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Nike Launches New MLB City Connect Uniform Series


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20 minutes ago, IceCap said:

"Why fund social studies when we can have the Red Sox dress in blue and gold twice a year?" is an interesting take to be sure.


Solid anecdotal cherry-pick. I was thinking more like the Lorraine Motel jersey.

 

Regardless, “The American education system can be wholly relied upon to teach every single kid everything they should know,” is an equally interesting take.

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3 hours ago, henburg said:

 

That said, my "We get it" retort is because saying something like "There's zero chance I could ever identify what team this is" is just silly.

I have legitimately turned NBA games on and not known who was who at first glance thanks to alternates like this. And this is an actual expansion of the City Edition uniform program from the same company. 

 

So I don't think it's silly to say this will lead to people not knowing what team is what, when that has happened to me and others when this concept was tried in the NBA. This isn't an unknown quantity. 

 

3 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

Solid arguments. I have no defense.

Well when you try to say my issue is I don't see value beyond home and road unis when that's not even close to my issue with this concept then what can I say? You want to hear my arguments so you can provide a counter point? Get my argument right. 

 

3 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

"You people?” Coming from a guy who gets bent out of shape when others generalize his opinions, that’s beautiful stuff. 😉

You get what you give, Harry. 

 

3 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

Look. I’m not into critiquing hypotheticals, so I find it annoying when you keep interjecting with the same opinion every other page like we didn’t read it the first time. 

You'd think you'd know what my opinion is if my repetition of it annoys you so much 🤔

 

Regardless, I find it funny that you're inviting me to "join the debate" and yet are annoyed I'm voicing my opinion. 
Which is it? 

 

3 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

You’ve said your piece on the subject, and you’re consistently lacking anything new or productive in your responses.

Ah, I'm wondering what qualifies you as an arbiter for what qualifies as a "productive" response. I'm telling you- based on your own comments- that you lack a very real understanding about what my opinion is on these. So maybe you're not the person to make that judgement. 

 

3 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

 

 

We do, indeed, get it, and despite what you may believe, no one gives a lick about their opinions being “unpopular.” They just want to be able to discuss these things without a broken record screeching in their ear.

I used this allegory before, but it's a good one. 

Say there are five of us at an art gallery. And we're looking at a post-modern painting. Four of us don't like it. One of us does.

The one who likes it isn't a brave thinker defying group think. Nor are they being subjected to a "broken record screeching in their ear" to hear the other four agree about how bad the painting is. It's just...how it is. 

 

3 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

No one said you don’t get it. We all understand you and many others don’t like it...

Since you've failed in trying to tell me what my opinion actually is? I'll spell it out. 

 

I think there's value in a team's traditional identity. More so for a team as old as the Red Sox- a team that's been involved in some of the sport's greatest moments. You look back at the breadth of Red Sox history and there's value in the fact that- some tweaks aside- they always look the same. There's continuity between the generations of Red Sox players, and it creates a powerful sense of continuity. Generations of fans, rooting for players who wore the same colours and emblems their parents and grandparents rooted for. 

 

I remember when I was a teenager, we took a family trip to New York City during the summer. The Blue Jays were playing the Yankees- in Yankee Stadium- and we got to go. 
And seeing the Yankees in pinstripes was part of that experience. It's special, to see the Yankees play in NY looking like that. Had they been wearing some "City Connect" uniform with little to no connection to their classic look, it would have been disappointing. It would have felt like I missed out. 

 

The Red Sox are very close to that level. I think it's a shame that their classic brand will be compromised like this. It's not a problem with alternates in and of itself. It's a problem with this uniform devoid of any connection to one of sports' most iconic identities. 

 

You can point to stuff like Players' Weekend or various other identities that compromises team colours, and those were bad too.

You attempt to create a binary where we have to find one approach preferable to the other, and what I'm saying is that they're both flawed approaches because they strip a legacy team's classic identity away. The Yankees and Dodgers had to play in those pre-Nike speciality uniforms and it was just as egregious as this Red Sox uniform is. 

 

I think it's really cool when you can track a team's legacy back decades- maybe even a century- and see the consistencies in their identities. To throw that out for a gimmick just strikes me as disappointing.

 

3 hours ago, andrewharrington said:


Solid anecdotal cherry-pick. I was thinking more like the Lorraine Motel jersey.

 

Regardless, “The American education system can be wholly relied upon to teach every single kid everything they should know,” is an equally interesting take.

Children have been learning about their local community's history and culture for literal thousands of years without the local sports team having to dress the part to impart it. 

It's not just about school either. That is a part of it, yes, but you often absorb this stuff just by growing up around it.

