At least 80% of corporate logo changes (including but not limited to those in the sports world) don’t mean jack. They’re usually some combination of (a) an easy way to generate some media coverage without actually doing anything; (b) an easy way to make your product(s) look “new and improved” without actually changing them; (c) a new management team marking its territory; (d) leftover money in the marketing budget getting spent before someone repurposes it for another department; and (e) a way to throw some work to the ad agency owned by the CFO’s son-in-law.
But Reebok’s new logo, which Phil briefly mentioned in yesterday’s Ticker, is actually significant, because it signals a genuinely new direction for the company. As you can see in the video above, Reebok plans to step away from outfitting “elite athletes” and will instead emphasize everyday fitness.
I’m all in favor of fitness (I’m a daily exerciser myself), although I don’t give a shit who makes my gear. Everyone knows workout attire is all pretty much the same, so I just buy whatever’s on clearance — or at least that’s what I did eight or nine years ago, which was the last time I needed to buy any gear.
The bigger issue, at least from a Uni Watch perspective, is what Reebok’s new direction means for the uni-verse. First and foremost, what does it mean for the NHL, which is outfitted by Reebok? According to this report, “rumors have circulated” that the NHL’s uniform contract could be taken over by Reebok’s parent company, Adidas. Imagine what that could mean for the red and blue lines, which are currently (and very annoyingly) Reebok-branded — we could end up with a line being branded by a company whose visual signature is three lines. Ugh.
While I’m just speculating (i.e., I have no hard evidence or inside info to back up what I’m about to say), I suspect the real story here is that Reebok has largely been eclipsed by Under Armour. Think about it: Under Armour’s increased presence in the uni-verse pretty well coincides with Reebok’s decline.
Anyway, what about the new “delta” logo? Well, you certainly have to give them credit for uniqueness:
Okay, so maybe it isn’t so unique after all. But hey, I’m sure the CFO’s son-in-law could whip something up after lunch.
The description of logo in the video shown above is even worse than the logo itself, especially when Reebok exec Matt O’Toole manages to keep a straight face while reading the following script:
Our new brand mark is not a logo. It’s a symbol, it’s a beacon for all of those around the world who want to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. Ultimately, our new delta symbol is a symbol for a way of life.
Honestly, how do these people sleep at night after saying shit like that? As I’ve noted before, there’s still one major uniform outfitter that remains largely immune from all this corporatespeak bullshit: Majestic. They may not be “cool,” and most fans probably couldn’t pick their logo from a lineup, but at least they’re not a lifestyle brand, so they don’t engage in all this embarrassing corporate nonsense. They just make uniforms. (Well, at least until Nike or Under Armour outbid them for the MLB contract, which is bound to happen eventually.)
Bucs update: The Tampa Bay Bucs were supposed to unveil their new uniforms this Wednesday afternoon. But in a surprise move, they released the following photo at 9am Eastern today:
Ladies and gents, your new Tampa Bay Bucs uniform — for real: pic.twitter.com/1Pfmpw2rQS
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) March 3, 2014
More photos will supposedly be available at 2pm Eastern. I’ll post a separate entry then.
Unmasking the commenters: DenverGregg, Mark in Shiga, Jet, Graf Zeppelin, The Jeff, DC Connie, terriblehuman, Dumb Guy, boxcarvibe, Oakville Endive, name redacted, Padday — if you read Uni Watch’s comments section, you’re probably familiar with these pseudonyms, which belong to some of the site’s most frequent and articulate commenters.
Who the hell are these people? I’d like to find out, and I think it would be fun for everyone else in the Uni Watch community to find out as well. So if you’re a frequent commenter on the site (including but not limited to those whose screen names I just rattled off) and
are desperate for some attention would like to give us a peek behind the internet’s curtain of anonymity, send me a photo of yourself along with some basic info. I envision something roughly like the following:
Mr. Stirrups: Hi. I live in Brooklyn, where I spend way too much time obsessing over two cats (who deserve the attention) and one local baseball team (which probably doesn’t). I’m about to hit a milestone birthday but nobody thinks I look that old, which just goes to show the anti-aging benefits of being really, really immature. Been reading Uni Watch ever since I, uh, invented it. I comment a lot because it’s, you know, my site, so I tend to engage with it a lot. The reason for my screen name is pretty obvious from this photo — I love stirrups. Always have, ever since I was a kid. My pet uni peeve: a certain color that shall not be named.
