | December 20, 2007 at 1:29 pm |

    [quote comment=”189044″][quote comment=”189024″][quote comment=”189023″]How long before the whole sleeve of a football jersey is just the Reebok logo?[/quote]

    Actually…[/quote]
    I was thinking of somthing more like this:
    http://i38.photobuck...

    I was thinking the same thing. Nice!

  • Matt Powers | December 20, 2007 at 1:33 pm |

    Mississippi State is also an Adidas school!

  • Slam | December 20, 2007 at 1:35 pm |

    What do you guys think about the Computer placed ads that you can find on soccer pitches for the benefit of those at home? The even make them look like they are painted on. Then when they zoom in, the guy that was stading on the Foster’s logo is suddenly on green grass. It has also found its way into MLB. ever notice the add in the backstop is not the same or is missing in the replay of a pitch or swing?

    By the way, sometimes equipment manufacturers do go over board with branding. For example, hockey helmet manufacturers have lately been putting their branding on the front, back and both sides of their products. I would love to be able to by the “pro” version that only has a logo on the front. Luckily, my helmet is black so a strip of electrical tape cleqans it up nicely.

  • felix | December 20, 2007 at 1:36 pm |

    [quote comment=”189053″]Mississippi State is also an Adidas school![/quote]

    Congratulations, I’m sorry?

  • Event Guy | December 20, 2007 at 1:40 pm |

    College has come up a few times and to be clear, in an NCAA sanctioned championship (not regular season, not bowl games) student-athletes can only have one logo per piece of apparel not larger than 2 1/4″ square. The three stripes on most Adidas items is considered a logo and is a real headache.

  • Adam | December 20, 2007 at 1:41 pm |

    [quote comment=”189005″]Things are the way they are because people want them that way, otherwise they’d be some other way, so there’s no point in having any point of view about anything — got it.[/quote]

    That’s not what I said. If you hate logo creep and want to talk about hating logo creep, go ahead, especially since it’s your site. I just think you’re fighting a losing battle.

  • Gregg | December 20, 2007 at 1:42 pm |

    Paul,

    I enjoyed your essay, and agree with most of what you said. As a daily visitor who rarely posts (all I had to offer to date were my statistics on Mets winning percentages by uniform/hat combo), I wanted to applaud your commitment to your cause. Today’s comments remind me somewhat of a college dissertation, where you spend all this time writing your paper and then defend it by responding to questions. I’m glad you’ve taken the time to hang around and participate in the conversation. Sometimes, I read the comments, and kind of hope to see that orange box with your comments. At times, I’m disappointed when you don’t participate because I’m curious about your response. Sometimes, you come back a day or a week later and make an entire column dedicated to something in the comments, and I feel a bizarre sense of satisfaction. It is YOUR SITE.

    On another note, about the dealer license plate frames, funny story…we bought my wife’s Odyssey at South Shore Honda, and the car had the dealer frames. I never got around to removing them. When we moved to Huntington and had the car serviced at Huntington Honda, they swapped out the SS frames for HH frames (I noticed a week later). Again, I never got around to removing them (OK, I’m lazy). Well, one Saturday, we were at Eisenhower park in East Meadow when there was a problem with one of the run flat tires. The closest dealer was Honda City. Again, days later, we’re walking up to the car, and naturally, the frames had been changed to Honda City. Now it was becoming funny, so I left the frames on because I wanted Huntington Honda to get cute and swap them out again at the next oil change. Well, sure enough, they did. I go back to the service desk and demanded my Honda City frames back just to bust balls. They could not locate them. I politely asked to see the GM of the dealership. Naturally, he couldn’t understand why I gave a rat’s ass about the frames, but I kept the act going. Ultimately, we walked out with a free oil change, a roadside asisstance kit, an emergency medical kit, and (sorry, Paul) a Honda hat for my son. When I finally got around to taking off the Huntington frames, they magically came back from the dead the next time the car was serviced. When I asked for their removal, they did, realizing that I was “that guy.”

  • Matt Powers | December 20, 2007 at 1:43 pm |

    I believe that much like politics, we can complain about the status quo or we can do something about it. As in voting, our choices determine the outcome. Boycott team merchandise, send letters and e-mail and perhaps someone in those organizations will listen.
    Strangely enough, I happen to be 30 and love seeing the swoosh on the chest and hip of football uniforms. However, I also long for the days when fans dresses like ordinary Joe’s meaning MEN and WOMEN, not 8 year old children.
    Watch a film sucj as Eight Men Out or The Natural or any period piece during the 40’s and 50’s, adults had style. Where have all of the fedoras and hats gone? Not Yankee 5950 fitteds and Reebok Browns draft day caps but hats that you would take off when entering the indoors. Maybe mine is a more cultural and style type argument but I wholeheartedly long for those days when Candlestick was where the 49ers and Giants played, The Boston Garden was home to the C’s and Chicago Stadium was the house that Michael built!

  • Matt Powers | December 20, 2007 at 1:47 pm |

    And people would dress as if they were going out in public,like this man:

    http://cache.eb.com/...

    Even him:

    http://www.nancarrow...

    Not like this disgrace:

    http://www.nydailyne...

  • derek | December 20, 2007 at 1:49 pm |

    Paul you are absolutely correct, i agree with you 100%. I apologize for that snide comment i left earlier this morning on yesterdays post.

  • Matt Powers | December 20, 2007 at 1:50 pm |

    Felix,

    I was just replying to the tidbit about the bowl teams: UCF and Miss. State being given all of the Aplle and Nike gear although UCF is an Adidas school. COincidentally so is MSU! Sorry for any confusion>

  • B. Hill | December 20, 2007 at 1:51 pm |

    [quote comment=”189048″]
    You mentioned “I’m willing to bet that there are no logos on your footwear. There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either. If you’re wearing a tie, there’s almost certainly no visible logo on that.”

    For the most part, that’s true. However, I would say that’s not a fair comparison, since those are items (sneakers, tie, sweater, shirt) a consumer would be expected to judge on “content and quality of that brand”, rather than the blind brand loyalty you insightfully ascribed to sports teams.

    Also, you mentioned “UPS deliverymen, cops, airline pilots, or Burger King employees”. These products are judged based on whether or not they deliver your package on time, protect you from criminals, fly you safely to your destination, or prepare a tasty burger. Again, the content and quality of the brand. But while we’re at it, advertising appears ALL OVER airports and airplanes nowadays.

    Lastly, the other big difference is that for the most part people don’t go out and buy a UPS uniform or airline pilot uniform to show support for the company. Sports are entertainment, and fans buy the jersey to to support their team. This means (a) more Reebok/Nike/Wilson/Spaulding/Rawlings products are sold, and (b) the logo increases brand recognition.[/quote]
    You seem to make Paul’s point here: “…Fans buy the jersey to support their team…” NOT THE MANUFACTURER, which is the issue.

