Saturday, August 18, 2007

Is It Really The Jersey?

I ran across a snippet on Tom Benjamin's blog "Sad But True" - Here is a story that has probably the most rediculous quote I have ever read. This story reports on the new jersey that will debut in the NHL next season. Granted - new jerseys happen, Koho use to make them and now Reebock does - there is always some type of change year after year. According to this article they are revamping the entire look, fit and feel of the sweaters worn by these ice warriors.

Here is a link to the story on

So - the quote I am refering to was made by Keith Leach, director of NHL Uniforms for Reebok (the company responsible for the overhaul) ...

"The League sat down and brainstormed about what would be the biggest improvement for the game and the uniform was first and foremost"

When I read this at first I laughed thinking this guy has to be kidding ... I honestly continued reading waiting patiently for the punchline. Then I began thinking - If I were the NHL and I sat down with the Director of NHL Uniforms for Reebock ... am I going to talk to him about my consessions margin, my ticket sales or fan penetration in specific markets, my very pitiful and weak marketing program and branding issues ... probably not. I am going to talk to him about ..... *drum roll please* ... The uniforms Reebock manufactures for me! I think the reason the uniforms were "First and Foremost" the biggest improvement in Keith's eyes is because the ONLY piece of the NHL that he controls is the uniform - and he really doesnt control that ... he is basically the Admin Assistant for the NHL at Reebock headquarters. The NHL says "We are changing our uniforms" ... are we to believe that Keith is going to turn around and say WHOAAAH NHL ... are you sure you want to do that ... think about tradition, the fan reactions, the players reactions ... Absolutely not! Keith turns around runs to his boss and says "The NHL wants to change their uniforms!" - Let the negotiations and presentations begin!

"Reportedly, the result of two years of Reebok research it incorporates the company's "Edge" system, which offers lighter, more breathable fabric that allows for a greater range of movement, and two new technologies -- Bead Away and Playdry -- which wick away moisture, providing for a significantly drier jersey over 60 sweaty minutes."

This I can understand - this quote from the article makes perfect sense, and I think this is a GREAT step forward for the NHL. One that will afford the players a more comfortable experience on the ice - which, in turn, will allow them to focus on other areas of their game and improve the overall play on the ice. I think the tighter fit will help in offensive attacks also - since the players wont have the loose sweaters which hides holds and hooks ... as with all changes in anything there is the adjustment period.

Lastly - the best part of the article is at the end where they actually ask the fasion industry their thoughts ... excuse me, arnt we talking about Hockey???

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