 

You've never needed a "City Connect" uniform to pass these local traditions along before so I find the idea that a uniform by Nike that will be replaced with something else in under three years* to move more product has any sort of educational value to be suspect at best. 

 

*using the NBA as a baseline 

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1 hour ago, andrewharrington said:


I was just clarifying the actual number for the people who were arguing about it, though I will point out that many people *do* see value in doing that. If you can get a new customer, who may not have much emotional connection to or investment the team’s brand, to spend a couple bills on a city jersey, isn’t that valuable for a business?

 

If you can use a city jersey to teach the next generation about historical events and figures tied to your region, isn’t that valuable to the community?

 

This is a stretch. There are plenty of tangible ways pro sports can and does provide community value that have nothing to do with yellow jerseys (and anyway, despite how the team is marketing these jerseys, the Red Sox and the Marathon are both historically for old rich white folks from the loaded suburbs of MetroWest). 

 

I understand the business proposition of these jerseys, but only in the sense that modern capitalism demands limitless growth, and places next to no value on honing in on and perfecting what you already do well. 

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I’ve taken time to think about my position on this. I still like the uniforms. However, it’s better off on its own and not attached to a franchise like the Red Sox or even the MLB in general. Is it a fun way to celebrate the city? Absolutely, but it’s something that deserves to be on store shelves and only store shelves. A sleeve or chest patch surely would’ve done the trick to get the point across. A uniform series like this would absolutely work in the minors because it makes more sense that way.

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2 hours ago, henburg said:

 

 

 

That said, my "We get it" retort is because saying something like "There's zero chance I could ever identify what team this is" is just silly. The underlying point of brand deterioration is valid and still has tons to stand on without making up something patronizing like that.

 

 

 

I'm going to respond to this since I'm assuming it's directed at me because that's pretty much a direct quote. Let me be completely honest. When I said you could give me a dozen guesses and I'd have zero chance of guessing "Peachtree" was the Hawks, I wasn't exaggerating, I wasn't being silly, I wasn't trying to be patronizing, and I wasn't trying to be funny. I looked at a picture of a basketball uniform that was black and some unidentifiable pale color, that said a random word that was neither a place or a nickname on the front, and I didn't have a clue what I was looking at.  If it wasn't for the context of the post, I'd think it was some fashion jersey for a streetwear company, or something similar. Honestly. I have been known to exaggerate for effect, but this time I wasn't. I had no clue. Now, I guess, if you offered me enough scooby snacks, I might have eventually followed the breadcrumbs and solved the mystery ("Hmmm... Peachtree has the word Peach in it, Georgia is sometimes called the Peach state, Atlanta is in Georgia, maybe the phrase Peachtree has some local significance, I'll guess it might be a weird alternate of the Atlanta Hawks"), but honestly, those mental gymnastics would probably make me just hate it more.  I get that it isn't made for me, since I'm not from Atlanta and don't give a rat's tookas what they apparently call 75% of their streets , but I'm pretty sure that even if it was a team I loved, and immediately got the connection, it wouldn't be for me.

 

(Is this an Atlanta thing?  Insisting that your local things have some worldwide importance that we should all know? I'm thinking of the guy from a year ago who insisting that people all over the world instantly know the significance of the letters ATL.)

 

 

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Basically, they're in the business of designing cool uniforms (and mostly succeeding... in the proverbial vacuum) but need models to wear them in the field in order to showcase them and market them as 'authentic'.  The most obvious choice for those models are MLB and NBA players, so Nike paid for the contract, which got them access to the best models any company could ask for, and the most coveted advertising real estate. 

 

It's unfortunate, but in 2021, players exist to be used as models for sportswear companies, and leagues exist to provide content for gambling sites.  Both of those have superseded the actual sports themselves and the individual team brands.  It probably doesn't matter to the modern consumer if the Yankees are wearing green and red uniforms to celebrate Giovanni da Verrazzano because 1) there's a line of new shirts that they'll probably buy because they're Italian or from New York, or 2) at least they hit their parley and that's really the only reason they're watching.

 

I hate everything these uniforms represent, but the sad truth is that I'm no longer what Nike or MLB or NBA cares about.   Sorry if this is a duplicate post - I vaguely recall posting a similar thought but couldn't find it.

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21 minutes ago, BBTV said:

Basically, they're in the business of designing cool uniforms (and mostly succeeding... in the proverbial vacuum) but need models to wear them in the field in order to showcase them and market them as 'authentic'.  The most obvious choice for those models are MLB and NBA players, so Nike paid for the contract, which got them access to the best models any company could ask for, and the most coveted advertising real estate. 

