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Nets and Cavs Join NBA Uni Ad Bandwagon

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Shortly after I posted yesterday morning’s Uni Watch entry, the Nets became the latest NBA team to announce that they’ll have a uniform advertiser next season. They’re going with the software company Infor.

ӬSome thoughts:

•  I confess that I’d never heard of Infor until yesterday. I don’t know if that says more about me or about them. Either way, I guess you could say the ad is already working, because I know about them now.

• Just like the Celtics’ GE partnership, this move shows how wrong I was in assuming that all of the NBA ads would be for lifestyle brands. Instead, the GE and Infor advertising deals both call for the companies to provide data-analytics services to the respective teams. I’m still pretty sure we’ll see a lot of lifestyle companies getting on board, but maybe tech/data services will also end up forming a significant category among the advertisers.

•  The Nets have made a big point of being tied to Brooklyn. They use “Brooklyn,” rather than the team name, on their home and road jerseys (and on several of their alternates as well), they’ve gone out of their way to make Brooklyn-made food and beverages available at their arena, and so on. So is Infor a Brooklyn-based company? Nope — their headquarters are in Manhattan. I wonder how hard, if at all, the Nets tried to land a Brooklyn-based advertiser.

•  Unlike the ad patches for the 76ers, Celtics, and Kings, all of which were rendered in or near team colors, the Infor patch clashes badly with the Nets’ color scheme. Just about any ad patch would have ruined this uniform’s minimalist design, but the non-team color makes it a lot worse.

•  Related to the above: Several readers (including Tim Forster in yesterday’s comments section) have already wondered if the red patch will become the tail that wags the Nets uni dog. In other words, how long before the Nets have a red-accented or even solid-red jersey, just to go along with their sponsor advertiser?

•  This is the first square NBA uniform advertisement we’ve seen, and it’s clear that square is the worst possible shape for these ads. It just doesn’t fit well in the allotted space and encroaches too close to the chest mark. Which I guess is great news for the advertiser but not for the rest of us.

•  I live about nine blocks from the Nets’ arena. Guess I’m gonna be seeing a lot of Infor billboards in the neighborhood. Sigh.

Meanwhile, last night Bloomberg reported that the Cavs have inked a uni-advertising deal with Goodyear (which is headquartered in Akron — LeBron James’s hometown). Neither the team nor the company would comment, but Bloomberg is the kind of media company that wouldn’t publish this kind of story unless their sourcing was airtight, so you can believe this one.

As the news spread last night, a few fans mocked up what the Goodyear logo might look like on the Cavs’ uniforms:

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Chargers contest results (finally): After several delays, the results of our Chargers-redesign contest (submissions for which included Alex Rocklein’s design, shown above) are finally available — enjoy.

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Basket case: When I was a kid, we’d often go to restaurants whose menus featured Fried Chicken in the Basket (and sometimes Fried Shrimp in the Basket as well). We all know what that is: fried chicken served in a plastic basket, sometimes with French fries.

As I got older and learned to understand the difference between definite and indefinite articles, I became intrigued by the wording. Why was the chicken always described as being in “the basket” rather than simply “a basket”? It was like we were all supposed to know which basket it was in. Not just any basket — the basket. It made no sense at all, and maybe that’s why I liked it so much. Later, in the mid-1990s, I wrote an article about odd menu-wording conventions and spent a few paragraphs talking about the whole “the basket” thing.

Yes, there are other food names that use the definite article, like corn on the cob and oyster on the half-shell. But those names refer to something that’s part of the food itself, not to an external item like a basket.

All of which brings me to last night, when I was going through the menu at a Brooklyn diner and saw the following:

And there it is: “a basket.” Pretty sure I’ve never seen it styled that way before. It definitely makes more sense, but somehow it’s not as satisfying. Now it’s just any old basket, not the basket. Pfeh.

(Footnote: I got a pork sandwich.)

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The Ticker
By Mike Chamernik

Baseball News: The Reading Fightin Phils will wear Whoopie Pie-themed jerseys for a game in August. The cake-like cream sandwich originated in the region (from Patrick O’Neill). … The Sacramento River Cats will wear A League of their Own-themed jerseys in September (from @SFGiantsTorture). … A gang in Chicago has a sign that looks like the Mariners’ trident logo (from Steve Johnston). … Today LSU will reveal eight uniforms that honor the program’s 124-year history (from Jeremy Poursine).