    Who are we trying to create brand recognition for? The non-sports fan that won’t buy a jersey anyway? As a sports fan, I get it, Reebok sponsors the NFL and NHL, I don’t need a jersey with 3 logo’s to remind me. If I buy Reebok shoes it will be because I think they have the best combination of benefits that fit my needs. If I buy a Kyle Orton jersey, it’s because I want to show support for the Bears and Orton (and I’m an idiot,) not because I want to show support for Reebok.

  • Ryan B | December 20, 2007 at 1:57 pm |

    [quote comment=”189050″]Sweet Phillies jersey. I knew that the Phillies officially changed their name to the Blue Jays for a few years, and that it never caught on… but I never knew that they used both the Phillies name and the Blue Jay as a mascot at the same time. Strange.[/quote]
    Which is why the Blue Jays name never took. The dual use ruined any chance of the change becoming permanent.

    I might be wrong, but I think TD Banknorth Garden might hold the record for most changes – they auctioned off one week long naming rights contracts back when Bank of America bought out Fleet and terminated the deal for what was then the FleetCenter.

  • Kek | December 20, 2007 at 1:57 pm |

    [quote comment=”189023″]I’m behind the post 100%. I work for a uniform company that outfits most major hotel chains, as well as the healthcare, restaurant/bar, resort, and country club industry. We don’t have a single logo that appears on the outside of a uniform and most of our clothing is retail inspired (I often wear our dress shirts, ties and pants in the office, as well as our winter jacket out of the office – no external logos.)

    I’m okay with Adidas working the 3-stripe look into NBA uniforms because it’s more of a design cue and a silent nod than a blatant 3-leafer right on the shorts. As Paul said, YES, sports uniforms can be logo’d, but they don’t need to be. I’m a much bigger fan of the jersey that is brand identafiable by the cool logo/size tag on the bottom than the big swoosh below the neckline.

    In regards to the office attire vs. sports team attire and what should be logo’d: no one is cheering for you in your cubicle. People aren’t ponying up millions of dollars to watch you build spreadsheets and no one is looking to replicate your argyle and houndstooth style during Saturday afternoon jaunts to the grocery store. In addition, when was the last time the curvature of your pocket was altered to position a Ralph Lauren logo a la the back of some current hockey sweaters? It’s one thing to have a single logo adorning a sleeve, it’s another to alter the course of a color line to better display your logo.

    At the end of the day, it’s just a slippery slope. Every year the creep gets bigger and more diverse. How long before the whole sleeve of a football jersey is just the Reebok logo?[/quote]
    Really?

    When did Reebok come into the NFL game as exclusive, 2002? Has that 2×1 logo I mentioned in a previous post gotten any bigger? I don’t think so. I have a folder on my PC of NFL pics from 2005 and did a quick look on yahoo for photos from this year and there really isn’t any difference. If you go pre-2001, the swooshes of the Nike teams weren’t that large either. (I actually like that the NFL had the logo on the sleeves rather than on the front of the jersey like in college.)

    I guess I’ll just be in the minority as far as thinking this is all much ado about nothing.

  • B. Hill | December 20, 2007 at 1:58 pm |

    [quote comment=”189058″][quote comment=”189005″]Things are the way they are because people want them that way, otherwise they’d be some other way, so there’s no point in having any point of view about anything — got it.[/quote]

    That’s not what I said. If you hate logo creep and want to talk about hating logo creep, go ahead, especially since it’s your site. I just think you’re fighting a losing battle.[/quote]
    There is’t really a battle being fought – he’s just opining about his distaste, and it seems that there are plenty of people that agree.

    If you don’t make your opinion known in an arena that is open to everyone to agree or disagree with, regardless of the status quo, how do you ever expect to spark change? I think the number of equipment managers, and other assorted people involved with decisions involving uniforms in various leagues that read this blog is either growing or will grow over time. Putting a dissenting opinion out there that garners public agreement could some day have an effect. Just ask Joel Skiba …

  • Minna H. | December 20, 2007 at 1:58 pm |

    I don’t wear anything with a label (except, with Taiwanese labels, and that doesn’t bother me because I don’t know what they are), and I certanily don’t wear anything with a brand on the outside because I figure they should be paying ME if they want me to advertise for them. I bought their product–what more do they want from me?

    I am a Luddite. I have no cell phone, no I-Pod, no designer anything, my purse is handmade, and I eat organic food (well, for the most part), so you can probably guess that I am firmly behind Paul on this issue.

    That said, God help me, I actually liked this. For some reason, the jersey was LESS obtrusive to me when paired with purple pants than with white pants. No, I don’t know why, and I certainly can’t defend this fancy of mine.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 1:59 pm |

    [quote comment=”189064″]Paul you are absolutely correct, i agree with you 100%. I apologize for that snide comment i left earlier this morning on yesterdays post.[/quote]

    No apology necessary, and I didn’t even think you were being snide. It was pretty amazing to see your comment literally minutes before I posted today’s entry, though — serendipity!

  • CV | December 20, 2007 at 2:03 pm |

    Is Pantone Blue Iris truly the Vikings offical color?

  • B. Hill | December 20, 2007 at 2:04 pm |

    [quote comment=”189072″][quote comment=”189023″]I’m behind the post 100%. I work for a uniform company that outfits most major hotel chains, as well as the healthcare, restaurant/bar, resort, and country club industry. We don’t have a single logo that appears on the outside of a uniform and most of our clothing is retail inspired (I often wear our dress shirts, ties and pants in the office, as well as our winter jacket out of the office – no external logos.)

    I’m okay with Adidas working the 3-stripe look into NBA uniforms because it’s more of a design cue and a silent nod than a blatant 3-leafer right on the shorts. As Paul said, YES, sports uniforms can be logo’d, but they don’t need to be. I’m a much bigger fan of the jersey that is brand identafiable by the cool logo/size tag on the bottom than the big swoosh below the neckline.

    In regards to the office attire vs. sports team attire and what should be logo’d: no one is cheering for you in your cubicle. People aren’t ponying up millions of dollars to watch you build spreadsheets and no one is looking to replicate your argyle and houndstooth style during Saturday afternoon jaunts to the grocery store. In addition, when was the last time the curvature of your pocket was altered to position a Ralph Lauren logo a la the back of some current hockey sweaters? It’s one thing to have a single logo adorning a sleeve, it’s another to alter the course of a color line to better display your logo.

