By Phil Hecken
It’s all becoming clear now. Well, maybe not. The NBA is serious about putting ads on jerseys for the 2013 season. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I direct you to Friday’s Uni Watch where the story began breaking. The reaction across the Interwebs was swift — and negative. And the photoshoppers (including several who created the images in today’s splash) began having fun with all the myriad possibilities for jersey junk.
As the foremost figure in the uni-verse, Mr.Lukas’ condemnation of this idea was both swift and severe (as it should be), and many, if not most, of the Uni Watch faithful have joined him in protesting this perversion of pretty much the sole remaining advertising-free real estate left in the three major sports (plus hockey) in the United States. I agree with him 100%.
Even on the day before his vacation, Mr. Lukas was busy — not just breaking the story, but encouraging anyone who believes that the uniform is the last bastion of purity in sport to express their dissatisfaction to the NBA and Commissioner David Stern. To do so, he has a couple suggestions: take to the twitterverse, where he’s coined the hashtag “#NoUniAds.” If you don’t know what this means, it’s pretty simple — just sign up for twitter (it’s free and easy — just follow these instructions). Once you have an account, simply “tweet” (post a comment) saying something like “Hey NBA, #NoUniAds.” You can also search on NoUniAds and you will see everyone who has used that particular phrase or hashtag. Simple, right? We hope to get that particular tag trending (don’t worry about what that means, it will hopefully become apparent).
The other thing you can do is to write a letter directly to the NBA and/or Commissioner David Stern. The easiest way to do this is to Contact The NBA via E-mail. Several readers did just this yesterday, and I’m going to share some of those sentiments with you below. If you do write to the NBA, would you be so kind as to paste your E-mail in the comments below or send the comments to Uni Watch HQ or my address. I’ll post some of the best comments Monday, and we’ll put together a file for posterity (and also probably send them to the NBA again). OK? OK.
You could also go the old fashioned route. As Paul mentioned yesterday, “They’ve publicly announced that the guy coordinating the uni advertising program is deputy commissioner Adam Silver. You can ask for his office when calling. And/or David Stern’s office” if you wanted to place a phone call, and of course you could write them directly and “cc:” your local newspaper. Anything that can be done to stem this horrific tide.
Reader Michael Braun has some additional outlets:
“Took a little work, but I found email addresss for Adam Silver, Deputy Commish who apparently loves the idea of diluting the brand of his teams: firstname.lastname@example.org. More email addresses and cell numbers out of the NBA Media Guide at this link.
I sent mine!”
Interestingly (and perhaps somewhat surprisingly), the NBA’s website (www.nba.com) on Friday posted a poll (if it’s still up, you can find it here on their homepage). As of yesterday evening, the results were 78% against and 22% in support of jersey ads — pretty much 4:1 against. In the comments, Paul wondered, “Very interesting that the NBA chose to run this poll on their home page. If this were truly a done deal, they wouldn’t bother asking what fans think. The mere existence of the poll gives me hope; the results give me even more hope.”
I wonder if the poll will stay up much longer and what the NBA will actually do with the results. They must be feeling some serious heat, but we cannot stop the negative feedback until the NBA has officially pulled the plug on what may be the worst idea in the history of ever.
As mentioned above, some of you already wrote to the NBA and shared your thoughts in the UW comments. Lets see what you guys had to say so far:
I asked David Stern if the league cared about anything besides money.
He asked me if I still beat my wife.
Dear Mr. Adam Silver,
I am writing to you to voice my displeasure over the announcement that the NBA is giving serious consideration to placing advertisements on NBA jerseys. As a sports fan, I am subjected to plenty of advertising when watching a game either at home or at a sporting venue. Given that NBA teams receive revenue from numerous sources (ticket sales, arena naming rights, TV and radio revenue, ads in the arena, etc.), I feel like if owners feel that jersey ads are “necessary” they are just trying to cover up their own mismanagement of their teams.
If the NBA chooses to add ads to their jerseys, I will stop buying the jerseys (even if the replica jerseys are sans advertising) and will reduce the amount of games that I attend. It’s not as if the ads will reduce the price of the jerseys at the retail level; soccer jerseys are proof of that. When the NHL decided to shut down operations for a year due to labor rancor, I stated in e-mails to the commissioner and the head of the player’s union, that I would take an entire season away from going t games and reduce (compared to pre-lockout) my attendance in following seasons. I’ve stuck to that promise and have continued to minimize the money I give both parties to the point of not buying a jersey since that lost season.
I know my opinion doesn’t carry the weight of a corporation that will dole more money out to you than I can. But, on an individual level, I want you to know the repercussions the decision of league officials and owners will have.
To the League Office:
Hello, my name is Terry, I am 21 years old, and I am a long-time Los Angeles Lakers fan. It has been brought to my attention that NBA commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver are considering allowing sponsorship patches to be affixed to NBA clubs’ uniforms (pending team consent, of course). I am highly opposed to this, but I am sure you already have a large stockpile of these emails in your inbox at the moment, so I will not take up too much of your time.