NFL News: A toy company is selling mini replica helmets in teams’ secondary colors. Kurt Crowley likes the Saints’ black version. … Arm pads were pretty intimidating 40 years ago. Ray Hund found a bunch of examples. Interesting that nobody wears them today — players all go bare-armed. … Looks like Hall of Fame offensive tackle Anthony Munoz had a tilde on the NOB of one of his Pro Bowl jerseys. From what I saw, he didn’t have one on his Bengals jerseys (from @LouiseBrooksFC). … San Diego residents want to change the name of Charger Boulevard (from William F. Yurasko). … People who worked security at the Super Bowl grabbed “Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl Champs” merch.

Hockey News: A note in this game story says that tonight the Panthers will wear white at home for the first time in years (from @tubby34). … The logo and uniforms were unveiled for the Jacksonville IceMen, an ECHL team that relocated from Indiana (from Aaron Scholder). … Here are some neck ties made of game-worn Rangers and Yankees jerseys (from David Firestone). … A Canadian man was pulled over for trying to clear a snowy street with a Zamboni. Sounds like the opening to a joke, right? (From Ted Arnold). … A member of the UAE women’s national team wore a Caps jersey and practiced with the team (also from Ted Arnold).

Basketball News: A D.C. hoops blog wonders why the Wizards still have that name (from William F. Yurasko). … Another BIG3 team name and logo has been revealed: The Trilogy. … The Bucks announced that their new D-League team will play in Oshkosh, Wis., next season (from JohnMark Fisher). … NBA guard Shelvin Mack’s high school retired his jersey. Yes, Bryan Station once used that wacky font (from Josh Claywell). … The Bucks are selling some cool merchandise based on the 1977 NBA All-Star Game, which was held in Milwaukee. While that beer mug logo is awesome, the Gothic lettering on the East’s jerseys is even better (from @NYisBLUE). … A team at the Hoophall Classic wore jerseys with a lowercase cursive-with-spaces double-decker typeface (from @LouiseBrooksFC). … Here’s Nevada’s new “Battle Born” uniform on the court (from @micahsoga). … Yesterday’s Ticker mentioned that Jonas Jerebko of the Celtics had suffered a broken nose and would start wearing a mask. And sure, enough, he wore one last night (from Stephen Hayes). … Auburn wore their alternate “Tigers” uniforms Tuesday night, the first time the team has ever worn its name on a uniform (from Clint Richardson).

Soccer News: Most MLS teams will roll out new uniforms for the 2017 season. The Houston Dynamo will unveil a new kit tonight (it may have already leaked), Sporting Kansas City will introduce new primary kits tomorrow, and Orlando City SC will reveal their new kits on the 17th (from Kenneth Turner, Ryan Burchett, Phillip Foose, Robin Murphy, and @bdh_photos). … The company that holds the naming rights for FC Nürnberg’s stadium is letting fans hold a crowdfunding campaign to rename it to Max-Morlock-Stadion, which honors one of the best players in club history (from James Gilbert). … The seats at the Deepdale stadium in Preston, England, show the faces of famous Preston North End players (from Ben Traxel).

Grab Bag: Adelaide Crows player Heather Anderson wears pink protective headgear to help her visually-impaired mother identify her (from Graham Clayton). … A few local groups are fighting a Vermont high school’s decision to drop the “Rebels” nickname (from John Pritchard). … Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, whose company has had its credit rating cut to junk status, says he’s excited that a pro-business president is in the White House. He called President Trump an asset, to which Stephen Curry, UA’s most visible athlete, responded: “I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et'” (from Tommy Turner). … UNC student managers put decals on the men’s lacrosse team’s new helmets (from James Gilbert).

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Today is the Tugboat Captain’s birthday, so I’m going to be very busy tonight. Apologies in advance to any Ticker contributors whose submissions might get lost in the shuffle.

