Can jerseys unite a team? A community? A country? You bet they can.
With the historical playoff run coming to an end for the Winnipeg Jets, the ‘Whiteout’ also came to a close for another year.
The Whiteout, for those who haven’t heard, is Winnipeg’s unique tradition where virtually every fan agrees to wear the whitest outfit they can possibly find. For most fans, the garment of choice is the Jet’s white ‘away’ jersey. Many other professional sports franchises are now doing the same thing. In Nashville, more popularly known as Smashville, fans don the gold home jerseys as a show of support for their team.
It has become abundantly clear to professional sports teams that jerseys are an important part of the team identity (and marketing revenue!)
Since the dawn of sport, teams have been wearing jerseys. Early on, jerseys were simply a way to distinguish players on each team. In recent years, the impact of jersey from a psychological point-of-view has become more clearly understood. Teams have come to realize that jerseys play a crucial role in uniting players and intimidating opponents.
Aside from perhaps the logo, the jersey is the most recognizable feature of the team’s brand. As such most teams take great pride to ensure colours, fonts, and styling represent the club’s identity in the most professional and intimidating manner possible.
Now fans are catching on, as team jerseys have been adopted by fans en masse. It wasn’t always this way. Before the 1990s fans almost never wore jerseys. We have a great photo at Keener Jerseys, an image of the Old Jets arena with almost no fans wearing jerseys.
But alas, no longer. Fans love to wear team jerseys. Especially the jerseys worn by their home team.
One interesting point about fan jerseys, specialty jerseys typically don’t sell very well (not high volumes anyway). Keener has mentioned often over the years that fans ‘like to wear what the players wear’. It’s true. It is why most fans like to buy the jersey worn by their home team (except for a special occasion like the Whiteout). It’s also why All-Star jerseys or fashion jerseys are not popular with casual fans. For example, in the early 1990s Starter came out with a black version of every NHL team’s jerseys. The thinking was that the black style would be a cool/edgy effect that fans would like. However, because the jerseys were not worn by the team, the average fan wasn’t interested.
For sports teams, the jersey has grown in importance. Players and coaches want to look professional. Fans want to part of the game. Since most fans aren’t able to jump on the ice and score goals, the jersey has become the tie that binds.
WE’VE ALL COME TO AN UNDERSTANDING: IF YOU WANT TO BE PART OF THE TEAM, GET A JERSEY AND GET IN ON THE ACTION.
What’s Your Favourite Team/Fan Jersey Tradition? I.e Jets Whiteout? Flames Sea of Red?
CONSIDERING NEW JERSEYS FOR YOUR HOCKEY TEAM? SEE BELOW!