SBD/November 21, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Padres' Use Of Camouflage Jerseys Launched Influential Uniform Trend

Camouflage jerseys are one of the more popular uniform trends in sports
The Padres in ‘00 “wore a camouflage jersey for one game, as a salute to San Diego's strong military culture” and as a result “deserve credit -- or, if you prefer, blame -- for an innovation that has reshaped the look of modern sports,” according to Paul Lukas of ESPN.com. Thirteen years later, the Padres' camouflage jersey is “now a standard part of the team's wardrobe, worn for every Sunday home game.” Camouflage unis “have spread throughout every nook and cranny of the sports world, all the way down to Pop Warner and Little League teams.” Lukas: “Aside from the ubiquitous use of black jerseys, the increasing use of camouflage is probably the biggest uniform trend of the past decade.” A single camouflage uniform is a “laudable gesture,” but collectively “they've begun to constitute a de facto campaign of political messaging that raises troubling questions about the role of the military in the sports world” (ESPN.com, 11/20).

IN SHORT ORDER: Sports apparel manufacturer Crons President & CEO Pat Cavanaugh said of short-sleeve NBA jerseys, “This is something, with the third jersey and all these alternative jerseys, the players like because from a fashion perspective, it’s something different.” NBA VP/Apparel, Sporting Goods & Basketball Partnerships Christopher Arena said that the league will “evaluate how the jerseys function before expanding their use.” He said that retail sales “will not factor much into the NBA's plan.” However, SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said that if the jerseys “sell well enough, they could become the norm” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/21).
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