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Golden State to Wear NBA’s Latest Badge of Shame

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The Warriors yesterday became the latest NBA team to add an advertising patch, as they announced a new deal with the Japanese tech company Rakuten.

The deal is notable for several reasons:

• The Warriors are the defending NBA champs, so anything they do carries extra weight.

• The deal is reportedly worth $60 million over three years, which is by far the highest price that’s been paid for an NBA uniform ad so far, nearly doubling the value of Cavs’ deal with Goodyear.

• Most of the other NBA teams participating in the uni advertising program have partnered with local companies — perhaps as a genuine expression of community solidarity, or perhaps just to provide a fig leaf of respectability to the ad patches (probably some of both). By going with a Japanese company, the Warriors are essentially saying, “Never mind the local community. We’re looking to market ourselves to an international audience.”

• The deal also includes a new name for the team’s practice facility, which will now be known as the Rakuten Performance Center. (I still call it — uh, what did it used to be called?)

• Rakuten also advertises on FC Barcelona’s jerseys, making them the first soccer uni advertiser to double-dip with the NBA.

• According to the Warriors and Rakuten, the ad patch is not actually a patch. It is, they insist, a badge, which really scales new heights in newspeak and chutzpah. (No joke: About two hours after the Golden State announcement, someone on Twitter wrote to me about “NFL captain badges.” Sigh.)

Here’s how the badge patch will look on the team’s white uniform:

A white version of the logo will be used on the team’s blue uniform.

Golden State is the 14th NBA team to sell ad space on its uniform. Sixteen teams remain ad-free — for now.

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Titans contest results: Today, finally, we have the results of the Titans-redesign contest over at ESPN (including Gene Sanny’s design, shown above, which as you can see solves “flaming thumbtack” problem by keeping the flames and eliminating the thumbtack). Check it out here.

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Eight of one, two dozen of the other: For years now, people have been wondering and debating which number the Lakers would retire for Kobe Bryant. Would they go with No. 8, which he wore for the first half of his career and his first three championships, or No. 24, which he wore for his second half and final two championships?

And now we have our answer: They’re going to retire both numbers. It’ll take place on Dec. 18, prior to L.A.’s game against Golden State.

I know of no other player in any sport who’s ever had two numbers retired by the same team. Some may think it qualifies as overkill, but I think it’s actually the right move. Bryant was a special player, he put up similar stats with each uni number, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else ever wearing either of those numbers for the Lakers, so why not go ahead and retire both of them? Works for me.

This will also make Bryant, by my count, the 12th person from the Big Four pro leagues to have two different numbers retired (although all the others did it with multiple teams, not one team). Here are the other 11 that I’m aware of:

[table id=31 /]

There are no NFL players on that list because only one NFLer has ever had a number retired by two different teams: Reggie White, whose No. 92 was honored by the Eagles and Packers.

Also worth noting: Moses Malone has had his No. 24 retired by the Rockets, and there was talk two years ago that the 76ers were going to retire No. 2 for him, which would qualify him for this list. As of now, however, the Sixers haven’t gone through with that plan.

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New MLB anniversary logos: Two MLB teams released anniversary logos yesterday — one officially, one unofficially.

Let’s start with the Rockies, whose 25th-anniversary mark is shown at right (and can be clicked to enlarge). They released it yesterday on Twitter, and although they didn’t specifically say that it’ll be worn as a patch, it will be.

I’ll say this much: It certainly doesn’t follow the standard MLB boilerplate patch style, so they get points for breaking the mold. Can’t say I love the design, though, and I’m generally not fond of square patches — the Mariners have been wearing one this season, and I think it looks clunky.

Next up: the D-backs. They haven’t made an official logo announcement, but they did tweet their 2018 schedule yesterday, and the graphic included a 20th-anniversary logo. I managed to isolate it from the background, as you can see at left.

Although the shape is a bit odd, the use of symmetry makes this more of a conventional MLB patch design — and a fairly handsome one. The weird thing is the big “20” echoed by the use of “20th” on the bottom line. Why the repetition? Doesn’t make sense.

Looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of patches in 2018, as these two designs are joining the ones for the A’s 50th anniversary in Oakland and the Royals’ 50th season, which were released a while back. It’s worth noting that next year is also the Marlins’ 25th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of the Dodgers and Giants moving to California, so they may have patches as well. Stay tuned.