Comments (75)

    I like to mini replica helmets in secondary colors except for Dallas and Green Bay. If the 1 helmet rule wasn’t in place I would tell the other 30 teams to look at the possibility of making those helmets come to like

    Some of those helmets are nice. Though the possibility of making these helmets come to life may not be as sweet as perceived if it becomes reality, depending on how they handle it.

    We’ve had a similar situation develop in the CFL starting earlier this decade. Many teams have adopted a regularly used second helmet.

    The traditionally coloured helmet has become their primary home helmet and remains their primary helmet for marketing reasons. Many teams have added a secondary helmet of a different colour, which has become primarily a road helmet.

    Some teams have not done this, and we’ve had teams that have stopped the practice since it started and went back to one helmet. Some of the new road helmets have been white.

    The teams have longstanding traditions with the primary helmet colours. I do not like the practice of adding the road helmet. It drives me nuts as the road helmets are a really non-traditional, odd look for these teams. It would be fine once a year or so, but we are stuck with this look for the majority of the team’s road games. Below are a couple of examples:



    One team that has not adopted a secondary helmet but would benefit the most from doing so – the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Perfect time to finally bring back the old school yellow helmet many have been clamouring for.

    A couple of those color choices don’t seem to make much sense to me. Silver/gray for the Falcons and Jets? The Falcons one should be in red, and the Jets in green (they had the throwback logo on their green helmets back in 1993 and 1994, so it can be done).

    Also, replacing the gold with teal on the Jaguars’ mess of a helmet is just a bad idea. Of course, the Jags should just go back to the 2009 teal-reflecting black helmets already.

    Not a fan of the Cardinals. The red used doesn’t match the “cardinal” red. I’ve always thought a cool alternate would be a black helmet with the red cardinal popping off the black background.
    I also thought the Raiders black alternate helmet should have their logo flipped with silver being the prominent color.

    While I’ve seen “fried shrimp in the basket” as a menu item before, I can’t recall ever seeing “fried chicken in the basket”. Then again, I usually don’t get fried chicken except from a carry-out place, in which case it’s boxed anyway.

    You say ‘midwestern’ and I wonder what you mean by that. I grew up in Kansas City, and we considered ourselves midwestern, and it always seemed odd that so did people from Pittsburgh (that was the east to us).

    So what are the limits to what most people consider the Midwest?

    I do not consider Pittsburgh to be the midwest, nor have I ever heard anyone else refer to it that way.

    Regional designations evolve, though. Case in point: Northwest Airlines (now defunct) was founded in the 1920s and headquartered in the Twin Cities.

    I don’t consider Pittsburgh to be the Midwest, either. Nor, in my experience, do most of my fellow Pittsburghers.

    Thanks, jacket18. I knew I wasn’t totally crazy. (Just somewhat).

    I know a lot of the Northwest designation comes from the Northwest territory (hence why we have Northwestern University in the Chicago area).

    I went to college in Philly with some people from Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh and Erie) and Western New York (the Buffalo area), and, while I don’t think they considered themselves to be from the Midwest, they had a lot more in common, culturally and, I think, linguistically, with the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes region like Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan than with the Northeast. For example, they called carbonated soft drinks “pop” and pronounced “merry,” “Mary,” and “marry” the same.

    As a Southerner, I’ve never come across it … but I can see why that phrasing became popular. Something about the definite article gives it an almost proverbial weight; it sounds like something that ought to be an old folk saying or an allusion, like “fox in the manger” or “Turkey in the Straw.”

    West Coaster most of my life, I’ve seen food served in baskets but I don’t recall ever seeing the “in the/a basket” designation on a menu.

    I’ve lived in the Chicago area my whole life and I’ve never heard of Chicken (or Shrimp) in a/the basket

    I’m in St. Louis, can’t say I recall having seen “chicken in a/the basket” either. Though I’ll readily admit I typically look for beef- and pork-centric menu items first.

    Life long Minnesotan – can’t say I’ve ever had ‘fried’ chicken at a restaurant – most around here serve broasted chicken. Broasted chicken is usually served as a dinner (i.e., 2 sides, roll/bread stick, and a choice of soup or salad), rather than in a basket.

