April 6, 2021

The Boston Bananas

I may be old and in the way, but these yellow and blue uniforms are ugly. And more importantly, they are a cheap marketing gimmick, a live-action advertisement in MLB's never-ending drive to make an extra buck.

The team will be inflicting these monstrosities on us on April 17. The Red Sox are one of seven teams (Marlins, White Sox, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Giants, Dodgers) wearing these alternative uniforms this year. "They will be worn for multiple seasons and the collection will eventually grow [by 2023] to encapsulate the entire league."

Red Sox executive Adam Grossman calls this business collaboration "an opportunity to celebrate the spirit of a weekend that is uniquely Boston". These colors recognize Boston's "boldness, culture and creativity".

[T]he blue and yellow colors are born from Boston's Boylston Street, the major artery of the city where the Boston Marathon takes place. The yellow and blue are ringers for the same colors used on the permanent finish line painted on the street. The "Boston" typeface, with its stenciled appearance, is meant to mirror the street paint itself. On the left sleeve you'll see a racing bib, another nod to the marathon.
If you say so. That article also notes that the idea for these uniforms was "honed and pruned" over a "three-year development process". Three years!

Apparently, there are marketing people out there who believe uniforms like this will cause younger people who are not baseball fans to regularly watch games listing more than three hours.

The average TV viewer for MLB is 57 years old, according to one poll—15 years older than the average TV viewer for the National Basketball Association (NBA). . . . [O]ver the next decade, the MLB needs to recruit younger fans, and those fans need to watch games, to sustain the sport for generations to come.

Uniforms are one way to do that. As apparel companies have demonstrated with the NBA, novel apparel, created for limited time events rather than just home or away games, can not only convince fans to buy more jerseys, but can also welcome new fans with whom traditional jerseys might not resonate.
I don't understand how a "limited time" shirt can create long-term fans who will keep spending money, but I guess that's why I'm not running my own marketing firm.

1 comment:

johngoldfine said...

Is there a suggestion that our new BOSTON players should be forbidden stirrup socks, lest their snazzy new duds be marred by an unacceptable yellow/red color clash? Farewell to the 'Scarlet Hose', beloved of lazy headline writers?