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Nike Launches New MLB City Connect Uniform Series

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On 4/9/2021 at 10:16 PM, SSmith48 said:

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. 

This is exactly it.

 

Take the Bucks original City uniform, for example...

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... a perfectly acceptable uniform on it’s own, which fits right into the rest of the branding, to the point that you wouldn’t even know it’s a City jersey (subtly alluding to the “Cream City”) if not for its label.

 

And then, after being forced to come up with a new design (or two) every year, you degrade to a look like this...

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... not necessarily a bad uniform in its own right, the colors go together nice, but it doesn’t fit at all with the rest of the brand and only causes confusion.

 

If the Bucks and other teams were allowed to keep one City design and stick with it, this program would have turned out a lot better aesthetically, allowing the City design to fit within a team’s current branding rather than always shifting away from it. Instead, we got what was the most obvious cash-grab aspect of the program, with every team now releasing at least one new jersey every year.

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8 hours ago, projectjohn said:

It was posted in one of the NBA threads a year or two ago that Nike indeed dictates the uniform schedule for the entire season, corroborated by a news article, not just someone’s hearsay. Hopefully MLB negotiated better terms.

Why did the NBA give Nike so much power?

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14 minutes ago, Quillz said:

Why did the NBA give Nike so much power?


The teams make money when more jerseys are sold (and don’t forget the entire new lines of non-jersey merch these things unlock).

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Do people think Turn Ahead the Clock was worse than this?

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6 minutes ago, Ark said:

Do people think Turn Ahead the Clock was worse than this?

Not necessarily, but if it becomes a league wide thing (which it probably will by next year) then yes it will be.

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5 minutes ago, Ark said:

Do people think Turn Ahead the Clock was worse than this?

 

 

No, not at all.  I didn't mind Turn Ahead the Clock, in fact I'll go ahead and say that I liked it.  Here's why - 

  • They were worn during the very late 90s... people were kind of excited about a new millennium. I remember going from 1999 to 2000 feeling like sort of a big deal.  So there was kind of an air of "what does the future hold?" around that time.  (side note - I think it's kind of cool to think that we (well, at least those of us over 21) have lived our lives in two separate millennia.  Only a small percentage of people throughout history can say that)
  • From what I remember, they only were around for 1 or 2 seasons, and even during those seasons, they were worn very sparingly.  So they did not feel "overwhelming" and they certainly did not feel like a threat to any team's real identities.
  • Regardless of whatever intentions there were, they did not feel like a shameless corporate cash grab.  They legitimately felt like something the league wanted to try out to make things fun.
  • Teams were not required to participate in the program if they did not want to.

 

Things that would have made them suck - 

  • If the league kept trying to force the program to exist every year, and for every team, even after it had run its course and lost its novelty, and fans had grown tired of it.
    • And they would have sucked even more if each year, each team had a new TATC uniform that could look nothing like the one from the year before.
  • If teams over-wore them.
  • If teams wore them when their opponent didn't (I don't think this ever happened - I think in every TATC game, both teams wore their TATC uniforms.  I might be remembering wrong.)

 

Now, those things listed just above, are things that I am really concerned Nike will do with the City Connect uniforms.  Nike might show restraint and prove me wrong, but it's just so hard to see what they've done to the NBA and not think they are going to do it to MLB.

 

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1 hour ago, Ark said:

Do people think Turn Ahead the Clock was worse than this?

 

At least the Yankees were still the Yankees and able to opt out... and at least the overwhelming majority of the teams still wore their colors and logos.  

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As I remember it the TATC things were only worn once each? Maybe I’m misremembering. 

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Turn Ahead the Clock was infinitely less offensive than what Nike is doing. They didn't feel like the same kind of corporate cash grab; I believe the idea emerged from someone within the Seattle front office. Teams could opt out of they wanted to. The designs were so goofy (clearly just having fun with the new millennium upon us), that they didn't pose any real threat to the brand identities of the MLB teams. They clearly weren't intended to have any real staying power.

 

The problem with the current situation is that MLB and Nike seem intent upon making game apparel seem more "street hip" in order to sell more merchandise. This explains the Marlins new identity, the disastrous player's weekend sets, and the City Connect series. As many have pointed out, they're clearly going down the path of the NBA here.

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5 minutes ago, Marlins93 said:

The problem with the current situation is that MLB and Nike seem intent upon making game apparel seem more "street hip" in order to sell more merchandise. This explains the Marlins new identity, the disastrous player's weekend sets, and the City Connect series. As many have pointed out, they're clearly going down the path of the NBA here.

The unfortunate thing is, of course, that the problem with baseball isn't "we're not hip enough", it's "why should I watch nine innings of this when I can watch four quarters of football or basketball or three periods of hockey and get more excitement out of it?".

 

Baseball's problem is that the game is just not really that physical or fast-flowing. It's basically the new-age golf; a niche sport for older folks who like it but that doesn't draw in the casual viewer beyond maybe the World Series.

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Over the years, baseball has become a hyper-localized sport. There are no transcendent 'national' stars that compare to NFL and NBA star recognition, and very few teams that draw crowds on the road. Everyday regular season baseball is geared towards home markets (local TV/radio) and most of the other teams and players are largely interchangeable, anonymous opponents. National ratings are low until the playoffs, and even then they trail other leagues by massive margins (ratings are roughly: NFL 30m viewers/game, NBA 3m/game, MLB 1.8m/game).