    Plenty of eateries serve food in a basket, but its usually just referred to as a Shrimp Basket, Chicken Wing Basket, Cheeseburger Basket, etc.

    I’ve seen Chicken in the Basket in the Denver area, but it’s been a while. Also (at a deli) Chicken in the Pot – basically a pot roast of chicken.

    I’ve never had one before so I wasn’t sure how to describe it. It looks like a big, soft Oreo cookie. According to Wikipedia, a Whoopie Pie is a “baked product that may be considered either a cookie, pie or cake.”

    “A toy company is selling mini replica helmets in teams’ secondary colors.”

    Actually, they are taking pre-orders. These helmets won’t be released until July of this year (according to my sources). What? You don’t think I have sources?!

    Bullets/Wizards- I agree, Bullets is a far better a Name. If only it was known more that the Bullets were originally named after an Athletic Shoe company (thanks Todd Radom).

    The NBL/BAA Baltimore Bullets in the 1940/50s were named after the Bata shoe company’s Bullet sneaker, which had one of their manufacturing plants in the Baltimore area. The NBA franchise “borrowed” the name when they started playing in Baltimore in 1963.

    NFL players in the 60’s & 70’s worn the arm pads mostly to be used as weapons. Forearm slaps to the head were commonplace and have since been outlawed, thus eliminating the need for excessive arm padding.

    Players who had something hard on their forearms (a cast, or a hidden metal rod) would also use that as a weapon. I believe that officials now check what players wear on their arms to make sure it’s padded enough to not be weaponized.

    But remember, that’s the way offense linemen had to BLOCK as well back then. Hands IN toward the body–thus forearms are what you blocked with so they needed padding. If something else was in there too (Conrad Dobler), well that must’ve been by mistake. Right?

    That one photo of Mr. Cowboy (that would be Bob Lily for you youngsters) with the arm padding reminds me of last month when my college age son and I watched a highlight replay of that Colts v. Cowboys Super Bowl. Besides the looseness of the uniforms and how dark the pants and helmets were for Dallas, he kept saying the game looked weird. Then he realized what looked odd: no gloves on any of the players. Interesting how arm protection went extinct but hand coverings came into universal use.

    The square ad encroaching on the chest mark makes the jersey look even more unbalanced than when a circle ad has been used. When I look the the jerseys in the top photo, they look slanted to me due to the ad. The red also doesn’t help me not notice that effect, which I guess is the point.

    Linemen would use several methods to deliver shots to their opponents.
    Forearms upside the head, uppercuts to the chin, and the very affective clothesline tackle.
    It was a very different, violent game.

    You can just see the future of the ads for the NBA jerseys. It starts out jut like Fuddrucker’s in the movie Idiocracy. Turns into Buttf@$&er’s hosting a kid’s birthday party. Eventually that little patch will be for the name of the team and the front chest will be signage.

    The problem with lifestyle ads is the jersey makers are competitors in a lot of those markets and probably wold throw a fit, if, for example, timberland was advertising on a jersey made by nike, or j crew was advertising on a jersey made by adidas. Those jersey manufacturers are also lifestyle brands, so tech companies that don’t roam in those markets make sense. Also, financial companies make sense. Bank of America, citi, Penn mutual insurance, etc.

    The category of “lifestyle brands” is not restricted to apparel. PlayStation is a lifestyle brand; Crate & Barrel is a lifestyle brand; ESPN is a lifestyle brand.

    I’m not saying any of those would necessarily be good candidates to become NBA uniform advertisers. I’m just pointing out that the category is broader than you’re making it out to be.

    When I see “lifestyle brands” all I can think about is George Carlin:

    And you will not hear me refer to anyone’s lifestyle. If you want to know what a moronic word lifestyle is all you have to do is realize that in a technical sense, Attila the Hun had an active, outdoor lifestyle.

    Paul, come to the Midwest and you’ll see prices about 1/2 of those on your menu . . .

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised mine didn’t get a mention. It was rather simplistic – a slight rearrangement of some colors, simply rotating the shoulder bolts back to the top of the shoulders, nothing really exciting or different… and upon further reflection I probably should’ve skipped the horsehead alternate logo altogether. But I really do still like my wordmark, with the curved descenders on the Rs harking back to the original wordmark.

