MLB expected to make over $1 billion in Nike uniform deal — and jersey sponsors seem inevitable

If you’ve seen a new MLB uniform unveiling or an introductory player press conference this winter, you’ve likely noticed that the Nike swoosh now can be found prominently on the front chest of every jersey across the league. The addition of the swoosh comes as Nike takes over as MLB’s official uniform outfitter. It is part of a 10-year deal that began this offseason. Majestic had previously handled MLB uniforms.

Plenty of people aren’t happy with Nike putting their logo on the front of every jersey, especially when it comes to some of the timeless classic uniforms like those belonging to the Yankees and Cardinals. Some think the swoosh could have less intrusive placement, like on a jersey sleeve, while others want it gone completely.

But MLB will weather the storm and have few regrets regarding their decision if the financial reward is anywhere near what it’s expected to be. According to the New York Post, the 10-year agreement between Nike, MLB and Fanatics is valued at over $1 billion.

In addition to the monetary benefit, it’s also believed that the unavoidable presence of the swoosh on MLB uniforms is going to help the league appeal to a younger audience.

“Demand is up significantly based on adding the swoosh to the uniform and is bringing in younger consumers to the sport and a marketing halo from Nike,” Fanatics founder and executive chairman Michael Rubin told the Post

Purists may be up in arms over the swoosh, which is the first manufacturer’s logo to ever grace the front of a MLB uniform, but they should probably get used to it. Not only is Nike’s logo unlikely to go anywhere, but it will likely lead to MLB putting additional branding on jerseys in the near future. MLB executive president of business and sales Noah Garden said it’s “inevitable” that jersey patch sponsorships are coming.

“We’re examining the patch, but clearly we have things to work through first,” said Garden, via Sports Business Daily. “I’d say it’s inevitable down the road, but certainly not immediate. This is something that requires a fairly long runway. There are lots of things to take into consideration, but I think we will get there.”

It’s believed that jersey ad patches could arrive as soon as 2022, when the league enters a new labor deal with the MLBPA. As the league seeks to lay the groundwork for jersey sponsorship, players could use it as a bargaining chip in CBA negotiations as a way to gain concessions.

That means MLB would be following a similar path as the one the NBA has taken in recent years. Nike became the official outfitter of the NBA in 2017 and made sure the swoosh was prominent on the front of jerseys. Soon thereafter, the NBA also saw a rise in jersey sponsorships. The jerseys ads were initially met with resistance from fans, which is to be expected, but the pushback eventually died down. Fans got used to is. As of 2019, all 30 NBA teams have a sponsorship patch on their jersey.

It seems fair to expect a similar sort of progression with MLB, though the resistance may be a bit stronger considering the prominence of baseball purists. It’s a sport that’s heavily rooted in history and tradition, and one that doesn’t have a fantastic track record of being progressive or kind to change.

But whether you like it or not, baseball jerseys are changing. Tht little Nike swoosh may just be the beginning.

For the Army-Navy game, every Mids player wears a military patch, and every patch tells a story

In every way but one, this military patch looks like all the others that have been affixed throughout the years onto the flight suits of those in the Naval Aviation Schools Command. On a background of olive green sits a navy-blue triangle jammed with symbols: an anchor, a shield centered on a pair of wings, a lit torch and two swords whose tips meet to form a point.

The only element that distinguishes this specific patch from its siblings is the black bar that has been stitched across it. The bar bears not a name but a date — Dec. 6, 2019.

That was the day a Saudi airman opened fire on a classroom at Naval Air Station Pensacola, killing three people and wounding eight. Among those killed was Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in May and who last month reported to Pensacola to begin aviation training.

On Saturday, Navy senior outside linebacker and team captain Nizaire Cromartie will honor the victims of the shooting when he wears the NASC Memorial Patch on his uniform, just below his left shoulder pad and just above his heart, in the 120th installment of the Army-Navy game.

“When I asked him if he wanted to wear it, he sent me a message back and I explained to him the situation,” including that one of the victims was an academy graduate, said Greg Morgenthaler, Navy’s associate athletic director for equipment operations. “His words — it was true leadership of a Navy captain: ‘I would be honored and blessed to play for this young man.’ ”

All Navy players will wear a patch honoring a military unit for the game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, where Navy (9-2) will play for its first win against Army (5-7) since 2015.