 

Unveiling a uniform series that will largely focus on niche/marginal aspects of each city's identity while subjugating each club's actual and nationally recognized brand seems like such a dumb idea. But maybe after fixing the intentional walk a couple years ago to speed up the game, this will finally be the fix that cures all of baseball's ills.

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24 minutes ago, schlim said:

Over the years, baseball has become a hyper-localized sport. There are no transcendent 'national' stars that compare to NFL and NBA star recognition, and very few teams that draw crowds on the road.

 

Unveiling a uniform series that will largely focus on niche/marginal aspects of each city's identity while subjugating each club's actual and nationally recognized brand seems like such a dumb idea. But maybe after fixing the intentional walk a couple years ago to speed up the game, this will finally be the fix that cures all of baseball's ills.

I think a lot of this is because MLB does a horrible job of marketing their players.  Guys like Trout, Yelich, Tatis, Jr., Acuna Jr., Soto, and many others should be getting a lot more publicity than they do.  Maybe if the MLB marketing actually tried like the NFL and NBA do, they'd have more transcendent national stars.

 

With thinking like you put out in that second paragraph (and I appreciate the sarcasm there) I think you might be on to something. 🤣

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I am a Tampa bay Rays fan (if you couldnt tell by my picture) and I dislike the Red Sox. I dislike many of their fans. Especially since they won in 2004. Many of them forgot what it was to lose and became carbon copies of many over the top Yankee fans. Again. Not all Red Sox fans. But many. Especially here in Florida. Many of these Red Sox fans never left the state of Florida, yet alone been to Massachusetts. But because their parents, or their best friends, aunts, next-doors, butcher was from Boston...they were Red Sox fans magically in 2004. You know the Spaceballs scene. 

Well that being said. I don't wish these uniforms on the Red Sox or Red Sox fans. There is no RED in them. Yellow and light blue are more Tampa Bay Rays colors. Leave traditional teams alone. 

You want to mess with the Marlins, Diamondbacks, Rays, etc....sure

But leave alone the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Dodgers, Cubs. These are the teams and colors that built this game. 

When a person that dislikes the Red Sox as much as I do is saying these are wrong...you know they are wrong.   

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7 hours ago, Quillz said:

Why did the NBA give Nike so much power?

 

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6 hours ago, tp49 said:

I think a lot of this is because MLB does a horrible job of marketing their players.  Guys like Trout, Yelich, Tatis, Jr., Acuna Jr., Soto, and many others should be getting a lot more publicity than they do.  Maybe if the MLB marketing actually tried like the NFL and NBA do, they'd have more transcendent national stars.

 

With thinking like you put out in that second paragraph (and I appreciate the sarcasm there) I think you might be on to something. 🤣

Maybe if those guys had more personality than a wet napkin they would be National stars. Bryce Harper is pretty well known nationally and that’s mostly from calling a reporter a clown.

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At least the company Dugout Creative kept their City Edition concept uniforms within reason

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10 hours ago, tp49 said:

I think a lot of this is because MLB does a horrible job of marketing their players.  Guys like Trout, Yelich, Tatis, Jr., Acuna Jr., Soto, and many others should be getting a lot more publicity than they do.  

 

At what point is it the players' fault and not anyone else's?  Not that I blame him for taking the money, but Trout chose to play in anonymity and obscurity, and to my knowledge has no national TV deals (of course... does he even need/want the money for those?)  Since he's on a team I never see, I've actually seen him more at Eagles games than playing the sport at which he's considered the best.  As for those other guys, doesn't one of them have a silly BMW or Porsche ad?  But that's it.  Do they even speak English fluently (I really don't know - maybe they do) but if not then that doesn't help either.

 

The answer to the problem might be for MLB to engineer its league, and "move" players to places where they can be better marketed or at least well known.  Not unlike when Gretzky was traded to LA.

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"No one in this world, so far as I know - and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me - has ever lost money by underestimating the sartorial sensibilities of sports franchise owners, professional athletes, and the great masses of the plain people."

 

- H.L. Mencken, Nike Senior Creative Director Emeritus

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52 minutes ago, BBTV said:

The answer to the problem might be for MLB to engineer its league, and "move" players to places where they can be better marketed or at least well known.  Not unlike when Gretzky was traded to LA.

 

Trout is already in the second-largest media market. What is the commissioner's office supposed to do, reassign him to the Dodgers? Do they need help in the outfield?

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58 minutes ago, BBTV said:

 

 

At what point is it the players' fault and not anyone else's?  Not that I blame him for taking the money, but Trout chose to play in anonymity and obscurity, and to my knowledge has no national TV deals (of course... does he even need/want the money for those?)  Since he's on a team I never see, I've actually seen him more at Eagles games than playing the sport at which he's considered the best.  As for those other guys, doesn't one of them have a silly BMW or Porsche ad?  But that's it.  Do they even speak English fluently (I really don't know - maybe they do) but if not then that doesn't help either.

 

The answer to the problem might be for MLB to engineer its league, and "move" players to places where they can be better marketed or at least well known.  Not unlike when Gretzky was traded to LA.

 

Except Trout already plays in the LA market. Even when Yelich was the reigning MVP,  you still never saw the Brewers on national television except for the occasional match with the Cubs or Cards.

 

I'm blaming the league because the NBA would never allow this to happen. They don't give the Nets the shaft the way MLB does the Angels because they're not the "glamour" team in that market. And playing in Milwaukee hasn't stopped them from promoting Giannis as one of their top stars and putting the Bucks in the national spotlight.

 

Even when MLB steals ideas from the NBA, they can't even figure out the right ones to steal.

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