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Fan Reactions to Jerseys and $$$

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Old
09-04-2013, 11:15 PM
  #1
S2S
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Fan Reactions to Jerseys and $$$

With the unveiling of the Sabres third jersey today and the initial reaction, I was wondering about how a team reacts to the feedback.

With social media and the internet, people can get reaction and feedback quickly. All I have seen is negative feedback in regards to the Sabres jersey, which makes sense, that thing is hideous. Same as that awful black Islanders jersey, I've only ever seen negative feedback for it.

Would enough negative feedback cause a team to rethink a design, or withdraw it? Would they have to wait for poor sales (I realize unless it is an official team store, all jersey money goes to all the teams)?

Has there ever been a quick change of heart by a team in terms of negative feedback, either in a design, ticket plan, or anything team related?

How such an abomination can be decided upon is beyond me, and how someone is paid for that design, but that's more personal opinion and for another thread.

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09-04-2013, 11:24 PM
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I would imagine it would be logistically difficult to arrange a new jersey that quickly. Like I said in another thread, money talks- you can have a jersey that a lot of people hate but if the people who like it are passionate enough to buy it, that's all that matters. I do think that, in theory, a lot of backlash could make the brand look negative and actually hurt the team to the point that it may undo the positives from the direct increased cash flow. But even then any jersey would still last a season- and then the team can use the publicity for when they create a new one to sell even more sweaters.

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09-04-2013, 11:37 PM
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Maybe they made them really bad to create a buzz, like IU's football helmet unveil?

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09-04-2013, 11:48 PM
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Maybe they made them really bad to create a buzz, like IU's football helmet unveil?
Ya. The negative reaction is not catching the Sabres off guard.

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09-05-2013, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S2S View Post
With the unveiling of the Sabres third jersey today and the initial reaction, I was wondering about how a team reacts to the feedback.

With social media and the internet, people can get reaction and feedback quickly. All I have seen is negative feedback in regards to the Sabres jersey, which makes sense, that thing is hideous. Same as that awful black Islanders jersey, I've only ever seen negative feedback for it.

Would enough negative feedback cause a team to rethink a design, or withdraw it? Would they have to wait for poor sales (I realize unless it is an official team store, all jersey money goes to all the teams)?
Yes, and no. They'd still be bound by league design rules though.

Basically, a team is allowed to change their look no more often than every three years. If they add in an alternate, they can scrap it pretty quickly, but it can't be replaced until that three-year window ends. There are other elements too; if a team pulls a look before that window, there may be damages due to apparel or jersey manufacturers to alleviate their deadstock situation. Let's call this window "the Anaheim rule", because they're the ones responsible for it.

This is what made 2007 unique. And it's what makes Buffalo and Anaheim notably greedy; they changed their look in 2006 and sold a ton of jerseys, then double-dipped by being able to sell even more the next year when the Edge came out.

Quote:
Has there ever been a quick change of heart by a team in terms of negative feedback, either in a design, ticket plan, or anything team related?
The Islanders' fisherman look was a noted fiasco that the team did everything in their power to get out of.

Long story short. The Islanders redid their entire...well, everything. They went from blue and orange with a circular crest to navy blue, light blue, orange, gray, and white with the fisherman logo. They did have the lighthouse shoulder patches, which I liked. The backlash was swift and enormous, particularly since the Islanders blew. There were logistical issues as well; the team actually had to have three separate number fonts because of the way that the wavy trim went. The crests on the 1995-96 fisherman jerseys were also extremely large and stiff, so for 1996-97, they were all pulled off the game jerseys and replaced by ones slightly smaller. Game jerseys from 1996-97 actually have visible glue residue around the perimeter.

The team begged the league to help them out of the situation. Their 25th anniversary was the next season (1996-97), and they wanted to "honor the past". The league allowed the Islanders to re-introduce their classic crest, but on the wavy jerseys. It wasn't really an alternate (and fourth jersey), but it was close. For 1997-98, the fisherman was toast and replaced by the wavy jersey with classic crest. For 1998-99, the original jerseys were back (only with navy instead of royal blue), only with a four-slash shoulder patch to commemorate the four Cup-winning teams.

Chronologically, this went from 1994-95 to 1998-99:




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09-05-2013, 11:46 PM
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If they really cared about what the fans want, they'd change the Hurricanes jerseys back to Hartford Whalers jerseys immediately.

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09-06-2013, 12:02 AM
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maybe they will use it as an excuse and try to make a new one before season starts and say "hey fans we were just kidding with you"

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09-06-2013, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Tackla View Post
If they really cared about what the fans want, they'd change the Hurricanes jerseys back to Hartford Whalers jerseys immediately.
Nobody gave a damn about the Whalers when they played, and their uniforms were generally regarded as among the worst in the league. It's only since the move that this revisionist idea that they had good support has taken hold, and their jerseys and logo have achieved some sort of ironic popularity that they never had in the first place.

They're not the first team to have this happen. Anaheim was mocked for years; they changed, and everyone wanted the originals back. Vancouver has changed repeatedly, and it was only around 2006 that the idea of "bring back blue and green" was ever brought up. Washington's old red/white/blue was said to be outdated when they switched to the blue/black/copper, then the move back to a somewhat throwback look in 2007 was nearly universally praised.