 

It's unfortunate, but in 2021, players exist to be used as models for sportswear companies, and leagues exist to provide content for gambling sites.  Both of those have superseded the actual sports themselves and the individual team brands.  It probably doesn't matter to the modern consumer if the Yankees are wearing green and red uniforms to celebrate Giovanni da Verrazzano because 1) there's a line of new shirts that they'll probably buy because they're Italian or from New York, or 2) at least they hit their parley and that's really the only reason they're watching.

 

I hate everything these uniforms represent, but the sad truth is that I'm no longer what Nike or MLB or NBA cares about.   Sorry if this is a duplicate post - I vaguely recall posting a similar thought but couldn't find it.

It needs to be posted twice. Whether it's peddling more sportswear or making sure the gamblers get their fix, sports and the leagues are all about money at the end of the day.

 

These Red Sox...I mean...Boston jerseys are horrible and it doesn't even matter because they will make money.

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23 minutes ago, BBTV said:

Basically, they're in the business of designing cool uniforms (and mostly succeeding... in the proverbial vacuum) but need models to wear them in the field in order to showcase them and market them as 'authentic'.  The most obvious choice for those models are MLB and NBA players, so Nike paid for the contract, which got them access to the best models any company could ask for, and the most coveted advertising real estate. 

 

It's unfortunate, but in 2021, players exist to be used as models for sportswear companies, and leagues exist to provide content for gambling sites.  Both of those have superseded the actual sports themselves and the individual team brands.  It probably doesn't matter to the modern consumer if the Yankees are wearing green and red uniforms to celebrate Giovanni da Verrazzano because 1) there's a line of new shirts that they'll probably buy because they're Italian or from New York, or 2) at least they hit their parley and that's really the only reason they're watching.

 

I hate everything these uniforms represent, but the sad truth is that I'm no longer what Nike or MLB or NBA cares about.   Sorry if this is a duplicate post - I vaguely recall posting a similar thought but couldn't find it.

Completely agree.

 

It's interesting because I find myself straddling these two markets. On one hand I love having new uniform releases to revel at and discuss, I like having new gear to buy for my favorite teams, and generally don't mind some teams diluting their brands. However, I am also a fan of these sports and their histories. As much as I enjoyed being able to pick from 5 different styles of Nuggets jerseys I abhor the thought of going to Fenway for the first time and having the Red Sox trot out in uniforms "celebrating Boston" by looking NOTHING like the BOSTON Red Sox. 

 

I don't blame people for liking these uniforms but seeing people defending this mess as a learning opportunity for the local community instead of blatant cash grab is absolutely ridiculous.

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At the risk of getting dumped on, I'm casually intrigued by this City Connection program.

 

I like what will be done in theory of doing something related to the city and including a local reference because I think that's a really cool idea (and I also liked the idea of the NBA City jerseys for that same reason). However, I don't like when any sort of alternate jersey, that's not a throwback, deviates too far away from the brand of the team.

 

I see that picture of the Boston merch set up in the store and I think it looks nice, but I don't know if it has to be a full jersey program instead of just a Marathon-themed line of merch.

 

I also don't really like the rollout of it taking place over multiple seasons, but at least that'll give Arte some time to wrap his head around what sort of city reference the Angels are going to do...

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4 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

If you can use a city jersey to teach the next generation about historical events and figures tied to your region, isn’t that valuable to the community?

 

Or...we could use, you know, schools to do that. Anyway...My guess is civilians aren't reading the Nike-Speak to learn what the uniforms represent. Most of them are just wondering why the Red Sox are wearing yellow jerseys and UCLA hats.

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2 hours ago, oldschoolvikings said:

 

I'm going to respond to this since I'm assuming it's directed at me because that's pretty much a direct quote. Let me be completely honest. When I said you could give me a dozen guesses and I'd have zero chance of guessing "Peachtree" was the Hawks, I wasn't exaggerating, I wasn't being silly, I wasn't trying to be patronizing, and I wasn't trying to be funny. I looked at a picture of a basketball uniform that was black and some unidentifiable pale color, that said a random word that was neither a place or a nickname on the front, and I didn't have a clue what I was looking at.  If it wasn't for the context of the post, I'd think it was some fashion jersey for a streetwear company, or something similar. Honestly. I have been known to exaggerate for effect, but this time I wasn't. I had no clue. Now, I guess, if you offered me enough scooby snacks, I might have eventually followed the breadcrumbs and solved the mystery ("Hmmm... Peachtree has the word Peach in it, Georgia is sometimes called the Peach state, Atlanta is in Georgia, maybe the phrase Peachtree has some local significance, I'll guess it might be a weird alternate of the Atlanta Hawks"), but honestly, those mental gymnastics would probably make me just hate it more.  I get that it isn't made for me, since I'm not from Atlanta and don't give a rat's tookas what they apparently call 75% of their streets , but I'm pretty sure that even if it was a team I loved, and immediately got the connection, it wouldn't be for me.