    At the end of the day, it’s just a slippery slope. Every year the creep gets bigger and more diverse. How long before the whole sleeve of a football jersey is just the Reebok logo?[/quote]
    Really?

    When did Reebok come into the NFL game as exclusive, 2002? Has that 2×1 logo I mentioned in a previous post gotten any bigger? I don’t think so. I have a folder on my PC of NFL pics from 2005 and did a quick look on yahoo for photos from this year and there really isn’t any difference. If you go pre-2001, the swooshes of the Nike teams weren’t that large either. (I actually like that the NFL had the logo on the sleeves rather than on the front of the jersey like in college.)

    I guess I’ll just be in the minority as far as thinking this is all much ado about nothing.[/quote]
    Sorry – I ddin’t intend to miswrite that as stating that the logo has been getting bigger but rather intended it to mean that it could. That said, instead of that 2X1 piece growing, I tend to see it in more and more places every year.

    I was more speaking to the idea of things like how when U.S. baseball teams go overseas for the World Baseball Championship (or whatever it’s called) they often wear sponsorship, whereas that never occurred over here. One link to an ACC logo on someone’s post featured 3 different brand sponsorships in it.

    I guess the question is: when is it too egregious? The picture of the VT player(s) with 5+ ACC logos? Is that too much? I’m sure it just started with one ACC logo on a jersey and now it’s that. That is the slippery slope argument.

  • Minna H. | December 20, 2007 at 2:09 pm |

    P.S. After skimming the comments, I would like to add that I am definitely of the older generation–36, but I don’t see why Paul should pander to the younger generations just because ninety-nine percent of the media does.

    Besides, if he were to censor everything he does to make sure that he is ‘not narrowing the audience’, then he would not be able to print anything. I, for one, would stop reading if he suddenly started saying all the time that he was in favor of slapping a label on everything and for corporate naming, and that he would only buy Nike merchandise to boot.

    Bottom line: sometimes I agree with Paul (logo creep) and sometimes I don’t (almost every color combo), but I am always interested to read what he has to say because he writes in a thoughtful, lucid way.

    That being said, if you DO turn this into a porn hub tomorrow, Paul, make sure there are some good-looking naked men in the mix, too. Thanks.

  • Minna H. | December 20, 2007 at 2:11 pm |

    [quote comment=”189082″][quote comment=”189075″]I am a Luddite…That said, God help me[/quote]

    The Luddites were a social movement of British textile artisans in the early nineteenth century who protested — often by destroying sewing machines — against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt threatened their livelihood

    that’s most excellent[/quote]

    Yup, that’s me. Viva la Revolution!

  • dm00n [Doug] | December 20, 2007 at 2:14 pm |

    There are no manufacturer’s logos on NBA uniforms (to David Stern’s everlasting credit), or on college basketball jerseys, or on MLB caps, or on socks in any of the four major pro leagues, and I want to make sure those situations stay that way.

    Honestly, I hate the MLB logo on the back of the caps. I have an old Tigers road cap (before the orange button on top, no MLB logo, green underbrim), and it is falling apart now, but I love that hat. I like the Minors a lot, but I wouldn’t ever wear a cap with New Era on the side. They look like you went to Free Hat Day at the park.

    I don’t even like the super 3-d cap logos, so I think I fall into the old-man-who-is-behind-the-times camp.

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 2:17 pm |

    I want to thank everyone for all the really interesting and thoughtful discussion today — much better than I expected, frankly. I may not be able to participate as much for the rest of the day as I’ve been able to do so far, but I’m really pleased with how things have played out up to this point. As I’ve said many times before, Uni Watch readers are the best.

    Thanks again,
    Paul

  • josh | December 20, 2007 at 2:18 pm |

    Watch a film sucj as Eight Men Out or The Natural or any period piece during the 40’s and 50’s, adults had style. Where have all of the fedoras and hats gone? Not Yankee 5950 fitteds and Reebok Browns draft day caps but hats that you would take off when entering the indoors. Maybe mine is a more cultural and style type argument but I wholeheartedly long for those days when Candlestick was where the 49ers and Giants played, The Boston Garden was home to the C’s and Chicago Stadium was the house that Michael built!

    Read the book, “Hatless Jack”. The basic premise is that JFK shunned lids because they hid his luxurious locks and made his face look pudgy. Because he was president, and dashing, and quite the assman, this to-fore social faux-pas became acceptable. Before this time, all the fedoras and homburgs and bowlers and boaters weren’t worn because gents were more stylish, they wore them because they had to. Until Jack made it okay, a fella without a hat in public was not okay. It would be akin to not wearing shoes today. Any guy in those old photos without a hat was one breath away from being tossed in jail. So if we follow slippery slope logic, logo creep in sports is all JFK’s fault, because if it’s okay to no longer wear hats in public, then it becomes okay to not wear suits and ties either. And if suits and ties can go then jeans or sweats or pajamas are okay. And if we can wear whatever the fuck we want whrever the fuck we want to, we can wear jerseys and sweaters and shorts of our heroes, and in this free-market society, if there’s a demand, the supply will materialize. So unis, which only showed up on the field are now mass-produced, the manufacturer becomes important and we get logos all over everything, and it’s JFK’s fault. I figure if we can blame the Iraq War on Clinton, then lay logo-creep at the feet of Camelot.

  • =bg= | December 20, 2007 at 2:23 pm |

    A really interesting article, Paul. Dead-on accurate, from where I sit. I don’t have a prob with a small reebok logo on the NFL jersey- it’s just as if I was wearing a Ralph Lauren shirt- he can put his polo logo on there, and Reebok is entitled to the same treatment.

  • LI Phil | December 20, 2007 at 2:26 pm |

    im possibly on the OTHER side of the equation when it comes to logos (although not necessarily logo creep)…

    although i certainly engaged in most team sports growing up, MY sport was (and still is) tennis

    as such, designer (as it were) tennis wear was VERY important growing up, whether it be at the courts or in team (HS) tennis…i grew up idolizing borg, connors, mcenroe etc, so fila, tacchini, and later nike/adidas/rbk were always what i would wear if i could afford it…to this day i only wear matching outfits (and color schemes)…which is one of the many reasons i LOVE UW…

    that being said, maybe because of my misplaced love for brand names, i don’t so much mind seeing the uni manufacturer’s logo on the team gear, so long as it’s not OBNOXIOUS (like 5 swooshes or a huge adidas embroidery)…in fact, for some colleges where i don’t have a real rooting interest, i might even cheer for team nike over team russell, given no other rationale…team colors might also play into it (truly a “don’t hate the playa hate the laundry).

    i love this site and it’s great to hear all the opinions out there

    no one is truly right or wrong but it sure is fun sometimes trying to prove that

  • =bg= | December 20, 2007 at 2:28 pm |

    [quote comment=”189071″][quote comment=”189050″]Sweet Phillies jersey. I knew that the Phillies officially changed their name to the Blue Jays for a few years, and that it never caught on… but I never knew that they used both the Phillies name and the Blue Jay as a mascot at the same time. Strange.[/quote]
    Which is why the Blue Jays name never took. The dual use ruined any chance of the change becoming permanent.

