[Editor’s Note: Paul is on his annual August break from site. Deputy editor Phil Hecken is in charge from now through the end of the month, although Paul is still on the clock over at ESPN and may be popping up here occasionally.]
By Phil Hecken, with Zach Spencer
Continuing today with our looks at the various uniforms (and in some cases, histories and backstories) of the 2016 Rio Olympic games, I am joined by Zach Spencer, who will give us an overview of the various uniforms and histories of the tennis participants.
As a tennis player, I actually never really liked the sport in the Olympics (same goes for golf), but it’s always interesting to see what the various apparel companies come up with for “national” uniforms. One thing that immediately struck me (and you’ll see below in Zach’s piece) is that not all individual player contracts with the different uni-makers dictate what the players wear — so if a nation has a player who has a Nike clothing contract and another with an adidas clothing contract, those players will still wear their own “brand,” rather than having say, UnderArmour outfitting all players from a given nation, in some cases. I’m not a fan of this — it looks particularly bad on doubles players who have different clothing contracts (as you’ll also see below). That aside, I’ll let Zach take it from here! Enjoy. (You can click on the photos below to enlarge.)
By Zach Spencer
Olympic tennis was played from the start of the modern Olympic period (1896) until 1924. It was reinstated in 1988 and has been played ever since. 2012 marked the return of mixed doubles for the first time since 1924. Tennis can be considered notable among Olympic events because it’s one of the few (along with Basketball and soccer) where stars remain prominent outside of the Olympic period. It is also a very individualistic sport where individual fashion has always been interspersed with functionality in uniform design.
Plenty of variation based on individual sponsorships; Guido Pella wore blue shorts and a white top by Lotto, Juan Martin del Potro wore white shorts and a sky blue top reminiscent of the national soccer team manufactured by Nike. The lack of matching carried over to the doubles when del Potro teamed with Maximo Gonzalez who wore a slightly different shade of blue made by Fila.
Sam Groth and Daria Gavrilova showed off a consistent look put together by Adidas, yellow on top and green bottoms featuring the Australian Olympic crest on the left chest. Classic.
Darian King was outfitted in Puma, yellow top and blue bottoms. A Classic look which utilized the flag’s colors. Nothing not to like here.
The home country also does a good job of staying consistent and channeling their famous soccer team’s kits. Yellow and green up top, blue bottoms. They even managed to have their doubles partners wearing the same outfit. Here we see Tomas Bellucci in singles and Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares in doubles. Stay classy Brazil.
Eugenie Bouchard wore a very BFBS kit by Nike for her singles match while Vasek Pospisil and Daniel Nestor looked much better rocking Asics red tops and white bottoms for their doubles match.
Marin Cilic wore a red top and white bottoms without any national markers for his single match.
Okay, get ready to see a lot of this outfit, because it is Adidas’ go to. They have provided the exact same kit with a different flag for a handful of ladies, this one is for Caroline Wozniacki.
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga went white on white on red shoes in Adidas gear with the traditional French rooster on his left lapel. Alize Cornet wears a dark blue outfit provided by Lacoste, who is France’s official Olympic outfitter which features a rooster on the right lapel, and Caroline Garcia completes the set by wearing a red white and very light blue Nike set which sees the rooster move back over to the left. No coordination, but at least their logos were very visible.
Great coordination for the GBR team, if a slightly questionable design. Andy Murray and Heather Watson both in Adidas outfits with blue bottoms and white tops with a very busy crest. Both increase the business with a Team GB logo on the chest and Murray’s goes a step further with the Union Jack on his sleeve.
Another example of sponsorship over team unity. Dustin Brown wore a white Under Armour top with black shorts, Angelique Kerber wore the German variation of Adidas’ generic template and Laura Siegemund wore a white Tonic top with pale red bottoms and hat.
Taro Daniels wore a Roche outfit with no national markings and Ken Nishikori wore a much more traditionally colored red and white Uniqlo outfit.
Novak Djokovic was bounced in the first round while wearing a very smart blue top with white bottoms by Uniqlo. His wristband game was strong with one Serbian and one Brazilian colored band, although there was quite a bit of Uniqlo creep on them. Ana Ivanovic wore the Serbian variant of the Adidas kit.
Polona Hercog wore an Asics kit with no national marks or national colors. It did fit into the tennis stadium’s color theme, so that’s something.