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Too good for the Ticker: The Pirates released their 2018 schedule yesterday, and they did it via a one-minute video clip that is completely brilliant. I don’t know who created it, but they deserve a raise. Trust me, this is the best 60 seconds you’ll spend today:

(Big thanks to Yancy Yeater for letting me know about this one.)

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Raffle reminder: I’m currently raffling off some cool Hartford Whalers memorabilia. Full details here.

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The Ticker
By Alex Hider

Baseball NewsThe third base umpire in last night’s Rays/Yankees game was wearing a snapback cap (from George Falkowski and Ryan Siciliano). … Spotted in Cleveland yesterday: a Tigers/Indians frankenjersey (from @mgvanwormer). … This poster shows the uni evolution of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the Royals’ AA affiliate (from @EnigmaSolutionz). … Brian James Simmons found a youth baseball team sporting not-quite tequila sunrise jerseys. … Dodgers OF Curtis Granderson is still wearing his Mets batting gloves. … The ad for Dodgers merch appears to show what the postseason cap patches will look like (from @GoBeavers24). … Astros P Lance McCullers Jr.’s charitable foundation is selling “Houstrong” tequila sunrise T-shirts, with the proceeds benefitting animals that were affected by Hurricane Harvey (from @BeautyOfAGame). … The A’s have chosen the site for their new stadium (thanks, Brinke).

NFL NewsHere’s another piece on the Vicis Zero1 helmet (from Tommy Turner). … It’s hard to read in these photos, but it appears that the Browns include a hashtag on the jerseys that players wear when doing charitable work in the community. Does anyone know what it says? (From Beau Parsons.) … An editorial cartoonist illustrated a Bills-themed comic earlier this week, and put a hamster in a ’00s Bills jersey (from Brad Loliger‏). … Niners fans think the team’s stadium is too hot, so the team is exploring ways of “enhancing the fan experience” on warm weather days (thanks, Brinke).

College/High School Football NewsMinnesota will be going mono-yellow on Saturday, with — get this — Goldy the Gopher-themed helmets (from Ted Chastain). … The ACC Tracker has been updated to reflect week two. The University of Manitoba, a college football team in Canada, will sport new unis this season. Here’s what they wore from 2008-2016 for reference (from Daren Landers). … New uniforms for Riverside High School in West Virginia, designed by reader Ethan Dimitroff‏. … ranked the top 10 high school football uniforms in Arizona (from Tyson Tomao).

Hockey News: The Golden Knights broke out their white jerseys last night — and the white gloves finally made an appearance (from Maximiliano‏). … The Maple Leafs will be one of the few teams to sport an alternate jersey this year, as they’ll wear 1918 Toronto Arenas throwbacks during the “Next Century Game” in December. The game celebrates 100 seasons of NHL hockey in Toronto (thanks, Paul). … New unis for North Dakota (from Patrick Thomas). … Here’s a really interesting video showing how Blackhawks D Connor Murphy got to help paint the team’s center-ice logo (from @True2Atlanta).

NBA News: It looks like the Hornets will be unveiling a new uni today (thanks Paul). … NBA Live 18 may have given us a sneak peak into what Nike plans to do with referee uniforms (from @cdj80). … Suns head coach Earl Watson presented a customized Suns jersey to former president George W. Bush on Monday (from Josh Pearlman).

Soccer NewsThis may have been shared before, but the Premier League put together a graphic that includes every jersey that every team has ever worn in the league’s 25-year history (from Chris Cruz). … New away kits for Bologna FC of Serie A. The striping includes the names of past Bologna players (from Ed Zelaski). … Charleston Battery of the USL will wear orange kits on Saturday, which will later be auctioned off to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (from Will Chitty). … Aaron Creswell of West Ham wore last season’s home shorts for the second half of Monday night’s game (from Ben Isaacs).

Grab BagA bakery in Chapel Hill, N.C., baked a giant UNC cake for the grand opening of a new campus bookstore. Unfortunately, they misspelled “Tar Heels” (from James Gilbert). … Ben Whitehead spotted a Pittsburgh pro sports logo mashup window decal the other day. … Someone mocked up a football helmet for Ballast Point, a craft brewery based in San Diego (from Andrew Cosentino). … The Adelaide Crows — that’s an Aussie football team — are letting fans vote on their 2018 clash guernsey (from Jeremy Brahm).