    I might be wrong, but I think TD Banknorth Garden might hold the record for most changes – they auctioned off one week long naming rights contracts back when Bank of America bought out Fleet and terminated the deal for what was then the FleetCenter.[/quote]

    Hmmm, I know that Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati was that..then “The Crown,” then Firstar..now USBank (I think..)

  • Kek | December 20, 2007 at 2:28 pm |

    [quote comment=”189081″][quote comment=”189072″][quote comment=”189023″]I’m behind the post 100%. I work for a uniform company that outfits most major hotel chains, as well as the healthcare, restaurant/bar, resort, and country club industry. We don’t have a single logo that appears on the outside of a uniform and most of our clothing is retail inspired (I often wear our dress shirts, ties and pants in the office, as well as our winter jacket out of the office – no external logos.)

    I’m okay with Adidas working the 3-stripe look into NBA uniforms because it’s more of a design cue and a silent nod than a blatant 3-leafer right on the shorts. As Paul said, YES, sports uniforms can be logo’d, but they don’t need to be. I’m a much bigger fan of the jersey that is brand identafiable by the cool logo/size tag on the bottom than the big swoosh below the neckline.

    In regards to the office attire vs. sports team attire and what should be logo’d: no one is cheering for you in your cubicle. People aren’t ponying up millions of dollars to watch you build spreadsheets and no one is looking to replicate your argyle and houndstooth style during Saturday afternoon jaunts to the grocery store. In addition, when was the last time the curvature of your pocket was altered to position a Ralph Lauren logo a la the back of some current hockey sweaters? It’s one thing to have a single logo adorning a sleeve, it’s another to alter the course of a color line to better display your logo.

    At the end of the day, it’s just a slippery slope. Every year the creep gets bigger and more diverse. How long before the whole sleeve of a football jersey is just the Reebok logo?[/quote]
    Really?

    When did Reebok come into the NFL game as exclusive, 2002? Has that 2×1 logo I mentioned in a previous post gotten any bigger? I don’t think so. I have a folder on my PC of NFL pics from 2005 and did a quick look on yahoo for photos from this year and there really isn’t any difference. If you go pre-2001, the swooshes of the Nike teams weren’t that large either. (I actually like that the NFL had the logo on the sleeves rather than on the front of the jersey like in college.)

    I guess I’ll just be in the minority as far as thinking this is all much ado about nothing.[/quote]
    Sorry – I ddin’t intend to miswrite that as stating that the logo has been getting bigger but rather intended it to mean that it could. That said, instead of that 2X1 piece growing, I tend to see it in more and more places every year.

    I was more speaking to the idea of things like how when U.S. baseball teams go overseas for the World Baseball Championship (or whatever it’s called) they often wear sponsorship, whereas that never occurred over here. One link to an ACC logo on someone’s post featured 3 different brand sponsorships in it.

    I guess the question is: when is it too egregious? The picture of the VT player(s) with 5+ ACC logos? Is that too much? I’m sure it just started with one ACC logo on a jersey and now it’s that. That is the slippery slope argument.[/quote]
    Fair enough, but like making the distinction between supplier logos and adverts, the difference between a conference or league logo is a very different thing. While the ACC logo on that shirt five times is a bit redundant, it’s not logo creep in the sense that Paul normally opines about (i.e. supplier labels).

    MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL all put their leagues logo on their uniforms. I don’t see this as logo creep.

    Some people used cars as an analogy, and this is a case where you could make a connection.

    For instance, car companies all have logos that they use with their product line. However, some individual models also have unique logos.

    Pontiac

    Pontiac Firebird

  • =bg= | December 20, 2007 at 2:35 pm |

    [quote comment=”189115″]im possibly on the OTHER side of the equation when it comes to logos (although not necessarily logo creep)…

    although i certainly engaged in most team sports growing up, MY sport was (and still is) tennis

    as such, designer (as it were) tennis wear was VERY important growing up, whether it be at the courts or in team (HS) tennis…i grew up idolizing borg, connors, mcenroe etc, so fila, tacchini, and later nike/adidas/rbk were always what i would wear if i could afford it…to this day i only wear matching outfits (and color schemes)…which is one of the many reasons i LOVE UW…

    that being said, maybe because of my misplaced love for brand names, i don’t so much mind seeing the uni manufacturer’s logo on the team gear, so long as it’s not OBNOXIOUS (like 5 swooshes or a huge adidas embroidery)…in fact, for some colleges where i don’t have a real rooting interest, i might even cheer for team nike over team russell, given no other rationale…team colors might also play into it (truly a “don’t hate the playa hate the laundry).

    i love this site and it’s great to hear all the opinions out there

    no one is truly right or wrong but it sure is fun sometimes trying to prove that[/quote]

    HA! I LOVED that late 70s-early 80s Borg and Vilas Fila line. SOOO expensive. Only sold at one pro shop near me..and you couldn’t get Tacchini anywhere. I always wondered why Connors never had a great clothing line. Robert Bruce, Slazenger, etc..cheap stuff. Borg had the personalized Fila line, a personalized racket for Europe and USA..(Donnay overseas, Bancroft here), a personalized shoe in Europe (Diadora,) whereas Connors came off looking minor-league by comparison. I saw in the mid-90s that Connors signed to Reebok for a “Classic Court” line of clothing and shoes..but then it disappeared. McEnroe started with Tacchini (wore Fila and Adidas as an amatuer) but then segued to Nike to launch their clothing line. ANd he wore those GREAT gray/black/white mid-cut cross-trainers with the forefoot strap.

  • felix | December 20, 2007 at 5:31 pm |

    Hmmm.. welcome back, blog?

  • Paul Lukas | December 20, 2007 at 5:40 pm |

    We had a slight software glitch. Fixed now.

  • dgc | December 20, 2007 at 5:44 pm |

    And now for something completely different: Caps on Segways

  • Anthony Verna | December 20, 2007 at 5:47 pm |

    Wow. It took me all day to access the comments section.

    I loved the post topic, of course. And I do agree. I have an odd rule: I wear no logos to church. Not a sports jersey. No shirts with any brands on them. I take out plain comfy shoes or plain sneakers (yes, that’s hard to do today).