Midshipmen players have worn unit patches on their Army-Navy game uniforms for at least 29 years, a tradition that has become so deeply embedded that no one in the athletic department knows when it actually started. Each fall, every player dressing for the rivalry game gets to pick a patch to wear. If they don’t have a one in mind — it’s common to wear the unit patch of a loved one who has served — players can choose from the team stockpile.

Not every patch is worn in remembrance like the NASC Memorial Patch will be Saturday. The Midshipmen pick their patches for a variety of reasons — some wear patches from ships named for their home states, some choose the patches of former players, and some choose solely based on colors.

But make no mistake, there are rules to the selection process. Wearing patches from Strike Fighter Squadron 154, which coincidentally shares the nickname “Black Knights” with the Army football team, is outlawed. Players also aren’t allowed to wear patches of Army or Air Force units without having a family tie or another good reason; this year, quarterback Malcolm Perry was one such exception.

Sometimes players are asked to wear a specific patch. Vice Adm. Sean Buck, the Naval Academy superintendent, requested this week that a player wear the NASC Memorial Patch.

“Those are the ones that I push to guys first — not that I force it on them, but I’ll explain the situation, then leave it up to them,” said Morgenthaler, who keeps patches of units that will be deployed while the Army-Navy game is played in his desk drawer. “If they look good, the kids are going to want to wear them. But, yeah, there are limits. The whole purpose of doing this is to honor Navy and Marine Corps units in one of the most visible ways possible.”

Beginning around late October every season, the Navy football equipment offices are turned into a patch buffet. Hundreds of patches of different colors and shapes are spread across tables for players to peruse, with ships or weapons or animals — dragons appear frequently — depicted on each one.

Morgenthaler, whose staff oversees the patches, likes to keep a stockpile of between 300 and 500 in storage containers year-round. When the supply runs low, Scott Strasemeier, Navy’s senior associate athletic director for sports information, will put out a call on social media.

“We probably got around 400 patches this year from that alone,” Morgenthaler said.

Some of the patches arrive with handwritten notes, usually from former football players or Naval Academy alumni, and units or ships will often send patches in bulk so the team has them on hand for future games. The service members sending patches aren’t tearing them off uniforms; they’re usually purchased in a ship store or online.

The equipment staff gives players until around Thanksgiving to make their selections. Then their work begins.

This year, equipment staffers Peter Ford and Shari Mangas were tasked with sewing not just one but three patches onto every uniform — one for each unit, one for college football’s 150th anniversary and one for the American Athletic Conference. That came out to 375 in total, with each patch taking between five to 10 minutes to sew.

“The circular ones? Those are Pete’s favorite ones,” Morgenthaler said. “No weird edges.”

While the players aren’t necessarily privy to the labor that goes into preparing the Army-Navy jerseys, they do know that patch selection can be serious business. Having a patch featured on a nationally broadcast football game is a huge source of pride for those within the unit.

Perry, the starting quarterback, was presented with his patch this year when the 105th Attack Squadron, a Tennessee Air National Guard squadron nicknamed “Old Hickory” that is based less than an hour away from Perry’s hometown of Clarksville, Tenn., invited the team captain for a special tour of its drone facility over the summer.

Ford Higgins, another senior captain, also had his selection sorted before the season began. The center will be wearing the patch of the 2nd Battalion 8th Marines, dubbed “America’s Battalion” for how many major conflicts it has been involved in, because he was asked to by a mentor, former player Adam West, when West visited fall camp.

West “wore number 72 before me. He’s an infantry Marine now, and he sent a nice letter along with his patch,” Higgins said. “He was a huge influence on me, and you take pride in who wears the number before you and who comes after.”

There is one patch that the athletic department gets onto a jersey every Army-Navy game: the SEAL Team 3 patch from former Navy lacrosse and football player Brendan Looney.

Looney was one of nine service members killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2010. Since his death, Stacie Michaud, an assistant athletic director for sports information who works with both the lacrosse and football teams, has asked the player who best embodies Looney’s leadership characteristics to wear the patch.