    What does surprise me a bit is that the Ziggy Stardust-inspired design didn’t get a mention for being quite possibly the wackiest concept of the bunch. Of course, the logo is way too close to the Raiders’ to work, but otherwise… yeow!

    Same here. I went totally traditional with my design and in comparison to the others, it was kinda “meh”. I think the execution and presentation were there, just the others were better at the end of the day.

    I enjoyed the process none the less, and look forward to the next one!

    Yeah, I usually just do this kind of stuff for fun, though it’s usually hockey jerseys. I’ve submitted a few of my concepts over to Icethetics over the years, but this was the first time I participated in one of these.

    I’ve always loved their light blue uniforms and I would agree with those that said just make the powder blue their primary uniform. One minor thing that I’d suggest is to put “LA” on the side of the helmet under the lighting bolt, where they used to have the player’s number.

    Paul, since you are not a soccer fan you probably didn’t realize that the Los Angeles Surf name & design was inspired by the California Surf of the NASL.

    That is so lazy that the Jacksonville Icemen just used the Evansville logo for JAX. Shoulda totally changed their identity, imo.

    A mediocre blocky amorphous shape that rips off (instead of being inspired by- in my opine) Captain Cold – one of the Flash’s old rouges gallery standbys.


    @ Paul — a propos of nothing except your parting remark, you pop into my mind every time I listen to Galaxie 500 now :)

    Too bad when the NBA put in the rules for the advertising patches they didn’t restrict the colors to team only colors. I was glad to see that the Celtics “GE” patch was green, but I’m sure more will incorporate the advertisers colors instead of matching the team colors. I believe this is a 3 year trial period, and I hope they address this if they continue after this period.

    And I’m of the opinion that (for 3 years) these are the worst, ugliest advertisements of all time. So awful that people notice how bad they are and the complaints role in.

    This is unlikely to happen but a man can dream.

    Big fan of Nils. Saw him live in the seventies when he recorded his live album. Also just saw him live a year or two ago.

    The alternate helmets are pretty cool except for a few, the bills helmet looks awesome, a big step up from their white helmet which I hate because so many teams have white lids. The cowboys helmet looks terrible, if they switched the Royal to Navy it wouldn’t be bad.

    Jeez, making sure I’m not sporting my new Seattle Mariner trident hat in the Windy City.

    It’s weird that the Bryan Station retirement jersey went so far as to recreate the font of the jersey while still not being the original that we see in the photo. All of the photos I found when doing a really quick search say “Bryan Station” instead of just “Station.” Maybe I’m just missing some?

    Seeing the deal that Goodyear and the Cavs reminds me of my days playing Little League Baseball. One of the team sponsors was a local tire service and on the right sleeves all the players had Goodyear patches on them. At the time, it was neat to see. I think that I might have a team photo picture somewhere.

    The team I was on was the “Weatherby Rifles”. Never really thought of it as an advertisement and just thought it was cool to be on a team called the Rifles.

    The Icemen just recycled their logo that they used in Evansville. Plus that’s not much of a jersey than a practice sweater, awful

    While I am vehemently opposed to uniform advertising, I will say that the Cavs mockup where it’s just the logo and not the word mark looks…. good? Since it’s a winged shoe, it fits with the overall look of a basketball team. It still sucks that it’s an ad, but it at least fits better than anything else.

    Logos definitely look better than the wordmarks. The Celtics GE ad is the best of the ads (if thats a good thing).

    The River Cats dropped the ball on the ‘A League of their Own’ Jerseys. I understand the concept, replicating the uniforms of the team in the movie; however, those uniforms were dresses. Without the additional fabric and actual reason for the belt, this just looks like a cheap boardwalk stand tee shirt.

    Also, there was a shirt/pants version of the uniform, worn by the Manager in the film, which would’ve looked awesome and fit the male athletes better.

    It will be interesting to see if anything comes from this under armour/trump situation. Possible boycotts or student protests on the Maryland campus. Will Steph Curry take a stand or will he go the Jordan “republicans buy sneakers, too” route?

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