    Some places. .. you just want to avoid it. . . .

    (And, yes, I still practice trademark and copyright law because I love it.)

  • Sage Confucius | December 20, 2007 at 6:30 pm |

    [quote comment=”188838″]There are probably no visible logos on your shirt or sweater, either.

    Paul, I must disagree with your statement about no visible logos on shirts or sweaters.

    Nearly everyone in my office wears shirts and sweaters with either a Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Nautica, Express, Timberland, or some other sort of logo. I’d say there are more shirts and sweaters with logos than without![/quote]

    I’ve never understood why people feel a need to wear someone’s logo. There are a ton of clothing items that don’t have someone’s logo stuck on it. It’s the look-at-how-much-I-spent-for-clothes factor that drives people I suppose. I own one Tommy Hilfiger sweater. It was bought because it was the style and color I was looking for. Oh yeah, it was 50% off. If I could pick the little flag logo out of it I would. I refuse to advertise for companies for free.

  • =bg= | December 20, 2007 at 6:37 pm |

    test

  • =bg= | December 20, 2007 at 6:39 pm |

    think there may be something wrong with comments..i posted something, it’s not there, yet if i try again it says ‘you aready said that’—-FYI.

  • wp | December 20, 2007 at 6:50 pm |

    Could have gone all day without the f-bomb.

  • Kevin Dumphy | December 20, 2007 at 6:51 pm |

    [quote comment=”189236″]think there may be something wrong with comments..i posted something, it’s not there, yet if i try again it says ‘you aready said that’—-FYI.[/quote]
    Try hiiting your computer with a wrench. If it doesn’t work you can sue Micrsoft.

  • John Ekdahl | December 20, 2007 at 6:51 pm |

    [quote comment=”189236″]think there may be something wrong with comments..i posted something, it’s not there, yet if i try again it says ‘you aready said that’—-FYI.[/quote]

    Only this page was effected by the little lag-session we had for a couple hours. I had to delete the last couple comments to resolve it, one might have been yours. Clear your browser’s cache and it should work fine.

  • Tim | December 20, 2007 at 6:54 pm |

    Now, we both know that Nike isn’t giving out all that money from the goodness of their hearts — they’re doing it because they think they’ll get a good return on that investment, which means it’s essentially dirty money.

    IT is dirty money because they advertised in a place they could make a good return investment???????? WTF!?!? That was the dumbest thing i had ever heard. They advertise there to make a profit, and the schools let them advertise to bring money into their school. WIN-WIN. Just as you allowing helmut hut to advertise on this site.

    You can say you don’t like the logos . And that you feel it cheapens the image, but you cannot say anything beyond that. Your actual business comments were absurd and I now question your ability to comment intelligently.

  • Jeremiah McElwain | December 20, 2007 at 6:58 pm |

    I always seem to have things to say that are totally off topic. Just curious, but if FNOB is a new acronym, can SNOB be the acronym when someone has a suffix on the back, or maybe just SOB? This would be a case of SNOB/SOB –

  • muddlehead | December 20, 2007 at 7:20 pm |

    rose musta lost a bet to the skylight salesman.

  • Dennis Abrams | December 20, 2007 at 7:32 pm |

    A question for you Paul: Is “logo creep” an original term? If so, write a book by that name dealing with advertising on sports uniforms. I would buy every copy I could find.
    Property is theft! Workers of the world, unite!

  • LI Phil | December 20, 2007 at 7:33 pm |

    teh hawt and not

    although…jess should be ashamed of that jersey

  • =bg= | December 20, 2007 at 7:38 pm |

    http://www.sfgate.co...

    Buy Reebok, get money.

  • =bg= | December 20, 2007 at 7:40 pm |

    PS-
    Logo creep..indeed.
    http://sportsillustr...

  • felix | December 20, 2007 at 7:49 pm |

    [quote comment=”189253″]I always seem to have things to say that are totally off topic. Just curious, but if FNOB is a new acronym, can SNOB be the acronym when someone has a suffix on the back, or maybe just SOB? This would be a case of SNOB/SOB –
    [/quote]

    The term SOB could be used for a great many athletes, though.

  • LI Phil | December 20, 2007 at 8:00 pm |

    3 cowboys tickets: $600
    cute santa hat: $10
    tony romo authentic: $125

    taking your grandsons to their first game: priceless

  • Jeremiah McElwain | December 20, 2007 at 8:14 pm |

    Ok so the link totally didn’t work you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way. IE Copy & Paste
    http://www.nba.com/m...
    Also, at 23 am I included in the “Old Generation?” I’m from NY origionally, and a huge Mets fan (check out my membership card). I’m not looking forward to Citi Field.

  • Kyle O. | December 20, 2007 at 8:33 pm |

    Paul- Do you think MJ puts a piece of tape over the logo is he wears fruit of the loom instead of Hanes?

  • felix | December 20, 2007 at 8:37 pm |

    [quote comment=”189322″]Paul- Do you think MJ puts a piece of tape over the logo is he wears fruit of the loom instead of Hanes?[/quote]

    That might cause a bit of a chafing issue.

  • daniel | December 20, 2007 at 8:39 pm |

    Blood jersey alert in women’s basketball, UK vs UL

  • LI Phil | December 20, 2007 at 9:07 pm |

    [quote comment=”189121″][HA! I LOVED that late 70s-early 80s Borg and Vilas Fila line. SOOO expensive. Only sold at one pro shop near me.. Borg had the personalized Fila line.[/quote]

    why i love the borg

  • felix | December 20, 2007 at 9:23 pm |

    [quote comment=”189343″][quote comment=”189121″][HA! I LOVED that late 70s-early 80s Borg and Vilas Fila line. SOOO expensive. Only sold at one pro shop near me.. Borg had the personalized Fila line.[/quote]

    why i love the borg[/quote]

    See? I was expecting this.

  • felix | December 20, 2007 at 9:28 pm |

    [quote comment=”189343″][quote comment=”189121″][HA! I LOVED that late 70s-early 80s Borg and Vilas Fila line. SOOO expensive. Only sold at one pro shop near me.. Borg had the personalized Fila line.[/quote]

    why i love the borg[/quote]

    I was thinking more this.

  • Cheri | December 20, 2007 at 9:32 pm |

    I know it’s late, but is anyone watching this Navy vs. Utah bowl game? Navy has TONS of different patches on their right shoulder. Is this for their different division/legion?/group in the military? I will try to look for pics online soon.

  • LI Phil | December 20, 2007 at 9:39 pm |

    lambs in all blue tonite

    i thought this was a cool look the first time they wore it…not so much now

  • felix | December 20, 2007 at 9:50 pm |

    [quote comment=”189378″]lambs in all blue tonite

    i thought this was a cool look the first time they wore it…not so much now[/quote]

    Looks like there’s stripes on those pants though, so that’s at least something positive.