If you want to reveal your real name, you can, but that’s not required. But if you want to participate in this, I’m going to insist that you provide a photo of yourself. I realize you might not want your boss to know how much time you spend on Uni Watch (especially since he might then search your computer and discover how much time you also spend watching internet porn), so if you don’t want the photo to include your face, just crop it, or wear a bag over your head, or whatever. The photo doesn’t have to reveal your identity, but it does have to be a photo of you.
Oh, and for the handful of you who are honest enough to post comments under your real name instead of resorting to a pseudonym (hi, Chance!), you’re welcome to participate in this as well.
Maybe we’ll do something similar later on for frequent Ticker contributors. For now, though, I want to stick to commenters — I hope a bunch of you will tell us a bit about yourselves. Send photos and info here.
’Skins Watch: The Cleveland Plain Dealer says it’s time to retire Chief Wahoo (thanks, Phil). … Meanwhile, the Indians may be de-emphasizing Wahoo in a lot of their branding, but Rob Ullman reports that Wahoo still has a big presence on T-shirts being sold at Old Navy. … There’s Wahoo’s possible phase-out and then there’s Wahoo Closeouts (from Drew Schmitt). … Dale Earnhardt Jr. thinks the ’Skins should keep their name (from Yusuke Toyoda).
Baseball News: Cardinals OF Peter Bourjos was wearing striped stirrups yesterday (screen shot by Paulie Sumner). … Speaking of the Cards, we’ve mentioned several times now that they’re wearing their red BP jerseys for Grapefruit League games this season, instead of wearing their game jerseys as they’d done in the past. I had assumed this was strictly to goose BP jersey sales, but it turns out that skipper Mike Matheny instituted the move as a way of making the players “earn” their game jerseys. Sounds like Matheny missed his calling as a football coach (from Tony Carney). … When Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched for the Mets toward the end of last season, he wore socks emblazoned with a swoosh and his uni number. Those socks, thankfully, were not in evidence during his 2014 Grapefruit League debut yesterday. … Love this shot of former Expos SS Chris Speier in full uniform and cross-country skis, presumably at Olympic Stadium (big thanks to Michael Clary).
NFL News: Here’s an interesting Falcons cheerleading outfit from 1970 (from Bill Schaefer). … Scott Norwood jokes never get old (from Harrison Hamm). … “This weekend I was at a mall in Albany and spotted a rack of bumper NFL stickers at a sports memorabilia shop,” says Michael Giordano. “They had all 32 teams, but the Jacksonville sticker showed the prototype helmet logo that was never used. I found it amazing that they had these saved for 19 years!”
College Football News: Some idiot has demonstrated that you can make every college football team look ridiculous if you just make the logos really, really big.
Hockey News: The Heriage Classic was yesterday, with the Senators and Canucks both wearing excellent throwback uniforms, although Mike McBride was upset to see that several of the Ottawa players didn’t have laces in their collars. “Makes the whole outdoor game thing feel unimportant,” he says.
Soccer News: Did you know there’s a sport that combines soccer and golf? “Oh, the hose!” says Terence Kearns. … Burnley will wear a special centennial throwback for the last game of the season (from Jonathon Binet). … FIFA will now allow players to wear religious headscarves but has banned messages on undershirts.
NBA News: This is fascinating: Prior to every Thunder game, a pastor, rabbi, or other religious official leads the arena in a prayer. The really interesting part is that this custom was taken from the Hornets, during their brief post-Katrina stopover in OKC. Recommended reading. … Sleeved Spanish-language uniforms yesterday for the Bulls and Knicks, and boy does that pattern on the back look like pajamas.
College Hoops News: Good article on how Nike sweetened Wichita State’s deal after the school reached the Final Four last year (thanks, Phil). … South Carolina G Sindarius Thornwell wore gold shoes on Saturday (from Jeremy Baker).
Grab Bag: Reprinted from Friday’s comments: Good news out of Boston, where the local transit authority tried to sell corporate naming rights to local subway stations but found no takers. … “At this rate, soon there won’t be anything at the U. of Maryland that’s not covered with the state flag,” says Yusuke Toyoda. … I’ve been seeing these “PL$” check-cashing storefronts springing up all over Brooklyn lately. I know check-cashing and payday loan outlets are basically evil (or at least prey on the circumstances brought about by other evils), but I confess that I always respond positively when I see my initials and a dollar sign, especially when rendered in my favorite color scheme. … Here are all the dresses worn by Best Actress Oscar winners since 1929 (from Charlie Kranz). … And speaking of the Oscars, our own LI Phil Hecken nailed 21 out of his 24 picks.