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NFL Increases Use of Alternate Uniforms in 2018

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I am for anything that limits Nike's say-so in anything uniform related. They have made a mockery of the NBA's uniforms. It's absurd Nike, and not the teams, make the call on which jersey will be worn by which team.

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On 7/7/2018 at 12:19 AM, Ice_Cap said:

The Leafs haven't won a Cup since 1967. Three years before the Canucks came into the league.

 

Toronto is the 4th largest city in North America. Vancouver is 71st, behind 20 other NHL host cities.

 

Its probably how they dress, though.

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Yes, but of the five teams that share the two biggest markets in the United States, I would argue that only one of them has a brand that can match Toronto’s.  

 

It’s not always about market size. 

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8 hours ago, C-Squared said:

 

Toronto is the 4th largest city in North America. Vancouver is 71st, behind 20 other NHL host cities.

 

Its probably how they dress, though.

I think you're underestimating a Canadian NHL team's brand's ability to make inroads into the rest of Canada. And when the brand of the Winnipeg Jets' brand manages to be stronger in Canada than the Vancouver Canucks' brand? When Winnipeg is a fraction of the size? Then yes. I have to conclude how they dress contributes to that.

 

And if you don't think Vancouver's identity crisis has contributed to a weaker brand? Well I think we've arrived at the "agree to disagree" point.

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9 hours ago, Gothamite said:

Yes, but of the five teams that share the two biggest markets in the United States, I would argue that only one of them has a brand that can match Toronto’s.   

 

It’s not always about market size. 

 

I think the crux of this disagreement is that you're all hinging a sports brand on a shallow assessment of logos and jerseys. A brand is a complex tool used to generate revenue via image, visibility, and the perception of value. Jerseys are a component of the image, but the fact that the Leafs represent the preeminent sports brand in Canada's largest city is itself part of that brand and crucial to their visibility and value. If anything, the logos and uniforms the Leafs wear are beneficiaries of the large stage the city of Toronto affords them.

 

5 hours ago, Ice_Cap said:

I think you're underestimating a Canadian NHL team's brand's ability to make inroads into the rest of Canada. And when the brand of the Winnipeg Jets' brand manages to be stronger in Canada than the Vancouver Canucks' brand? When Winnipeg is a fraction of the size? Then yes. I have to conclude how they dress contributes to that.

 

And if you don't think Vancouver's identity crisis has contributed to a weaker brand? Well I think we've arrived at the "agree to disagree" point.

 

I never said it didn't contribute at all - you simply overvalue that contribution. While they pale in comparison to Toronto, the Canucks brand represents the seventh-most-valuable franchise in their league (Winnipeg is 26th). A team brand is shaped by factors like market size, the presence of other pro sports teams in their market (or lack thereof) - even marketable factors like playing in Canada shape their brand. I said from the beginning that uniforms are a piece of the puzzle. Sabres fans hated the slug jersey, so the team tweaked their old logo. The fans loved it! The team lost $13 million last season... is that a good brand? Or do some people just like their logos and uniforms? Uniform aesthetics absolutely have a place in branding, especially when historic teams use historic imagery. However, successful teams benefit from scores of more important & formative branding components than how they dress.

 

I am lucky enough to teach sports marketing courses as part of my career. If I assigned a project focused on dissecting & analyzing a sports brand and a student turned in five pages on nothing but logos and jerseys, he/she would redo that project. This could lead into a whole discussion of the four P's of marketing and how sports teams in different settings have to build around entirely different aspects of branding & marketing, but none of it places jerseys anywhere close to the top.

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1 hour ago, C-Squared said:

I am lucky enough to teach sports marketing courses as part of my career. If I assigned a project focused on dissecting & analyzing a sports brand and a student turned in five pages on nothing but logos and jerseys, he/she would redo that project. This could lead into a whole discussion of the four P's of marketing and how sports teams in different settings have to build around entirely different aspects of branding & marketing, but none of it places jerseys anywhere close to the top.