Michaud, who keeps a SEAL Team 3 patch in her press box credentials during the Army-Navy game, knew for years she would ask linebacker and captain Paul Carothers to wear the patch his senior year.

“It was pretty cool,” Carothers said. “Miss Stacie asked me about it, told me what it meant, and she felt that I was able to wear it proudly and carry on Brendan Looney’s legacy well. Of course, it was a yes.”

Christmas Day Basketball Jerseys Are Gone But Will Never Be Forgotten

It all started with a snowflake on Christmas in 2008. Scheduling a slate of five games throughout that day for the first time ever, the NBA showcased their best and brightest stars on the hardwood, all donning jerseys with a simple white ice crystal design surrounding their iconic logo. Before then, the NBA only featured one or two games on Christmas, a practice that started in 1947. The teams involved would wear their usual uniforms with no nod to the holiday. But that changed in 2008, when an understated snowflake design first appeared on the upper left chest of the jerseys of the teams playing. And just in case the snowflakes were too subtle, the NBA also scheduled one game that year where opposing teams wore hallmark Christmas hues of green or red as part of their uniforms.

That was the standard holiday attire until 2012, when the league and its then-uniform partner, Adidas, took a dramatic approach to Christmas jerseys, spearheading the “Big Color” campaign. Sans snowflakes, 10 teams sported monochromatic versions of their unis that year. Bold, garish, and hard to read with tonal lettering, they were eyesores on HDTVs across the country. But those 2012 uniforms marked a significant change in how the league differentiated franchises worthy of balling in the Yuletide games.

“[The NBA] decided to introduce new Christmas designs as a merchandising gimmick,” explained Paul Lukas of Uni Watch. “New uniforms on the court, new product to sell at retail.”

Every Christmas Day since 2012, Adidas tried out new jersey designs in hopes of securing the bag and finding something that resonated with fans. In 2013, superstars like Kevin Durant, then an Oklahoma City Thunder player, and James Harden of the Houston Rockets, wore sleeved jerseys with big team logos on the chests, but these “Big Logo” jerseys weren’t exactly popular. Steph Curry straight-up called them “ugly” after a loss that year, while Dallas Mavericks’ legend Dirk Nowitzki took to Twitter to deem the sleeved jerseys “awful.” Former Blazers’ big man Robin Lopez even called for “a mass burning of these sleeved NBA jerseys” on his social feed.

LeBron James didn’t co-sign them either, but his concerns were less aesthetic and more basketball-oriented. Days before his Miami Heat took the court on Christmas Day, James told journalist Joseph Goodman, “I can’t have my shooters out there worrying about some sleeves and not shooting the ball.” Eventually, James’ frustration with the NBA’s Christmas uniforms peaked two years later when “The King,” by then back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, literally ripped the sleeves off his jersey during a primetime game to improve his shooting motion. “The whole sleeved thing, whether on Christmas or for any other game, never worked,” Lukas tells Complex. “Keep it buried.”

The following year, Adidas cut the sleeved jerseys and scaled back the big logos, but added players’ first names on the backs of the uniforms. It was cute, but not quite what fans or players wanted. Still, in 2015, the NBA and The Three Stripes finally found a design that stuck. That year, players wore jerseys with their team names in old-fashioned script, recalling holiday cards of yore. That looked stayed for 2016, but once Nike took over the NBA’s apparel contract in 2017, the mini-tradition of Christmas-specific jerseys ended without so much as a press release explaining why. The news basically broke on the courts as people tuned in for the Christmas games. And fans weren’t in a jolly mood. “Nike not having Christmas unis this year is wack AF,” said content creator and host of the Flagrant 2 podcast, Kazeem Famuyide, in a now-deleted tweet. And that pretty much summed up fans’ reaction to the lack of Christmas gear that year.

Even though Nike hasn’t created uniforms for any of the last three Christmases, the company has pioneered its own holiday tradition of sorts, introducing “City Edition” jerseys in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. This year every team (minus the Memphis Grizzlies, who haven’t explained why) unveiled snazzy new uniforms that incorporate city zip codes and cultural elements into each jersey. And they had the media and fans buzzing with excitement.