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09-06-2013, 12:16 AM
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If they really cared about what the fans want, they'd change the Hurricanes jerseys back to Hartford Whalers jerseys immediately.
that doesn't make any sense.

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09-06-2013, 12:20 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Nobody gave a damn about the Whalers when they played, and their uniforms were generally regarded as among the worst in the league. It's only since the move that this revisionist idea that they had good support has taken hold, and their jerseys and logo have achieved some sort of ironic popularity that they never had in the first place.

They're not the first team to have this happen. Anaheim was mocked for years; they changed, and everyone wanted the originals back. Vancouver has changed repeatedly, and it was only around 2006 that the idea of "bring back blue and green" was ever brought up. Washington's old red/white/blue was said to be outdated when they switched to the blue/black/copper, then the move back to a somewhat throwback look in 2007 was nearly universally praised.

Intriguing.

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09-06-2013, 10:49 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Yes, and no. They'd still be bound by league design rules though.

Basically, a team is allowed to change their look no more often than every three years. If they add in an alternate, they can scrap it pretty quickly, but it can't be replaced until that three-year window ends. There are other elements too; if a team pulls a look before that window, there may be damages due to apparel or jersey manufacturers to alleviate their deadstock situation. Let's call this window "the Anaheim rule", because they're the ones responsible for it.

This is what made 2007 unique. And it's what makes Buffalo and Anaheim notably greedy; they changed their look in 2006 and sold a ton of jerseys, then double-dipped by being able to sell even more the next year when the Edge came out.



The Islanders' fisherman look was a noted fiasco that the team did everything in their power to get out of.

Long story short. The Islanders redid their entire...well, everything. They went from blue and orange with a circular crest to navy blue, light blue, orange, gray, and white with the fisherman logo. They did have the lighthouse shoulder patches, which I liked. The backlash was swift and enormous, particularly since the Islanders blew. There were logistical issues as well; the team actually had to have three separate number fonts because of the way that the wavy trim went. The crests on the 1995-96 fisherman jerseys were also extremely large and stiff, so for 1996-97, they were all pulled off the game jerseys and replaced by ones slightly smaller. Game jerseys from 1996-97 actually have visible glue residue around the perimeter.

The team begged the league to help them out of the situation. Their 25th anniversary was the next season (1996-97), and they wanted to "honor the past". The league allowed the Islanders to re-introduce their classic crest, but on the wavy jerseys. It wasn't really an alternate (and fourth jersey), but it was close. For 1997-98, the fisherman was toast and replaced by the wavy jersey with classic crest. For 1998-99, the original jerseys were back (only with navy instead of royal blue), only with a four-slash shoulder patch to commemorate the four Cup-winning teams.

Chronologically, this went from 1994-95 to 1998-99:



That is very interesting, and I never knew the wavy jersey with the classic crest existed! I also never knew about the Anaheim rule. Thanks.

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09-06-2013, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Nobody gave a damn about the Whalers when they played, and their uniforms were generally regarded as among the worst in the league. It's only since the move that this revisionist idea that they had good support has taken hold, and their jerseys and logo have achieved some sort of ironic popularity that they never had in the first place.
I believe the Whalers uniforms looked better when they were in the WHA (particularly the ones worn during the final 2 seasons - 1977-78 & 1978-79. It was a shame when they changed their look upon entry into the NHL for the 1979-80 season.

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09-06-2013, 12:17 PM
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That is very interesting, and I never knew the wavy jersey with the classic crest existed! I also never knew about the Anaheim rule. Thanks.
Anaheim basically made a complete mockery out of branding. They had the popular original set (starting in 1993-94). They unveiled the Wild Wing alternate in 1995-96, which was their third season; this was to cross-promote a Mighty Ducks kids cartoon. The look was so universally reviled that it was pulled after that one season, and even the next year's media guide contains no pictures or references to it.

Two years later, Anaheim rolled out both a 3rd and a 4th jersey. The green one lasted two seasons, the white one three. Both were gone by the 2000-01 season.

For the 2003-04 season, the Ducks again rolled out an alternate, this being the black baseball script. That lasted two years, and went away with the whole Mighty Ducks motif in 2006.

By the time that the franchise was 15 years old, Anaheim had:
- Four different manufacturers (CCM, Nike, Pro Player, Reebok)
- Three different home jerseys (white original, black airknit, black Edge)
- Three different road jerseys (purple original, white airknit, white Edge)
- Four different alternates (Wild Wing, white dazzle, green dazzle, black script); only one of these made it to a third season

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09-06-2013, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Anaheim basically made a complete mockery out of branding. They had the popular original set (starting in 1993-94). They unveiled the Wild Wing alternate in 1995-96, which was their third season; this was to cross-promote a Mighty Ducks kids cartoon. The look was so universally reviled that it was pulled after that one season, and even the next year's media guide contains no pictures or references to it.

Two years later, Anaheim rolled out both a 3rd and a 4th jersey. The green one lasted two seasons, the white one three. Both were gone by the 2000-01 season.