  • Bryan Redemske | December 20, 2007 at 10:02 pm |

    [quote comment=”189196″]Wow. It took me all day to access the comments section.

    I loved the post topic, of course. And I do agree. I have an odd rule: I wear no logos to church. Not a sports jersey. No shirts with any brands on them. I take out plain comfy shoes or plain sneakers (yes, that’s hard to do today).

    Some places. .. you just want to avoid it. . . .

    (And, yes, I still practice trademark and copyright law because I love it.)[/quote]

    People wear jerseys to church?

  • LI Phil | December 20, 2007 at 10:09 pm |

    [quote comment=”189382″]Looks like there’s stripes on those pants though, so that’s at least something positive.[/quote]

    o rly?

  • felix | December 20, 2007 at 10:15 pm |

    [quote comment=”189391″][quote comment=”189382″]Looks like there’s stripes on those pants though, so that’s at least something positive.[/quote]

    o rly?[/quote]

    Okay, positive vibes are decreasing with each link you’re posting.

  • Colin | December 20, 2007 at 10:22 pm |

    [quote comment=”189011″][quote comment=”188865″]I agree with about 105% of what was said but you need a better analogy than the car thing. many Dodge pick up trucks are now branded “Cummins Diesel.” Cummins makes engines (hardly optional equipment, pretty much mandatory in a car or truck) and somehow manages to get their logo on the truck.[/quote]

    In some ways, this harkens back to what Paul was saying. The Cummins logo on a Dodge truck enhances the truck’s value because of the strength of the Cummins brand among (professional) truck drivers. A Reebok or Nike logo on a football jersey does nothing to enhance the jersey’s value; instead, it exploits the jersey’s brand for Reebok or Nike’s benefit. It’s the difference between the use of a logo to help sell a product, and the use of a product to help sell a logo.

  • LI Phil | December 20, 2007 at 10:22 pm |

    why do the lambs have stripes on their white and blue pants, but NOT on their gold pants?

  • Colin | December 20, 2007 at 10:23 pm |

    Forgot to close the italics. My bad.

  • Sage Confucius | December 20, 2007 at 10:27 pm |

    [quote comment=”189376″]I know it’s late, but is anyone watching this Navy vs. Utah bowl game? Navy has TONS of different patches on their right shoulder. Is this for their different division/legion?/group in the military? I will try to look for pics online soon.[/quote]

    They always wear those. They are patches for various units within the Navy and Marine Corps.

    Go Middies!

  • Kek | December 20, 2007 at 10:44 pm |

    [quote comment=”189031″][quote comment=”188980″]I’m glad some posters are mentioning stadium/arena naming rights here. I think those issues are much bigger than the so-called issues with logo creep.

    Not just naming rights of the venues, that’s bad enough, but the secondary naming rights say of a playing surface at a venue. I’ve seen teams “brought to you by”. This is all a bit much. I think the money a lot of these places get from public funding would mean you wouldn’t have to name and advertise EVERYTHING.

    This leads to my next point, this is more with arenas, advertising on the playing surface (and boards) is out of control. I watch a lot of old games on ESPN Classic and more recently the NHL Network (great channel if you can get it by the way) and some of the stuff isn’t even that old yet it’s like night and day when you look at the NBA and NHL. Every possible piece of hockey board is plastered and on-ice isn’t off limits either. As to basketball, while the courts have stayed relatively uncluttered, the scrolling ad boards at the scorer’s table annoy me to no end.

    Furthermore, when you go to a game, you are force fed some much advertising. “this power play is brought to you by…”, etc. And there isn’t any escaping it on TV, watch games on network TV and you always have to hear about that networks sitcoms or dramas. I know it’s a way of life, but that I could do without.

    A few years back at PNC Park they did a game with no music, in between innings crap, nothing. It was old school. I could be wrong but I think it was for the interleague series with the Bosox when they did throwbacks from the early 1900s.

    It was a refreshing break from the perogi races, pirate jukebox and hot dog shooting that normally go down on Federal Street.[/quote]

    Kek I know youre from Pittsburgh so I thought you’d be able to understand the value of the venue naming rights stuff. If the Pens weren’t able to sell the naming rights to the new arena they would have had to leave. The same can be said for Heinz Field and PNC Park. Those are both partially publicy funded venues (I’m sure you know the sales tax in Allegheny county is 7% while its 6% in the rest of the state). Had those companies not invested in the naming rights we, the taxpayers, would have to pay more than we already do. Not that is bothers me… I’m happy the new arena isn’t funded by taxes, but I would have paid anything to keep the Pens in town.

    That said I do miss the days of Three Rivers Stadium and the Civic Arena, but I’d rather deal with logo creep at a Steelers, Pirates, or Pens game than have to deal with not having any of the teams at all… even the Buccos.[/quote]
    Yeah Justin, I meant more in terms of the secondary sponsorship you get at events.

    Naming rights are a necessary evil in this day and age. I get it. I just don’t care for it that much. Although I’m much more used to it these days that I was in the past.

    One thing that makes it a little more acceptible to me in the burgh is the fact that three local companies (PNC, Mellon and Heinz) are the ones with naming rights.

    And I voted “yes” for the Regional Renaissance Initiative when 11 counties turned it down in a landslide. You may remember that was the stadium tax.

    But the stadia got built any way, much to the chagrin of some. I’ll never forget the first game at Heinz Field was a presaeason game against the Lions. They brought then-Mayor Tom Murphy out on the field for the pregame coin toss and the crowd booed him. That guy put his ass on the line, after the general public said no, got the stadium built. I know Murph wasn’t beloved like O’Connor but damn.

  • James Craven | December 20, 2007 at 10:53 pm |

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but while UCF is fully outfitted by adidas, isn’t Mississippi State’s football team one of the few teams with seperate unuiform (Russell Athletic) and shoe (adidas) deals?

  • The Hemogoblin | December 20, 2007 at 10:56 pm |

    [quote comment=”189400″]why do the lambs have stripes on their white and blue pants, but NOT on their gold pants?[/quote]

    Because the gold pants actually look like they belong with that jersey? The white and blue ones look hid-e-ous…

  • Kyle K. | December 20, 2007 at 11:08 pm |

    When did the “o” in porno become so funny? I know that there was porno long before there was porn, but hearing that this will become a “porno hub” tomorrow was twice as funny as “porn hub” would have.