Some, like the Denver Nuggets’ modern take on their classic ’80s rainbow skyline jerseys, were considered a drip and “just beautiful,” as Sports Illustrated gushed. OKC scored points for their social consciousness with uniforms honoring the victims and survivors of that city’s 1995 bombing. Graffiti and hip-hop culture influenced both the Los Angeles Clippers’ Old-English Mister Cartoon-designed uniforms and the Brooklyn Nets’ Notorious B.I.G. “Bed Stuy” jerseys, created by graf legend Eric Haze. Despite those successes, a few City Edition uniforms have been headscratchers. Let’s see a show of hands from people who knew that Milwaukee was called “Cream City.” And then there are the “WTF” uniforms, like the Dallas Mavericks’ Fresh Prince of Bel-Air-style anomalies.

But sadly, outside of wearing special edition warm-ups on Christmas Day, which an NBA rep confirmed will occur this year, there will be no special jawns for the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, and the rest of the sport’s superstars to don by tip-off. Still, if there are special warm-ups on the horizon, they might be a sign that Christmas Day unis will be resurrected soon.

However, as it stands, that’s not officially in Nike’s or the NBA’s plans and that’s a real shame. No other sport competes with basketball on Christmas, so watching our favorite players in some exclusive ish just adds a special feeling to an already cherished day. Even though the concept was in its infant stages by the time Adidas’ apparel contract ceased, it became a beloved custom for hoops fans to look forward to, like spiked eggnog or walking the snow-covered streets with a mistletoe strapped to your head. Wearing City Edition unis, or any of the other standard designs, just doesn’t give off that “once-a-year” aura since teams will wear them throughout the season and the playoffs. Sure, a few designs from the past should be left there, but the way Nike has been churning out creative joints since teaming up with the NBA, there are likely no bounds to the flyness The Swoosh could add to some Christmas uniforms. But if they won’t do that, at the very least, please bring back the snowflake.

Lotto-Soudal become the latest team to reveal their 2020 kit

Not only is it the season to be merry, it’s also the season cycling teams reveal the kit we’ll spend hours watching on our screens or at the roadside during the coming season. With more black and blocky colours, this year’s offering from Lotto-Soudal is set to be among the most striking we’ll see during 2020.

With Vermac designing the new kit the Belgian team have stayed to the faithful to their compatriot company who have added far more black than previous designs.

The team don’t just have a men’s squad, but also boast an under-23 development squad and a women’s team. Indeed the women’s jersey differs slightly from the men’s, the main sponsors’ names swapping places.

In total four British riders will wear the new jerseys in 2020. Abby-Mae Parkinson and Danny Christmas will be representing the women’s squad, while both Jon Dibben and Matt Holmes have signed for the men’s WorldTour outfit.

The team have been on the up in recent years and the new kit will also adorn some big international names, with Australian sprinter, Caleb Ewan chief among them.

In his first year at the Belgian squad, Ewan bagged 10 of the team’s 23 victories. Three at July’s Tour de France were the standout results, with the final stage on the Champs Elysées the most obvious success.

While team stalwarts like Tim Wellens and Thomas de Gendt are set to continue bringing success in the new kit, the team have recruited well.

This year’s Paris-Roubaix winner Philippe Gilbert is returning to the squad he spent two successful seasons with nearly ten years ago. And if their classics squad wasn’t strong enough already, John Degenkolb, another Paris-Roubaix winner, also makes the move.

U.S. women’s national soccer team named TIME’s 2019 athlete of the year

The 2019 TIME athlete of the year isn’t a single person after all. Instead, the publication looked at the entire sports landscape and concluded that all 23 women on the U.S. women’s national soccer team were deserving of the honor.

There was simply no other choice. No other athlete or team captivated and impacted the world in 2019 more than the USWNT.

The choice wasn’t just about on-field results. Yes, the women won the World Cup in dominating fashion. A 13-0 drubbing of Thailand kicked things off, and a 2-0 victory against the Netherlands in the final completed that run.

On the way, the USWNT inspired and ignited folks around the world — and in the United States — both politically and socially. The team’s fight for equal pay became a rallying cry among both casual fans and those powerful enough to create legislation that could alter soccer’s status quo.

Megan Rapinoe was the talk of the event, not just because she scored six goals and received the Golden Boot award, but also because she stood up for her beliefs and did not back down when President Donald Trump came after her.