The main reason that I am opposed to this is because with so much of the NBA branding already heavy with sponsors, I feel that the uniform should be the one ad-free zone. I do not watch NBA games for the advertisements, I watch for the game itself. Growing up as a Lakers fan, I can honestly say that I do not remember 98% of the players on the team from the 1990s, but I still cheer for the Lakers. I do not remember all but three members of the Atlanta Braves from the 1990s (Andrew Jones, Chipper Jones, and Javier López Torres notwithstanding), yet I still cheer for the Braves. I do not remember a single solitary member of the New Orleans Saints from the 1990s, yet I still cheer for the Saints to this day.
Why? Because I cheer for the Lakers, Braves, and Saints, not for one particular person. Players come and go, they are traded, they retire, heaven forbid, they are taken from this life at an untimely moment (in the case of former Washington Redskin Sean Taylor), but the thing that stays constant (design changes aside) is the uniform. We — as fans — cheer for the uniform, no matter who is wearing it. The only thing that I want to see advertised on the Los Angeles Lakers’ uniforms is the team name ‘Lakers’.
I do hope that this letter reaches the League Office, and I strongly wish that you at least consider the emails that are pouring in on this topic. I have always respected David Stern and have always seen him as someone who other commissioners in various leagues can learn from, and I do not want this potential stain on the uniforms to darken my perception on him.
Thank you for your time,
So there you have it folks — the passion of Uni Watch Nation (ok, last time I’ll use that phrase, I promise) at work. Now it’s time to turn up the volume even higher. You know what to do. I’ll post more of your thoughts on Monday.
I know you weren’t expecting me today (sorry), but our webmaster Johnny Ek let me pinch in, and will be on tomorrow and will take you through till Monday comes. Big thanks to Tim E. O’Brien for the “NUA” graphic you see above!
It does kinda make him unique, though…
Click to enlarge
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
You folks heard the call for concepts, and you’ve responded with vigor — just one huge set today, the third, and final set, from my buddy, Terry Duroncelet
And so, lets begin:
I heard that the concepts have been slowing down as of late, so I thought now would be a good time to share some of the designs that I’ve been doing since last August. Here’s the last batch (for now, at least):
I liked my first Broncos concept, but I wanted to do another one that was a little more modern. I’ve also been wanting to incorporate the striping pattern used on many (if not all) of Pro-Mark’s drumsticks for a long time now, and I felt that this was the right uniform to do that with. It’s basically what they wear now, but with the side panel horns (which — while they are kinda stupid — I actually don’t hate too much on the new Nike uniforms) removed, and the pant stripe has been “Pro-Markified”. I did keep the cool “mane” helmet stripe on the lids. Oh, and bring back ze orange pants!
Steelers Throwback Interpretation:
Retro Pittsburgh 2012: awesome. However, the number boxes are wrong (for the right reasons, IMO, as they cut down on black and yellow overkill and are easier to read, but still…), not a single f**k was directed towards the helmet, and those black side panels are brutal. So what I did was whip up three looks: a 2-D replication of what they’re actually slated to wear, what they should’ve replicated, and a happy compromise between the two. The only thing that I regret is calling the replication a “throwback”, when it’s technically a fauxback.
Broncos (wait, again?):
I honestly wasn’t even thinking about doing another Broncos concept, but then I came across this poorly Photoshopped (but still pretty awesome) photo of a 1955 Baltimore Colts throwback-clad Peyton Manning as a Bronco, so I decided to come up with a full uniform for it for fun. I forwent (is that the right word?) the striped socks because it muddied up the final product and made this uniform look more like what the Bears would wear.
What follows is a flurry of Browns concepts that only differ in their alternate uniforms
Striped socks return to the home uni, I swapped the pant stripe color (not saying that orange-brown-orange is a bad striping pattern, it just looks unbalanced with the rest of the uniform), and added three different throwbacks: the first one being a throwback to the original 1946 Cleveland Browns of the AAFC, a squad that would go on to win it all that year. The throwback has no player name, as the advancement of technology, HDTV, real-time screen graphics, easy access to information on players via smartphone, etc. have made NOBs on a throwback uniform obsolete in 2012 IMHO, so why include a player name on a uniform that didn’t originally have one back in its day? Regardless of the NFL’s rule mandating NOBs on all jersey tops, I still feel they should be left off of throwbacks that didn’t have one.
Although, I have prepared for any and all failed attempts to get a player-nameless uni on the NFL gridiron, so here’s the same throwback with a NOB (assuming you’re saying “Name On Back” and not “N.O.B.”. If the latter, than substitute “a NOB” with “an NOB”).
A white version of the throwback from concepts 1 and 2, w/o NOB.
A white version of the throwback from concepts 1 and 2, w/ NOB.
I know what you’re thinking: “They’re the Browns, not the Oranges“, and I agree. But this is the third throwback, which is based off of the 1954-1955 NFL champion Browns squad. Even though this was only their Preseason uni, I included it because they had this in their “uni lineup” when they were crowned the NFL Champions in 1954 and 1955, with the 1953 version not exactly having the same results. No player name on this version.
Same as concept #5, but w/ NOB.
That’s it for now, *Philip DeFranco voice* and I’ll see you next time.
And that’s all I got — wasn’t planning on pinch-hitting so that’s it for today. Don’t forget to do your part to stop the scourge of uni-ads. Tell Mr. Stern (and anyone else) in no uncertain terms that uni junk will not be tolerated. We can stop this!
“If they could figure out where the soul would be, they’d probably sell that space as well.”