  • Dave | December 20, 2007 at 11:11 pm |

    “Were Spalding, Wilson, and Rawlings all stupid for decades, and then they suddenly wised up in the 1990s?” (Yes they were stupid..Look at those companies in Comparison to Nike and Adidas now)

    “that would be the automotive equivalent of logo creep. But of course those companies don’t put their logos all over a car, nor would it be appropriate for them to do so.”
    (Auto dealers always slap their logos on cars, it’s a team name on a brand name example)

    “First of all, it’s not everywhere. There are no manufacturer’s logos on NBA uniforms”
    ( They don’t need to be on the uniforms, they are on the shoes..and it would be crazy to try and put them on the Jerseys (site MJ tape example)

  • LI Phil | December 20, 2007 at 11:36 pm |

    [quote]When did the “o” in porno become so funny?[/quote]

    money shots are never funny

  • Nick | December 20, 2007 at 11:53 pm |

    [quote comment=”188948″][quote comment=”188868″]I noticed that the 1973 Browns helmet on ebay has the newer clear hardware clips on it. I believe it should have the bigger grey clips.[/quote]

    Agreed. Noticed the same thing. I alswo dont’ think you saw that facemask style (like Thurman Thomas wore) until the late 70’s at best or, more realistically, the early 80’s.[/quote]

    My High School team got a few of those for the fall-1978 season. Only a few, and it was the first time I ever saw them.

    REGARDING LOGO CREEP

    1980 Notre Dame vs Georgia Sugar Bowl

    Notre Dame has white jerseys on with something odd or out of place at the ends of the jersey sleeves. After about a quarter I realize that the thing on the sleeves is and oversized “C” or “R” for the jersey manufacterer logo creep – my first experience with LOGO CREEP !!!!!

    I knew right then and there that it would get bad, really bad, until the day came when we were all pulling for our own respective Nippon Ham Fighters or WTF !!!

    Damn Notre Dame and Dan Devine ad the pigs that own the uni conpanies and all of em. What have we gained from it?

    And why in HELL do we need logos on NFL jerseys when ONE COMPANY has a monoploly on producing NFL game-jerseys?

    Or the even more-assinine and useless “NFL EQUIPMENT” designations on equipment not even available to the general public?

    MOST CORRUPT OF ALL – those NFL QB’s that throw game-ending interceptions or drive killing incompletions who run to the bench to take off their helmets and to put on the cap designated for their in-game modeling/marketing prior to the network cutting to commercials. How many of the mediocre QB’s have lost concentration, and then games, because they were worried about their headwaer being on 15 seconds after they have eliminated themselves from winning that game?

    That is frustrating for fans, and so corrupt, that I am tempted to quit the NFL altogether.

    DAMN THEM ALL TO HELL !!!

  • Joey Guns | December 20, 2007 at 11:59 pm |

    [quote comment=”189385″][quote comment=”189196″]Wow. It took me all day to access the comments section.

    I loved the post topic, of course. And I do agree. I have an odd rule: I wear no logos to church. Not a sports jersey. No shirts with any brands on them. I take out plain comfy shoes or plain sneakers (yes, that’s hard to do today).

    Some places. .. you just want to avoid it. . . .

    (And, yes, I still practice trademark and copyright law because I love it.)[/quote]

    People wear jerseys to church?[/quote]

    Bryan, I was in Philly this past weekend visiting friends, and I went to Saturday night mass, and a guy there had an Eagles jersey on (customized with his own last name, no less). It’s not like they were either playing that day or night!

  • avguy | December 21, 2007 at 12:02 am |

    Ohio State and LSU will both wear home uniforms in the BCS title game …..Halleluia!! I truly believe during the college bowls on TV every year the uniform choice should not be decided by the seed/rank of the teams….home team shall be the higher, they choose jersey color first, yada, yada.

    The TV ratings people need to interject here. A casual sports and/or football fan will gladly spend a few minutes longer watching one of the over abundant games when it looks good on the TV as they are flipping channels. Please, let us avoid the pairing of the monchromatic all black versus another team who barely has a color visible past their white.

    My example this year…the Cotton Bowl of Missouri (11-2) vs. Arkansas (8-4). In this game, the Tigers will choose first, I suppose we will get treated to the all blacks with some gold lines vs. the Razorbacks road uni which unfortunately has only a white pants & tops option. Yech!

    I say we want that casual viewer to hang abit longer. Arkansas with limited unis to pick from should get to wear their dark tops/white pants against Miss. who may have gold and/or black pants to pair with the white tops. A far better looking game, there is no home stadiums anyways for bowl games, better football and TV for all!

  • Tony | December 21, 2007 at 12:06 am |

    Two things:
    1. I’m 21 and consider myself part of the “older generation” that has been discussed, especially with regards to the stadium names (bring back Joe Robbie Stadium).
    2. The Navy jersey does look somewhat cluttered, but the apron strings have forced the bowl logo into a really weird place and position on the Utah jersey. No pics yet.

  • Spence | December 21, 2007 at 12:11 am |

    [quote comment=”188829″][quote comment=”188825″]No logos on college basketball uniforms?[/quote]

    Not on jerseys. That’s banned by the NCAA.[/quote]

    But at least on Miami’s shorts

  • Skycat | December 21, 2007 at 12:26 am |

    I have a feeling this

    http://www.amazon.co...

    may address some of Paul’s issues. I’ve just had a chance to read the synopsis, but I agree with its thesis.

  • Brian from Short Island | December 21, 2007 at 7:54 am |

    YKK puts its brand name on zippers even when the sweatshirt or whatever isn’t made by them.

  • Matt | December 21, 2007 at 8:08 am |

    [quote comment=”189450″]Ohio State and LSU will both wear home uniforms in the BCS title game …..Halleluia!! I truly believe during the college bowls on TV every year the uniform choice should not be decided by the seed/rank of the teams….home team shall be the higher, they choose jersey color first, yada, yada.

    The TV ratings people need to interject here. A casual sports and/or football fan will gladly spend a few minutes longer watching one of the over abundant games when it looks good on the TV as they are flipping channels.

    Please, let us avoid the pairing of the monchromatic all black versus another team who barely has a color visible past their white.

    My example this year…the Cotton Bowl of Missouri (11-2) vs. Arkansas (8-4). In this game, the Tigers will choose first, I suppose we will get treated to the all blacks with some gold lines vs. the Razorbacks road uni which unfortunately has only a white pants & tops option. Yech!

    I say we want that casual viewer to hang abit longer. Arkansas with limited unis to pick from should get to wear their dark tops/white pants against Miss. who may have gold and/or black pants to pair with the white tops. A far better looking game, there is no home stadiums anyways for bowl games, better football and TV for all![/quote]

    It was hinted that Missouri will wear their all-gold combo.