And while some were angry about the women’s willingness to speak out on issues they believed were important, the numbers suggest many embraced — or were at least interested by — the team’s message and approach.

The team’s jerseys became the highest-selling soccer shirts in Nike’s history. On the online retailer Fanatics, U.S. jersey sales spiked 500% over the 2015 World Cup. Global viewership of the tournament more than doubled per match, and a combined 1.12 billion viewers worldwide tuned in to coverage of the event across all platforms, a new record. On Halloween, young boys as well as girls were spotted around the country dressed up as Rapinoe and [Alex] Morgan.

While TIME’s award only focuses on 2019, the USWNT isn’t done fighting just yet. The equal pay fight will extend into 2020. The gender discrimination lawsuit the team filed against U.S. Soccer will go to trial in May. In July, the team will take part in the 2020 Olympics.

All of that creates a scenario where it’s easy to see the USWNT contending for the TIME athlete of the year award again in 2020. Compared to everything the team accomplished in 2019, taking home the award two years in a row shouldn’t be a challenge.

Why There’s No Reason to Freak Out Over Nike Swooshes on Baseball Jerseys

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Color Rush uniforms are back.

The team tweeted Tuesday that the uniforms will be worn for Sunday’s home game against the Buffalo Bills.

It will be the second time the team wears the special uniform this season. While sports uniforms can seem simple, they’re a bit more complicated in practice. In one sense, they’re just a commercially produced piece of clothing, worn by players during the action and fans supporting their team. In another, they’re an obvious outward representation of the club. That dichotomy is coming to a head in Major League Baseball, where Nike swooshes will start appearing on jerseys this season.

Unsurprisingly, many baseball fans aren’t happy with the deal. But do they have a legitimate gripe, or are they trying to fight city hall?
The history of baseball uniforms

While baseball is a game grounded in tradition, uniforms have changed quite a bit over the years. Some of the earliest teams took the field in oddly formal attire.

In 1849, the New York Knickerbockers became the first team to wear uniforms; every time they hit the diamond, they donned blue wool pants, white flannel shirts, and straw hats. Most Teams wore full-length pants—each squad had a different color, which helped them differentiate between teammates and opponents—but some, like the Cincinnati Red Stockings, wore shorter knickers with distinctive socks.

Over time, however, uniforms started to evolve. Teams slowly began wearing pinstripes and other patterns. Soon after, “shield front” jerseys were replaced with more conventional logos; collars began to shrink before disappearing for good. Playing accessories also evolved, with conventional baseball caps and cleats replacing straw hats and soft leather shoes.

Despite those changes, baseball uniforms have generally remained consistent since roughly 1910. While there have been some notable attempts to shake things up—like the Chicago White Sox’s infamous shorts or additions of kelly green and burgundy to the color pallet—the simple cap, jersey, and pants have become part of baseball’s timeless charm.
The Nike Swoosh comes to baseball uniforms

Since 2004, Major League Baseball uniforms have been made by Majestic. When teams first take the field in spring, however, they’ll be wearing Nike-branded attire.

While Majestic only stitched a small logo onto the sleeve of each jersey, Nike will not be taking a similar approach. Instead, the company’s iconic Swoosh will sit on every team’s chest. No organization, not even traditional clubs like the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers, will be exempt from the branding.

Given the sport’s affinity for unwritten rules and tradition, many baseball fans had a visceral reaction to the Nike Swoosh. Angry posts flooded social media; the logo was decried as awful, tacky, and ruining the sport.

An additional logo isn’t the end of the world

Sports are an incredibly personal thing for all fans. Relationships with teams can go back generations and tie disparate groups together; someone may love the Yankees, for example, because their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all fans of the club. While that makes the reaction over a simple Nike Swoosh understandable, it’s still a bit overblown.

At the end of the day, a jersey is already a piece of branded apparel. Every time you put one on, you’re becoming a walking billboard for the team; whether you’re donning a Cardinals jersey or a Toronto Blue Jays hat, you’re promoting the club and major league baseball. Having a small Nike Swoosh on your chest won’t materially change anything other.