Comments (75)

    Rakuten probably would like that…
    But, “I’m still calling them the Golden State Warriors” :-)

    Maybe if you mention the advertiser’s name enough times, they will be percuaded that buying the ad patch isn’t getting them the publicity they paid for….

    There are actually two frankenjerseys in that Tigers/Indians pic. And they’re both horrible abominations of mankind!

    looks like it… but why do a mash up of Kluber and Verlander… one who’s no longer with the teams that the mashup consist of

    Re: Soccer Shorts
    Cresswell refers to Aaron Cresswell, who plays for West Ham United in the English Premier League.

    The Marlins 25th anniversary next year is not only a good excuse to break out a patch, but also a great chance for them to trot out some of the different teal & black unis from 1993-2011. Particularly would love to see the white top/teal pinstripes/teal hat from 1993’s first ever game, the white vest/black sleeves/black hat they won the ’97 Series in, and the black alt tops they beat the Yankees in ’03 in.

    Considering the new Jeter ownership coming in (the primary reason they completely rebranded in 2012 was because Loria didn’t like teal), it would be a good way to show respect for the history of the team and ease out of the current “hi-liter factory exploded all over the Orioles” look.

    Levi Stadium (“too sunny for me”) fix: Retractable shades around the top of the stadium. Worked for the original Colosseum 2000 years ago.

    The Browns’ hashtag is “#give10” which is their community service initiative to have fans give 10 hours of community service.

    I think it’s also noteworthy (and I’ve mentioned a few times) that when team members are out in the community they exclusively wear these orange jerseys.

    Annoyingly, that Premier League graphic doesn’t include third jerseys, which have become commonplace of late. In fact, Tottenham Hotspur only wore their blue second jerseys three times last season, favoring the mustard colored uniforms instead. (link)

    Moses Malone has had his No. 24 retired by the Rockets, and there was talk two years ago that the 76ers were going to retire No. 2 for him, which would qualify him for this list. As of now, however, the Sixers haven’t gone through with that plan.

    What. Are. You. Waiting. For??

    I like those, and I noticed something else in Jon Nguyen’s design that’s not mentioned: The helmet logo not only removes the flames from the thumbtack but replaces them with a link pattern; Titans, of course, are figures from Greek mythology. Nicely done.

    Also, Goodyear (Cavs) appeared on Boca Juniors (Argentinian soccer superpower) jerseys in the mid 2000s.

    Western Union (Nuggets) inked a deal in August with Liverpool, and now their logo appears on the left sleeve of LFC.

    Niagara United of the Canadian Soccer League has Sun Life on their jerseys. Raptors added a Sun Life patch, recently.

    (from Brad Loliger‏). … 49ers fans think the team’s stadium is too hot

    (from Brad Loliger) … 49ers fans

    From the Titans contest, I really like Joe Nguyen’s entry. The kind of Greek motif around the roundel is nice.

    I’m curious as to the location for the A’s stadium. I see it’s close to the Lake Merritt BART stop, so that’ll be nice.

    As for the Vegas Golden Knights jerseys, that just adds to their whole aura — that is, they feel like a team that was made up for a Disney movie. The name, the look…it all feels chintzy. Like Vegas, so I guess that’s what they’re going for.

    Makes sense since Nashville is called “The Athens of the South,” including a Parthenon (complete with scale replica of Athena statue) in one of the major parks.

    It works for UNC Greensboro and University of Detroit, so why not the Titans. Nice to see it straight on as opposed to a 3/4 view.

    And they should. He set the stolen base record in 35. He took 24 with the Yankees as Phil Niekro had 35 and he never switched back after that.

    He actually wore #35 again both in Seattle and Boston as he couldn’t have #24 because of Griffey and Manny respectively.

    A’s also have an oddity with Reggie Jackson in that he wore #44 with them when he returned at the end of his career instead of the #9 he wore there in his first tour.

    Who would have guessed standing outside in California would be hot? Why are NFL American stadiums still designed as open bowls? Many of the European stadiums have the seats covered, similar to the Cowboys old stadium. Check out Berlin’s Olympic stadium that was renovated for the 2006 World Cup.