  • Justin B | December 21, 2007 at 8:15 am |

    [quote comment=”189385″][quote comment=”189196″]Wow. It took me all day to access the comments section.

    I loved the post topic, of course. And I do agree. I have an odd rule: I wear no logos to church. Not a sports jersey. No shirts with any brands on them. I take out plain comfy shoes or plain sneakers (yes, that’s hard to do today).

    Some places. .. you just want to avoid it. . . .

    (And, yes, I still practice trademark and copyright law because I love it.)[/quote]

    People wear jerseys to church?[/quote]\

    All the time.

  • S. Bennett | December 21, 2007 at 8:23 am |

    [quote comment=”189458″]I have a feeling this

    http://www.amazon.co...

    may address some of Paul’s issues. I’ve just had a chance to read the synopsis, but I agree with its thesis.[/quote]

    No Logo is the bible for this stuff. For those of you sitting back saying “Who cares?”, ESPECIALLY with schools, I have two words for you:

    ASK SANTA.

    SB

    PS – Naomi Klein, the author, is both Canadian and pretty hot.

  • ScottyJ in WV | December 21, 2007 at 12:11 pm |

    [quote comment=”188956″][quote comment=”188893″][quote comment=”188890″][quote comment=”188869″]Logo creep rant = living in the past = only
    appealing to an older generation.

    Why make your website’s appeal narrower?[/quote]
    I’m 28. Am I part of the older generation?[/quote]

    I agree here, I’m 26, and I’m not a fan of logo excessiveness.[/quote]

    I’m 22…if I have to be, I’ll be apart of the “older generation” if I can stick to simplicity.[/quote]

    Ahhhh,these comments made this 40 year old smile!

  • ScottyJ in WV | December 21, 2007 at 12:12 pm |

    [quote comment=”188961″][quote comment=”188940″][quote comment=”188879″][quote comment=”188859″][quote comment=”188855″][quote comment=”188823″]A million things to discuss about this picture, but I’m posting it here for logo creep purposes.[/quote]

    Gotta love Women’s volleyball…

    on a side note…what’s with the really scary black girl!?![/quote]

    What’s with the photographer who probably told the one black girl on the team to look scary?[/quote]

    looks like he told them all to look scary. and all but one of them failed.[/quote]

    They don’t look scary, they look annoyed. Then again, there are few things scarier than an annoyed teenage girl…[/quote]
    i don’t understand why they have all their pads on? remember how much grief we gave the “white sox shorts team picture” guy with his knee wrapped up? these girls aren’t about to go play, their hair is down. and no, they’re not very pretty either.[/quote]

    I disagree. I think, as a whole, this is a very attractive team.

  • Peter | December 21, 2007 at 1:05 pm |

    It’s amazing that I finally post on here after following the site for quite sometime and my post was one of the ones that had to be deleted to fix teh scomments. The point I made was that I think the logo thing is really annoying once you start noticing it. Being a younger person, 25, I’ve been used to having logos on my replica jerseys. I also wanted to point out that in the cfl teams wear ads on their jerseys ( Rona anyone) and some of the stadiums have sold naming rights. I also noticed that my CCM Canucks replica has a logo on the back of the neck, so if I had true hockey hair you wo uldn’t be able to see it.

  • Peter | December 21, 2007 at 1:06 pm |

    It’s amazing that I finally post on here after following the site for quite sometime and my post was one of the ones that had to be deleted to fix the comments. The point I made was that I think the logo thing is really annoying once you start noticing it. Being a younger person, 25, I’ve been used to having logos on my replica jerseys. But now that I am paying attention it’s not something I enjoy. I also wanted to point out that in the cfl teams wear ads on their jerseys ( Rona anyone) and some of the stadiums have sold naming rights. I also noticed that my CCM Canucks replica has a logo on the back of the neck, so if I had true hockey hair you wo uldn’t be able to see it.

  • Dustin | December 21, 2007 at 8:03 pm |

    I agree about pro jerseys – they should be left alone. I suppose I can deal with the RBK logo on the back of the neck in the NHL, though I preferred the CCM on the back of the hem. CCM says hockey to me, RBK doesn’t.

    I don’t really mind a logo on fan apparel. If I like the way a shirt looks with my team logo and a swoosh on it, it’s ok by me. Not that it belongs together, but I don’t think a corporate logo always ruins team apparel.

  • Chase G | December 21, 2007 at 10:56 pm |

    While I agre with you that logo creep in sports is a sad turn of events over the past 20 or so years, I have one comment about why logos aren’t shown on our everyday clothes, and that is simply because millions of people don’t view what we wear day in and day out.

  • Sr. Peligro | December 22, 2007 at 1:22 am |

    I agree 100% with ScottyJ in WV.

  • Mako | December 22, 2007 at 6:30 am |

    Paul I agree with you 100%. I’m an italian guy and our soccer teams here are full of ads and manufacturers have the power to change names/numbers color on the back and how uniforms must look like

    see Juventus FC over the last few years
    2007-08:
    http://www.soccer.or...
    2006-07:
    http://magliettemani...
    2002!:
    http://www.corriere....
    look at the red Lotto logo!
    1999:
    http://www2.raisport...
    and so on…

    and here we talk about the most winning team in italian soccer history…
    I hope you understand my english.

  • ScottyJ in WV | December 22, 2007 at 8:56 pm |

    [quote comment=”190166″]I agree 100% with ScottyJ in WV.[/quote]

    You, sir, are obviously a man of great taste. :0)

  • The Anti-Advertising Agency » Our Brands, Ourselves | December 23, 2007 at 10:49 am |

    […] Thanks to R.Walker, I came across the following post by Paul Lukas, who’s excellent ‘zine, Beer Frame, I discovered in my first year of college. Paul puts together some compelling arguments for keeping logos off team sports uniforms and in doing so, brings up some other interesting ideas about commercialism and our culture. His latest project, Uni-Watch, “deconstructs the finer points of sports uniforms in obsessive and excruciating detail” – the internet is an amazing place isn’t it? – Steve Lambert […]

  • On Logo Creep in Sports » House of Naked | January 2, 2008 at 11:47 am |

    […] Uni Watch, a blog devoted to sports uniforms, has an excellent (and very long) breakdown of logo creep in sports. It’s specifically addressing … written by noah on 01-02-2008. no reactions yet. This was first posted on noah’s blog. VISIT THE ORIGINAL […]

  • Mark | February 5, 2008 at 8:22 pm |

    So is the Riddell name/logo that’s appeared on most NFL helmets forever the exception that proves the rule?

    Apologies if you’ve covered this somewhere else.

    Love the blog.