When it comes to tradition, it’s easy to miss the forest through the trees. Your fandom, however, is all a matter of perspective; in theory, you love the team for what it represents, not the shirt it wears. That identity won’t change because of a branded logo.

Solicitors to sponsor GB ice hockey team jerseys at world championships in Berlin

The current jersey sponsors of the Manchester Mayhem Para Ice Hockey Team, will have their name on the world stage.

For PLS Solicitors have been given the opportunity to sponsor Team GB’s jerseys for this year’s World Championships in Berlin.

Proud PLS sponsor Dan Hickey explained: “As sponsors of Manchester Mayhem we have seen, first-hand, the dedication and hard work these athletes put into their challenging sport. They really are an inspiration to those who have been fortunate to watch or play.

“We also know the fundraising challenges they face and we hope this sponsorship can help the squad focus their attention on the ice to do us proud in representing our country at the World Championships in November.”

Getting to the World Championships is expensive and each player and their teams are tasked with raising enough funds to enable them to compete on the world stage.

This is only possible with the support of sponsors and fundraising events.

Karl Nicholson, captain of the Manchester Mayhem and alternate captain for GB said: “It’s always a proud moment to don brand new shirts for a tournament.

“To have our own sponsors PLS Solicitors step in and provide these superb shirts for the entire GB team is wonderful. Knowing that we have the support of such sponsors is a real boost to our confidence and our drive to win.”

Tyler Christopher, team GB’s new captain, is just as equally impressed as he said: “The new jerseys provided by PLS Solicitors look great.

“This sponsorship represents us moving into a new era and thanks to PLS Solicitors we can look forward to wearing our new strip with pride at our first game.”

RANKED! FCC’s top 5 jerseys – yet

Ahead of tomorrow’s launch of FC Cincinnati’s new Heritage Link Kit, I thought it’d be fun to rank the club’s top five jerseys from the past four seasons.

My ranking process is pretty straightforward. This wasn’t about sentimental memories or historical value. To me, this is strictly about the look and style of the kits … basically, what looks cool.

So with that, here is my ranking of FCC’s top five kits.

5. 2016 Third Kit

FC Cincinnati only wore their orange jerseys once in league play – May 14, 2016 – but there’s an awesome backstory.

When the team originally submitted their jersey designs to USL, the league rejected their secondary shirts because they looked too similar to the primary ones. (The USL was right. The jerseys were just inverted.)

Cincinnati had already printed jerseys, though, so the club designed the perfect marketing strategy to prevent the orange kits from being erased from history.

In a one-off occurrence, the orange jerseys were unveiled for an “Orange Out” affair against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. It made perfect sense.

There was already a football rivalry between the two river cities from the Bengals and Steelers, so creating a soccer one – while using the city’s trademark orange against black and yellow – was a natural fit.

Jimmy McLaughlin scored the game’s only goal before 23,375 fans at Nippert Stadium, which became the USL single-game record before FCC shattered that mark match after match moving forward.

4. 2017/18 Third Kit

These jerseys stood out for two reasons. They marked the last time FC Cincinnati had a true on-going third jersey option and were also the club’s first-and-only black jerseys.

The black kits weren’t worn often (only once in 2018), but they’re a regular on Nippert Stadium concourses and were worn during some rememberable games: Djiby Fall scoring against Louisville City FC in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup and Nazmi Albadawi recording a brace against North Carolina FC in 2018.

3. 2019 Secondary Kit

These were the first jerseys FC Cincinnati wore ever in MLS – at Seattle in their league debut – and gave us the Leo Bertone volley.

But more than that, the white tops from this past season were clean and simplistic. While the home jerseys made a splash, the secondary ones were subtle and always looked good. The players also loved them.

Honestly, these are the least-memorable jerseys FCC have used in their last four seasons, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t beautiful. Simple is elegant.

2. 2018 Primary Kit

It’s worth noting that these tops were a drastic change from the kits the club wore its first two seasons.

While the first two seasons saw Cincinnati wear jerseys that closely resembled the U.S. Men’s National Team tops at the time, the 2018 primary jersey was unique and customized exclusively for the Orange and Blue.

The horizontal stripes provided continuity to the club’s first jerseys, but the checkered diamonds played into the Queen City’s Bavarian roots. FCC dominated the USL in 2018 and rocked the best uniforms to boot.