For the 2003-04 season, the Ducks again rolled out an alternate, this being the black baseball script. That lasted two years, and went away with the whole Mighty Ducks motif in 2006.

By the time that the franchise was 15 years old, Anaheim had:
- Four different manufacturers (CCM, Nike, Pro Player, Reebok)
- Three different home jerseys (white original, black airknit, black Edge)
- Three different road jerseys (purple original, white airknit, white Edge)
- Four different alternates (Wild Wing, white dazzle, green dazzle, black script); only one of these made it to a third season

This is while they were owned by a marketing and branding juggernaut known as Disney?

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09-06-2013, 01:58 PM
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This is while they were owned by a marketing and branding juggernaut known as Disney?
Part of it was. The double-dipping on the total rebranding in 2006 was under the new ownership group.

Regardless, it's not really what I was getting at. I was simply pointing out the extent to which Anaheim made a mockery of branding to the point that the NHL was forced to substantially strengthen the rules regarding how often it could be done.

In the case of my team (Columbus), the first alternate came out in the 4th season. This was a bit different story, because the original home and road were just awful. Those three jerseys remained as they were until the Edge came in, at which point a look fairly similar to the alternate was brought out as the new home/road.

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09-06-2013, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Part of it was. The double-dipping on the total rebranding in 2006 was under the new ownership group.

Regardless, it's not really what I was getting at. I was simply pointing out the extent to which Anaheim made a mockery of branding to the point that the NHL was forced to substantially strengthen the rules regarding how often it could be done.

In the case of my team (Columbus), the first alternate came out in the 4th season. This was a bit different story, because the original home and road were just awful. Those three jerseys remained as they were until the Edge came in, at which point a look fairly similar to the alternate was brought out as the new home/road.

What was the driving force for teams then? If fans didn't like the new jerseys, they spoke with their wallets. IF they did like them and purchased them, why the NHL squelch a revenue stream? Just hit and miss, hoping something would work despite the lackluster responses?

(In your opinion...)

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09-06-2013, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Anaheim basically made a complete mockery out of branding. They had the popular original set (starting in 1993-94). They unveiled the Wild Wing alternate in 1995-96, which was their third season; this was to cross-promote a Mighty Ducks kids cartoon. The look was so universally reviled that it was pulled after that one season, and even the next year's media guide contains no pictures or references to it.

Two years later, Anaheim rolled out both a 3rd and a 4th jersey. The green one lasted two seasons, the white one three. Both were gone by the 2000-01 season.

For the 2003-04 season, the Ducks again rolled out an alternate, this being the black baseball script. That lasted two years, and went away with the whole Mighty Ducks motif in 2006.

By the time that the franchise was 15 years old, Anaheim had:
- Four different manufacturers (CCM, Nike, Pro Player, Reebok)
- Three different home jerseys (white original, black airknit, black Edge)
- Three different road jerseys (purple original, white airknit, white Edge)
- Four different alternates (Wild Wing, white dazzle, green dazzle, black script); only one of these made it to a third season
What do you think of this?




Imo, it is better than the Sabres jersey, and its not even my best work!

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09-06-2013, 06:34 PM
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Sometimes these things take time to sink in. I remember when the Canucks changed last, thinking the only reason it made sense is because I'd been there recently and knew there was a famous killer whale (I'm from Orlando, we had one too). Now, those jerseys seem "right".

But, yeah, that fisherman...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tackla View Post
If they really cared about what the fans want, they'd change the Hurricanes jerseys back to Hartford Whalers jerseys immediately.
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that doesn't make any sense.
The real question is would Hartford fans keep whining even after they got their team back?

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09-06-2013, 09:29 PM
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What was the driving force for teams then? If fans didn't like the new jerseys, they spoke with their wallets. IF they did like them and purchased them, why the NHL squelch a revenue stream? Just hit and miss, hoping something would work despite the lackluster responses?

(In your opinion...)
Short-term revenue stream, yes. Long-term, debatable.

If teams had the chance to continuously trot out new looks year after year, fans would eventually stop buying them entirely for fear that today's full-price jersey (and logo, and color scheme) will be on clearance tomorrow while clearing the way for yet another new look.

In the case of Anaheim, it was apparent that they never had any interest in creating a new look, just a different one. Several teams converted popular alternates to a full-time home or road jersey: Boston, Calgary, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Ottawa, Philadelphia, St. Louis, San Jose, Washington, and I believe Toronto. Columbus didn't do a direct switch, but incorporated the alternate logo and several elements into their revamped Edge. Others (Boston, Colorado, Buffalo, NY Rangers, Edmonton, Phoenix, etc) had good enough alternates that they lasted well beyond the three-year window. This is all from the pre-Reebok era.

Short version (because this is brevity for me): the alternate program was designed for teams to experiment with new looks, whether to modernize, go retro, or do market research to transition to something new. Anaheim's intent was basically a money grab, and threatened to destabilize the entire program thing if it continued without restrictions.

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09-06-2013, 09:33 PM
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What do you think of this?

Imo, it is better than the Sabres jersey, and its not even my best work!
I haven't been physically ill in 13 years, but I just came close.

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