Rafa Nadal wore a Nike kit with red top and white shorts and headband. David Ferrer had the same color scheme but put together by Lotto. Roberto Bautista Agut joined the doubles action and brought the third shade of red via Lacoste. Gabrine Muguruza wore the Spanish variant of the Adidas kit.
Cagla Buyukakcay wore the Turkish variant of the Adidas women’s kit.
Serena Williams wore a dark blue Nike dress in her singles competitions and switched over to a white top, dark blue look for doubles with Venus. In her first round singles match, Venus opted for a red and white top with a dark blue bottom. Madison Keys also went dark blue and Nike but chose a two piece option. Jack Sock also went dark blue by Nike for his singles match, but switched to a lighter blue for his doubles match with Steve Johnson, who wore a very light blue top with a white hat by Asics to really complete the “YMCA pickup doubles game” look that so many doubles teams seem to be going for.
Thanks, Zach. Great stuff. OK, readers, do you have any thoughts on the “national” tennis outfits?
Near And Deer: Mike Chamernik Finds Story Behind Bucks Prototype Jersey
They could’ve introduced another one for the 2004-05 season.
It was basically the inverse of what the Bucks wore at the time. The standard roads were purple with green trim and a block “BUCKS” across the front, while the new set was green with purple trim and a script “Milwaukee” on the chest.
A few weeks ago, a 2004-05 NBA style sheet and a photo of a Michael Redd figurine emerged on Reddit (those images previously appeared in some message boards a few years ago). Curious, and with no other information, I reached out to the Bucks and Dustin Godsey, the team’s VP of marketing, gave me the story.
The league created the uniform, but the Bucks declined to adopt it. Godsey said that current Bucks employees who had a hand in the uniform decision back then don’t remember why they chose to scrap it. Godsey himself declined to speculate why.
Other than the sample that the Bucks received, as pictured above, no uniforms were produced. Godsey said he’s not sure how the jersey ended up on the Michael Redd figurine.
So, I have a bunch of other questions, but it’s all kind of moot anyway. The Bucks didn’t wear alternates that year or the next. In the summer of 2006 they unveiled an entire redesign, ditching the purple, adding red, and tweaking the logo. They switched to their current logo and uniforms last year. Add the Bucks alt to the list of prototypes that never made it on the gridiron, diamond, or ice.
As for the design itself, I like the prototype alternates. Full disclosure, I’m a Bucks fan, and I liked the purple-and-green Bucks look. The alternate was a new take on these classic uniforms from the 1970s. The Bucks have worn dark green throughout their history except for the purple era, so this just seems like a more natural fit. Also, the script chest mark is softer and smoother than the blocky “BUCKS”, which seemed a little too large. Then again, maybe a nine-letter cursive word would look crammed, too.
What do you all think?
Another Fantastic DIY Helmet…
Uni Watch received an e-mail the other day from Jack McLaughlin, the contents of which simply read, “Mister_Jay_Peg on reddit told me to send this your way,” and which contained 11 photos of what looked like a DIY helmet project.
Intrigued, I wrote back to Jack and asked if he’d care to elaborate on this, and he didn’t disapppoint! I’ll let Jack take it from here (all photos can be enlarged by clicking on them):
Since the Broncos have won Super Bowl 50, I decided I wanted to do something special to commemorate the win. I’ve always wanted a full sized helmet, but could never justify pulling the trigger on one (some cost up to $200+). After looking across the internet on sites like the sportslogos.net forums and various YouTube tutorials, I decided I could attempt to recreate my own.
First I went to a local sporting goods store where I purchased a used youth football helmet. It was pretty beat up, but I bought the cheapest one for around $20.
Next after I took off the facemask and removed the padding, I power sanded the helmet down to where it was pretty smooth.
After sanding, I sprayed primer on the helmet and facemask.
While I let that dry I went to Home Depot to look for a blue that would match the retro Broncos helmet. I brought along my mini helmet and found almost an exact match. They should just call that shade “Bronco Blue”.
Painting was the worst part for me. After my first attempt, someone touched the helmet before it dried, so their prints were on it. I decided I’d wet sand the helmet to get the prints out and repaint it. The second time, I wanted to put a clear coat on the helmet and when I put on the clear coat, it orange peeled the paint. After wet sanding it again, I decided to just let it be. I also sprayed the facemask white.
I was able to order the decals off ebay, and they came pretty quickly.
It was a pretty fun and affordable project, and I’m very happy with how it came out. It’s sitting on my mantle right now. I’m looking to make a Chicago Cubs batting helmet replica next, and I’d like to make a USFL helmet soon.