 

Sure, but if you ever do get a project like that, please post it here.  I'm sure we will all find it infinitely more interesting than the A+ paper about the four P's. 😜

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1 hour ago, C-Squared said:

I think the crux of this disagreement is that you're all hinging a sports brand on a shallow assessment of logos and jerseys.

 

:rolleyes:

 

 

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3 hours ago, C-Squared said:

The team lost $13 million last season... is that a good brand?

I would say the Sabres’ monetary issues go beyond their brand.

Their brand is fine, but revenue is an issue that far eclipses the brand. 

 

Same with Winnipeg and Vancouver. The Canucks are more valuable than the Jets, yes, but that has to do with issues far beyond branding. 

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1 hour ago, Ice_Cap said:

I would say the Sabres’ monetary issues go beyond their brand.

Their brand is fine, but revenue is an issue that far eclipses the brand. 

 

Same with Winnipeg and Vancouver. The Canucks are more valuable than the Jets, yes, but that has to do with issues far beyond branding.  

 

Again, branding centers around image, visibility, and the perception of value. There are plenty of valuable small market teams & plenty of strong brands in subjectively bad uniforms. Branding is more encompassing and non-visual than you realize. If its something you're really into and choose to read up on, you would enjoy the ride!

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30 minutes ago, C-Squared said:

Branding is more encompassing and non-visual than you realize. If its something you're really into and choose to read up on, you would enjoy the ride!

 

I really don't think you intend things like this to come off as patronizing, but they kinda do.

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50 minutes ago, C-Squared said:

Again, branding centers around image, visibility, and the perception of value. There are plenty of valuable small market teams & plenty of strong brands in subjectively bad uniforms. Branding is more encompassing and non-visual than you realize. If its something you're really into and choose to read up on, you would enjoy the ride!

Let's talk about valuable small market teams. A team you seemingly trashed; the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets, as of November 2017, had an operating income of $10 million USD. Compare that with the Buffalo Sabres who were sitting at -$13 million.

 

You see this as a case of branding. I do not. "Branding is more encompassing and non-visual than you realize." I'm going to say no. It's not. Branding, by its definition, is visual. Sure, you can talk about abstract concepts that feed into what the visuals mean, but it's visual at the end of the day.

And to be clear? I think both the Jets and Sabres have great brands. The question, then, is why is the former making $10 million while the latter is losing $13 million?

 

Simple. Management. Both the Sabres and Jets will have their overall value (value, not brand) depressed as a result of playing in smaller markets with less potential corporate partners and less potential eyeballs and wallets to tap. It's the reality of sports economics.

The Jets' ability to turn that into a $10 million profit while the Sabres are losing $13 million tells me that the people running the financial and business sides of things for the Sabres are probably inept.

 

That's got nothing to do with branding. That's management.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

"Branding is more encompassing and non-visual than you realize." I'm going to say no. It's not. Branding, by its definition, is visual. Sure, you can talk about abstract concepts that feed into what the visuals mean, but it's visual at the end of the day.

 

Incorrect. Branding is a broader process of forging meaning & differentiation into products/services. For sports teams, crafting a visual identity is one component of branding (& the fun one), but so are brand positioning, crafting of experiences, web presence, social media management, product/service price points, quality of merchandising, advertising styles, healthy brand extension & expansion, manipulating end-user perception, community presence, corporate partnership & endorsement selection, etc... the management of brands and their perception is itself part of a brand. Tell the Cleveland Browns it isn't.

 

We're obviously at an impasse... condescending or not @Gothamite, any sports branding enthusiast would get a kick out of advanced sports marketing & branding principles. The Branding Journal is a go-to for my marketing classes & great place to start:

 

https://www.thebrandingjournal.com/2015/10/what-is-branding-definition/

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58 minutes ago, Dolphins Dynasty said:

I actually thought I was in the NHL Changes thread for a moment.

Yeah, I clicked the "Go to first unread post" button, forgot which thread I was in, caught up on reading everything, then hit "back" and was confused!