 

(Is this an Atlanta thing?  Insisting that your local things have some worldwide importance that we should all know? I'm thinking of the guy from a year ago who insisting that people all over the world instantly know the significance of the letters ATL.)

 

 

 

*tuchus

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I think for many of us, our presence on these boards is as much about our adoration and interest in sports brands as much as it is about sports uniforms. While those two things are inextricably linked, they can be appreciated and critiqued individually.

 

What Nike is doing in the NBA, and appears to be encroaching upon in MLB, introduces uniforms that — even if  temporary — intentionally stray from the brands. It's as if Pepsi were to distribute one in every 24 cans in a different color and imagery. Those symbols -- even more than what's inside the can -- are what define the product as Pepsi. 

 

That's why it's so difficult to critique uniforms like this as just uniforms and not as something representative of a larger, more damaging trend. 

 

So while I can understand where @andrewharrington is coming from when suggesting that this encroachment from Nike is inevitable, so let's just critique the uniforms for what they are, I relate far more to @IceCap's anecdote about the experience of seeing the Yankees in pinstripes. That really resonates with me. I've always wanted to see a game at Fenway. I would be genuinely disappointed if it came on a day when the Sox were wearing powder blue and yellow.  It would detract from the experience. 

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Now imagine going to Fenway, paying the highest prices in baseball to sit in a wooden seat that’s 14 slots away from the aisle, paying $15 for a Narragansett, and then watching those yellow jerseys trotted out for business reasons.

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13 minutes ago, Digby said:

Now imagine going to Fenway, paying the highest prices in baseball to sit in a wooden seat that’s 14 slots away from the aisle, paying $15 for a Narragansett, and then watching those yellow jerseys trotted out for business reasons.

... and then singing "Sweet Caroline"

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10 hours ago, henburg said:

The purpose of the "city uniform" concept within the NBA and now the MLB is to create a new alternate uniform that isn't necessarily limited by the normal standards of the team's brand while also specifically resonating and appealing to the residents of the city where the team plays. So, if you aren't a resident of Atlanta or Boston, then you aren't necessarily the intended audience of their city uniform. There are pros and cons to that considering that these teams are national products as well as local ones, but that's my understanding of the intention.

 

Personally, I think that it's a great idea and a fun way to mix it up in relevant ways, but it's become a bit out of control in the NBA due to the lack of uniform matchup regulations. If it were up to me, city uniforms would only be allowed at home within the intended context, and they would be worn a whole lot less.

 

 

We get it, the uniform doesn't use red and gold, but there's no need to exaggerate like this. Outside of the previous mentions of how many Peachtree Streets there are in Atlanta, Atlanta is called "The Big Peach" and Georgia is nationally known "The Peach State". Plus if you didn't know that, then team logos are also placed on the shorts.

 

Again, I understand not liking the general lack of brand control in the NBA today, but the complaints here get so far-fetched and dramatic at times.

Agreed here. I don't think the whole city idea is necessarily bad, but if it's changed every year or so, then it becomes a problem. Allowing it to become a consistent part of the team's look solves this issue. The problem here isn't the city idea being completely different than a team's established look, but rather the fact that it so often changes that it can throw casual fans off. TBH if Utah kept its arches gradient jersey, or if the Red Sox keep this one beyond this year, I can handle it, since it's become a consistent piece of a team's brand. 

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17 hours ago, Olmec said:

"Don't worry, Nike doesn't get to dictate what the teams wear"

That is true, isn't it? Nike might encourage or try to persuade a team, but ultimately they are still going to have to do what the team tells them. At least that's how I've had it explained to me.

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7 hours ago, the admiral said:

The enduring nature of major-market baseball iconography makes this kind of a self-recursive exercise: the best way to show Detroit pride is with the Tigers' own logo.

tom selleck television GIF

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13 hours ago, the admiral said:

The enduring nature of major-market baseball iconography makes this kind of a self-recursive exercise: the best way to show Detroit pride is with the Tigers' own logo.

 

The old english D is baked into this town's fabric so far that most people no longer even think of it as a baseball logo. If you're a rapper from Detroit, I think you're legally required to have it tattooed on your body.

 

If the other Detroit teams tried to do a "city alternative" uniform, their best bet would be to just steal that old english D and put it huge and up front. In fact, if I remember correctly, the Redwings once pretty much did just that.

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