1. 2019 Primary Kit

There’s only one *first* MLS jersey, and these kits lived up to the hype.

The blue and orange vertical stripes were a bold introduction into a new league, and the tops stood out compared to the rest of MLS.

While the secondary jersey was subtle, this was a definite contrast that was pulled off perfectly – despite a short runway to even design the jerseys.

Any fan who owns one of these owns a piece of history, in addition to a gorgeous top.

Fun fact: Originally, FCC’s initial primary kits were just the blue version of their 2019 white kits. But the league stepped in and worked with adidas to allow FCC a short window to design something unique for its first season. The club had one round of design input and a very narrow time period to make it all work, but what you saw last year was the result of that. Had that not happened and MLS stepped in to help the club, you would’ve seen plain blue kits at Nippert Stadium for much of last year.

New Jersey Devils starting to listen to teams on Taylor Hall, per report

Taylor Hall’s time in New Jersey seems to be closing in on an end as the Devils are starting to listen on offers for their star player.

The New Jersey Devils are reportedly starting to listen on other team’s offers for 28-year-old forward Taylor Hall, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun. Hall’s name had been on the unofficial trade block in November when reports surfaced that the forward was unlikely to sign a contract extension with the Devils in-season, but this is the first time there has been confirmed talks about Hall this season.

LeBrun reported on Saturday that there was no deal eminent for Hall, but if one were to occur the Devils may not wait until the Feb. 24 trade deadline to send the forward to another team if the terms are right.

This season, the Devils have vastly underperformed expectations as a team many believed to be on the rise. In the offseason, New Jersey acquired P.K. Subban in a trade, while also snagging Jack Hughes as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft as a playmaker alongside Hall and 2017’s former No. 1 overall pick, Nico Hischier.

With 25 games played this year, the Devils are 9-12-4 and their 22 points are well behind a wild card position at the start of December. New Jersey has played better of late, but they are still the NHL’s second-worst team as the league begins its third month of play.

Hall, this season, has played below his true talent level, with 21 points — and only four goals — in 25 games played. The forward’s shooting percentage is well-below average at 4.5 percent — meaning Hall is due for a break or two — but Hall has been underwhelming this year, to say the least.

That being said, Hall’s trade value is still incredibly high for the Devils. While Hall has stated to the media that he has not asked for a trade from the Devils, New Jersey has seemingly gathered interest in Hall early on this season.

On Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, Sportsnet insiders Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston reported that the Oilers, the Blues, the Avalanche and the Canadiens all had interest in Hall and that the forward would net least two first round picks from a team or a top prospect.

That is a steep price, especially considering Hall will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and will not cost a team anything other than cap space to sign him in free agency. However, Hall is an attractive trade deadline pickup for a team looking to make a long playoff push as a young high-skilled forward.

Hall’s production this season has been poor, but on a better team he’d be an immediate asset to a team missing players via injury — such as the Blues — or a team looking to add depth, like the Oilers.

The NHL’s trade deadline is still a few months away, but Hall’s situation is one worth following as he remains the league’s biggest tradable asset this season.

Carmelo Anthony Jerseys Are Already Sold Out At The Trail Blazers Team Store

The Trail Blazers are 2-3 since the addition of Carmelo Anthony. Not great, but trending in the right direction. Apparently Blazers fans are so excited about Melo’s addition, his jersey has sold out at the team store.

According to Yahoo Sports, as fans rushed the team store on Wednesday night (November 27) prior to the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Melo’s jersey was sold out within minutes.

Melo scored 19 points in the Blazers 136-119 win, their second in a row.

The Blazers signed the 10-time all-star to a non-guaranteed deal earlier this month. With an injury to Zach Collins and a slow start, the team thought it needed some offensive firepower.

Melo hadn’t played NBA basketball in more than a year, since he was traded from the Houston Rockets.

Through five games he’s averaging 16.6 points per game on 45% shooting from the field, and 37.5% from three.

He’s been better than many skeptics thought he’d be at this stage of his career.

Melo recorded his best game of the season against the Bulls on November 25, where he scored 25 points in a win, and moved past Alex English for 18th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.