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I don't know how I missed this, but I lean toward the positives on this. Teams like the Browns now don't have to be forced to wear the worst of their options, and we finally get to see more of the good alts (and yes I know it's a two way street, but unlike the NBA I feel the NFL alts are generally aesthetically pleasing).

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3 hours ago, Gobbi said:

Yeah, I clicked the "Go to first unread post" button, forgot which thread I was in, caught up on reading everything, then hit "back" and was confused!

 

4 hours ago, Dolphins Dynasty said:

I actually thought I was in the NHL Changes thread for a moment.

Yeah the last page towards the end had Lakers stuff, and I thought, "Am I in the Lakers thread?". No, there's a separate thread for that.

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Did the NFL courts actually approve this?

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5 hours ago, C-Squared said:

 

Incorrect. Branding is a broader process of forging meaning & differentiation into products/services. For sports teams, crafting a visual identity is one component of branding (& the fun one), but so are brand positioning, crafting of experiences, web presence, social media management, product/service price points, quality of merchandising, advertising styles, healthy brand extension & expansion, manipulating end-user perception, community presence, corporate partnership & endorsement selection, etc... the management of brands and their perception is itself part of a brand. Tell the Cleveland Browns it isn't.

 

This is a pretty good rundown of some of the things that make up a brand.

 

12 hours ago, C-Squared said:

I never said it didn't contribute at all - you simply overvalue that contribution. While they pale in comparison to Toronto, the Canucks brand represents the seventh-most-valuable franchise in their league (Winnipeg is 26th). A team brand is shaped by factors like market size, the presence of other pro sports teams in their market (or lack thereof) - even marketable factors like playing in Canada shape their brand. I said from the beginning that uniforms are a piece of the puzzle. Sabres fans hated the slug jersey, so the team tweaked their old logo. The fans loved it! The team lost $13 million last season... is that a good brand? Or do some people just like their logos and uniforms? Uniform aesthetics absolutely have a place in branding, especially when historic teams use historic imagery. However, successful teams benefit from scores of more important & formative branding components than how they dress.

 

However, this is a pretty bad argument. You're really overestimating how much branding affects the finances of a team. There's no way that the Sabres' $13 million loss last season should be completely or even mostly attributed to their branding. Likely from a more tangible standpoint, the Sabres were able to increase merchandise sales as a result of changing their logo and uniform to something the fans approved of. It also probably helped their branding if anything since it give off the appearance that ownership cares about what the fans have to say as well as help reinforce the idea of owner Terry Pegula being a local guy who understands the fanbase.

 

Additionally, with how important local TV ratings are in determining prospective value of sports franchise it's not really a surprise that the Canucks would be valued a lot higher than the Jets. Not only is Vancouver the third largest metropolitan area in Canada, British Columbia is about four times the size of Manitoba. You also have to add in the fact there isn't any other team in the Pacific Northwest, so they might even be able to draw fans from Washington and Oregon as well.

 

6 hours ago, Ice_Cap said:

Let's talk about valuable small market teams. A team you seemingly trashed; the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets, as of November 2017, had an operating income of $10 million USD. Compare that with the Buffalo Sabres who were sitting at -$13 million.

 

You see this as a case of branding. I do not. "Branding is more encompassing and non-visual than you realize." I'm going to say no. It's not. Branding, by its definition, is visual. Sure, you can talk about abstract concepts that feed into what the visuals mean, but it's visual at the end of the day.

And to be clear? I think both the Jets and Sabres have great brands. The question, then, is why is the former making $10 million while the latter is losing $13 million?

 

I'm going to have to disagree here. In my opinion, the Jets have a much stronger brand due to their ability to market the team as sort of the NHL's answer to the Green Bay Packers. From what I've seen, they've done a very good job leveraging the strong fan support they received upon their move to Winnipeg and creating a brand around it. As a fan of neither team, I'd be much more likely to want to attend a Jets game then I would to attend a Sabres game.

 

If I were to rate them just on their logos and uniforms, I'd rate them pretty similar.

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