    They play soccer in the winter in Europe. I’m thinking the seats are covered to protect fans from rain and snow.

    The covers are also used to increase the volume of the fans. That’s one reason the LA Galaxy have a partially covered seating bowl.

    Does anyone else find it noteworthy that the patch for the A’s says 1968/50/2018 while the Royals’ says 1969/50/2018? I guess there’s more than one way to count to 50.

    The A’s are celebrating an anniversary, so the first one comes at the beginning of the next season, just like a birthday. The Royals are celebrating seasons, so the first one was the first season. So in both cases, 1969 = 1st.

    The bullet point about Rakuten not being local isn’t completely true. Their North/South American headquarters are in San Mateo.

    I wonder if the Pirates are the first team ever to have both their season opener and home opener be interleague games…

    I’m too lazy to check, but I think it sucks. Can’t stand interleague play during the regular season.

    Not quite like Kobe, but it reminds me of Chuck Klein with the Phillies. Klein wore #32 and 36…already retired for Steve Carlton and Robin Roberts anyway, so they retired a P so he would get recognized for his career with two jersey numbers.

    Other 2 Team retired numbers:

    Patrick Roy #33 – Retired by the Canadiens and Avalanche
    Ray Bourque #77 – Retired by the Brunis and Avalanche

    Let me correct my own post:


    These are players with numbers “officially retired” by two teams:

    Mark Messier – 11 for the Rangers and Oilers
    Wayne Gretzky (Retired across the sport)
    Patrick Roy #33 – Retired by the Canadiens and Avalanche
    Ray Bourque #77 – Retired by the Brunis and Avalanche

    Number retired by 2 teams, but one of the retired numbers is shared:

    Tim Horton – Sabres #2 and Maple Leafs #7, shared with King Clancy

    The point of Paul’s list is two different retired numbers. Not the same number retired by two teams.

    Thus, Tim Horton’s retired numbers would be the only case relevant to the discussion. And the Leafs’ retirement is actually recent, as it was previously one of their “honoured” numbers.

    Yeah, Paul’s original wording about the NHL guys tripped me up. Sorry for the flub, but glad I could provide what I found.

    A few observations:

    -Ballast Point, while still a craft brewery technically, is now owned by Constellation Brands, a macro company, and this has caused their “craft” status to be questioned. Personally, Ballast Point is now on my “will not purchase” list as a result. But that’s just me.

    -That Pirates video is cool, but I always get slightly annoyed by videogame inspired things like this when they are slightly period inaccurate. I mean, this is Uni-Watch, where we observe the nuance and little details of things. So things like inconsistent pixel size, inaccurate color palettes to the 8-bit era, and more advanced music than was capable on 8-bit machines really irk me. I can’t be the only one.

    -Oh Vegas. You really need to rethink those white gloves.

    Weird they didn’t get the 8-bit music thing right, since that is a thing in and of itself.

    To me, “craft brewery” comes down to style. When it comes to size, I think its more accurate to distinguish between micro breweries and macro breweries.

    Based on the styles within their line up I would argue that Ballast Point is definitely a craft brewery, but perhaps not a microbrewery.
    Summit is often credited with starting the craft brew movement in Minnesota, but I would hardly call them a microbrewery anymore.

    A day late, but the Wafflebored netminder sweater from yesterday was awesome. WB, your genius never ceases to amaze.

    This one is right up there with fight-league-butcher-apron jerseys (and backstory?!)

    Golden $tate officially ruined professeional ba$k€tba££. Forever.

    I laugh every time there is a post complaining about ad patches….that lists the name of the advertiser over and over. You’re just reinforcing that they made a good investment!

    Did anything change on the Uni-Watch website about 2+weeks ago or so.
    My work blocks it now since an Add-on or something is coming up.


    Mine doesn’t block it, but I do see that some new pesky advertising at the bottom of the page now comes up. If I wanted to know about a unique device which allows dermatologists to close wounds without tying knots, I’d go to Google, no Uni-Watch.

    Didn’t see it mentioned elsewhere but Pete Maravich has #7 retired by Utah and #44 retired by Atlanta.

    Don’t forget that Gordie Howe’s #9 is retired by both the Detroit Red Wings and the Hartford Whalers. Yes, I know the Whalers aren’t in Hartford anymore but his number still hangs in the XL Center rafters.

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