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The Surprising Reason the Bucks Can’t Wear Cream Uniforms Anymore

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Today I have a really interesting scoop for you. Here’s the deal: Last Thursday Bucks chief marketing officer Dustin Godsey, responding to some fans’ inquiries, tweeted that the team would no longer be able to wear cream-colored uniforms like the two shown above (which were worn in 2017-18 and 2019-20, respectively), but he said he didn’t want to get into the reasons or the details:

I got in touch with Godsey and, after a bit of back-and-forth, convinced him to go public with the story behind the cream uniform ban, which turned out to be faaaaascinating. The one thing I’ll tell you here is that no matter how hard you think about it, you probably won’t come up with the right reason!

I’ve decided to put this story on Substack, but it’s not paywalled — everyone can read it here. Enjoy!


Needle Me This

Got my flu shot and my latest Covid booster yesterday, and I’m donating blood this afternoon, all of which adds up to a lot of needle sticks in a short time span. Ouch!

As I mention every year around this time, I hope all of you will get your flu shots as well — not just to safeguard your own health, but also to safeguard people like me (I’m asthmatic and immuno-compromised), who are at higher risk for infection. Let’s all do our part to reach herd immunity!

Comments (28)

    Terrific reporting on the Bucs cream ban. Here’s hoping they change their floor in a way that permits cream at home. (Same for the Sixers and their version of cream.)

    The Sixers second cream uniform, the one that has “Philadelphia” on the front, should be the home uniform. But I guess it can go full white if need be. I absolutely love the “Pass and Stow” jersey.

    Wouldn’t he mean to say redesign instead of rebrand over and over? Your brand is still the Milwaukee Bucks with a new color. Seems like something a chief marketing officer would know the difference on.

    Advertising is the engine that drives pro sports. Definitely the tail that wags the dog. While I was okay with Milwaukee’s cream jerseys, I’d much rather go back to two uniforms. Light color at home. Dark color on the road. Done.
    Yes, I’m old.

    But it worked for decades and nobody complained. I’m not a kid either but there was nothing wrong with being able to immediately tell what 2 teams were playing as soon as you saw a game on TV. Every team having a closet’s worth of options has gotten ridiculous. If I can’t tell who is who quickly, why are you dressing like that? What happened to team colors? Are we going to get to the point that every team wears a one-off for every game of the season?

    I don’t really follow them, so I don’t know, but doesn’t Oregon football do that? I got the idea somewhere that a new uni every week was their “brand.”

    Yes but Oregon sticks in their lane on colors. These city and statement and EARNED uniforms just go haywire.

    I guess I don’t understand how they can run digital ads on (mostly) white boards for a hockey game, with one team wearing white, and can’t figure this out.

    Maybe just change the court to Chyron green and be done with it?

    This is a big scoop that wouldn’t have seen the light of day if not for Paul’s years of making friends and acquaintances around the sports world.
    Paul, I appreciate you getting Godfrey to spill to beans. Although I bet it was eating him up inside trying to keep it secret. ;)

    Fascinating? or Faaaaaaascinating? :)

    Here is the key quote for me… “Again, they were very well received. I think it established what we wanted, which was to have ownership of the cream color and uniform. So it helped us kind of build that Cream City brand, which is what we were hoping for it to accomplish.”

    So they established something people liked and it was gone instantly. Hey, NBA, how ’bout we get to keep some of these really nice alternates for more than a year instead of trotting out 5 or 6 useless, ugly, redundant new unia every single year?

    What about all the people who play the game whose skin is in that range of hardwood flooring? There’s plenty of white, tan, and mocha toned humans on the court and they are wearing tank tops and shorts. I suppose there is more shadow and dynamic movement of the human extremities but it seems like there would be a similar problem as hardwood floors and human skin tones are of the same color family.

    “But you, in particular, are going to hate it”

    Has ever a more accurate statement been uttered about PL?

    Have worked in TV for majority of my career and was in charge of production studios and technology will only be able to go so far here as it’s based off color, hue, saturation and the like. A lot of controls in the keyers on switchers to control what color is taken out to show the ad.

    The one thing I was confused about is that the broadcast teams were worried it was covering up the ad it was showing? This would actually make the ad be seen more as the players were keying out over the ad to show it. Not sure why that language was used.

    Personally, I think the digital ads are terrible for fans as they take away from what you are watching but I also feel that way about any ad that’s displayed. The proliferation of in arena and then broadcast ads is stupid and harmful to the sports long term.

    In reference to the new hockey ads the original thought process was to make it easier for viewers to have less broken up ads along the boards but with them changing them out and having them be animations I find it more difficult to track the puck when watching. I have lost the puck during the change of the ads as a dark color came in and then I have to refind it. Very annoying and not helpful.

    I already can’t stand watching normal commercial breaks in games as I want to watch the game but the sporting events I’ve been to in the last 5 years says to me that most fans are more concerned with everything else they get from the event than the actual game. They’re constantly getting up to get something to drink or eat or go visit the other interactive items around the stadium. I tend to sit or stand in my seat and try to ignore every other fan there and watch the goings on of the teams and the game.

    Completely agree with your observations. The game as an excuse to buy stuff all the time during the game, move around or watch your phone. Horrible habits have develloped, watching games in a stadium is changing here in Europe as well because of this madness. Consume passively instead of experience it fully and be engaged.

    Very fine article with a sad message: no more cream for the Bucks and the Sixers or anyone else. Hope technology will find a way to allow it, I loved the Bucks cream uniforms. The Philadelphia one was also nice. And I respect the man for telling you and allowing you to publish it, Paul.

    So much fun. Our world run by technology. It all seems to be going quite well. /sarc

    As per usual, its not the technology thats the problem, its how the HUMANS apply it. Again: people are the problem!


    Usually there’s a mention from Paul if there’s not going to be a ticker, e.g. when Jamie was off two Mondays in October. As there hasn’t been any mention, it makes me wonder if everything’s all right with Alex, or if it’s just gotten lost in the shuffle somehow.

    Ticker was edited, proofread, and set to auto-publish. Not sure what went wrong. I’m at the blood center now, will deal with this when I get home.

    Regarding ad boards, last month when the mariners were in the playoffs, the ad board image from a certain camera angle was mixing in with the aqua on the mariners jersey and also their accessories. It was surreal. I captured a screenshot if you’re interested. I’m guessing if they had actually worn aqua/PNW jersey tops, it would’ve been a huge mess.

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