Wow! Tremendous job on that Jack. Thanks for sharing it with us and for giving a bit of insight into your refurbishing techniques!
Grand Rapids Griffins Contest Design Reminder
I’m currently hosting a contest to redesign an alternate jersey for the Grand Rapids Griffins. All the details are here.
The deadline for all submissions is TONIGHT: Thursday, August 11th (Midnight Eastern Time).
Remember to send all your entries to Phil.Hecken@gmail.com in the format described in the article.
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: The MLB players’ union is a bit apprehensive about players using wearable devices during games. The union is worried that teams will use data against the players (from Scott Hurley, via Phil). … Here’s a fan guide for wearing Brewers jerseys to games. The rules apply to fans of any team (from Phil). … The Brooklyn Cyclones and Vermont Lake Monsters wore Ren & Stimpy jerseys yesterday (from Phil). … The Aberdeen IronBirds will wear Star Wars jerseys on Saturday (from OT Sports, via Phil). … Mike Clary found a few 1969 photos of Baseball Hall of Fame museum. I got a kick out of the old interactive exhibit.
NFL News: New midfield logo for the Ravens. It replaces the alternate shield logo (from Andrew Cosentino). … The NFL won’t allow the Cowboys to wear Arm in Arm helmet decals during games (from @RedKimberli, via Phil). .. A PetSmart near John Flory sells NFL team fur tattoos for pets.
College Football News: Northwestern updated its uniforms. Changes include Northwestern stripes on the pants, a three stripe pattern on the sleeves, and form-fitting helmets (from Phil). … Miami is planning new uniforms for this season. The jerseys will have simpler stripe patterns reminiscent of what the Hurricanes wore in the 1980s. Last year the team wore jerseys that looked like this (from Rob Rubinoff). … Looks like new uniforms for Houston. The Cougars’ red jerseys had white sleeves last year. … The field is being set up for the Battle at Bristol, a game between Virginia Tech and Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 10. The trophy is ready, too. No photos, but the uniforms are expected to be “a little bit different” (from Andrew Cosentino). … New home uniforms for Eastern Michigan. … New glow-in-the-dark cleats for Wisconsin (from @JohnnyOeleven, via Phil). … Boston College revealed its cleats and gloves for the game against Georgia Tech on Sept. 3 in Dublin, Ireland. … Cincinnati planned out its black, white and red outs this season (from Phil).
Olympics News: Spain hoops coaches use a Villanova board to draw up plays (from @CINC_or_swim). … Here’s a good breakdown of what shoes Team USA men’s basketball players are wearing. … Oscar Raab saw that U.S. swimmer Lilly King wore her swim cap backwards when she won the women’s 100M breaststroke on Monday. “Here is a shot from the other side,” he says. “You can see her teammate Catherine Meili has her cap on correctly, with the star field pointed toward for the direction of travel.” … Our own Alex Hider put together a gallery of the goofiest and derpiest photos from the Olympics. … A Colombian soccer player had his sleeves over his hands throughout yesterday’s game against Nigeria. … Olympic uniforms have been designed to help athletes perform better and protect their health (from Phil). … An odd American flag was displayed on PTI. … Fans are making their own Brazilian women’s soccer jerseys. … USA beach volleyball players April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings worked with Asics and Mizuno to design their uniforms (from Phil).
Soccer News: Adidas is giving fans the chance to design a third jersey for Manchester United. The winning concept, as determined by a fan vote and a panel review, will be worn by the team in 2017-18 (from Jonathan Medine and Bob Andrews). … For the season opener, OGC Nice will wear uniforms in honor of victims of July’s cargo truck attack in the city (from John Terranova, via Phil).
Grab Bag: The Sharks will give away Los Tiburones jerseys in October. … New women’s volleyball uniforms for Saint Louis (from @SLU Volleyball). … Here’s the logo for this year’s North American Scrabble Championship.
And that’s a wrap for today. Big thanks to Zach for the great tennis coverage, Mike for his great Bucks prototype research (and for compiling the ticker), and Jack for sharing his Broncos helmet DIY project. Great stuff, all!
Remember, today is the final day to submit for the Griffins Alternate Jersey Design Contest (see details above), so if you’ve got a submission, get it to me by midnight! I’ll be back tomorrow, but until then…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“The Flag Code is just that, a code, and has no legal backbone. It’s mostly a custom that inspires the wrath of Boy Scouts, precocious children and veterans.”
— Walter Helfer