17 Jun Utah Jazz rebrand reaction
The anticipation of the Utah Jazz rebrand had a lot of fans waiting with suspense. It’s hard to say they were waiting with excitement since many leaks had pointed fans to a look that wasn’t to be desired.
Over the last few weeks, many fans spotted a lot of black, white, and highlighter yellow designs making their way to social media with little to no fanfare. In fact, most fans took to social media to express their distain for the leaked jerseys.
Fast forward to release day. The Utah Jazz announce that Purple is back. Purple is back! An original color from the New Orleans days is sticking around. The franchise released a video with the hashtag #purpleisback. Jordan Clarkson appears in the video sporting the 90’s mountain jersey. A fan favorite of many. Then thrown in at the end of the release, almost as an afterthought, black, white, and highlighter yellow.
To be fair, the new jerseys aren’t bad, but they aren’t good either. They’re just boring. It’s a basic font with basic colors. They kept the same design of the side stripes from the previous jerseys, but that’s about it. The biggest problem with these jerseys is that they don’t scream, “Utah Jazz”. The disconnect between ‘modern and sleek’, versus ‘bland and boring’ is palpable. To say the Jazz missed the mark is an understatement. To sum it up, the new look has no identity to what Jazz basketball is.
So what does this mean for the future of the highlighter phase in Jazz history? The big issue comes with the Nike contracts. Nike doesn’t want to be putting time and effort into rebranding franchises every year. Usually their contracts will have a multi-year span saying that the franchise will have to stick it out with their new logos for those years. Don’t be surprised if the Jazz and owner, Ryan Smith try to fight this. He knows all too well that the fans aren’t happy and there is proof of that.
There is a reason why they say, “Purple is Back”. Ryan Smith know that fans aren’t too happy with the new look. That’s why they are pushing purple so hard. They will do everything in their power to move on from this new look as soon as possible. Some may ask why they didn’t do it in the first place, and the answer is simple. Red Tape. They listened when fans saw the leaks and disapproved of the new look. The problem was they didn’t have time to do anything about it. The new jerseys were approved and ready to go. They didn’t have time to revisit designs, get them approved by the NBA, Nike, and the Utah Jazz. Then they would have to send off designs for production. Don’t forget about the team store and all of the merch that matches the new brand.
Maybe by the time the season comes around, the new look will grow on the fans. Maybe it will become more than just some colors. Hopefully the Jazz can find some sort of identity in this mess. It just needs to happen sooner than later.