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Could Reebok, Panthers Have Done More?

Thirds2 I know this is getting old, but people are still talking about these new jerseys (for instance, check out Puck Daddy's take here):

The Panthers and Reebok say these new third jerseys went through relentless research and tweaking, trying to find just the right look.


Look at the picture above (and the 09 jersey below).

That is the jersey we saw last year, the photo taken by David J. Neal at a Panthers practice in March.

It's exactly the same jersey they unveiled on Monday.

Exactly the same.

When I saw that jersey for the first time, I just assumed it was some kind of prototype.

First off, the color scheme threw me. Plus the logo looked a little fakeish (is that a word?). The FLORIDA PANTHERS in the circle looked very pedestrian. Is that Times Roman? Did they come up with this on Microsoft Word?

Then there was the goofy FLA. There had to be more, right?

Thirds3 Nope. That is the identical jersey they rolled out on Monday. No changes. No tweaking. No changing of the fonts to make it look, you know, a little more professional.

Honest, the mockup we saw in March looked like a mockup.

But it was the final deal.

The colors seem to be the most shocking thing to people because it is such a difference from what the Panthers have had since Day 1.


-- The font on the crest looks like it was done by the dry cleaner with a $100 Singer on the corner of 136th Avenue and Flamingo Road.

-- The Sun with the FLA really needs to go.

The jersey rolled out Monday was fine as a prototype, a jersey that needed some tweaks here and there. But there were no tweaks. 

This is like a designer in Detroit coming up with a concept car and after the initial design, instead of working on it in the year before the roll out, the factory does nothing to make it better. Yet they keep it a big secret (telling everyone how much work went into it) then unveiled the same car they showed off at the auto show a year before.

But give the Panthers credit for this: They kept the jersey a true secret until the unveiling. I could have run these pictures a lot sooner, but there was no way I believed the photos I had would represent the final jersey.

So who gets the blame? The Panthers, sure. But a lot of that blame has to go on Reebok. They are the ones, I've been told, who did most of the designing. Of course, these are the same folks who thought it was cool to put 'AFC East' on all of the Dolphins (and Jets and Patriots, etc) sideline apparel.

Some Panthers jackets simply have Eastern (as in Conference, not the defunct airline) on the back. Like that means anything to anyone but them.

The Reebok people aren't real hip to what looks good. So it's not surprising that Reebok (it's not RBK anymore right? So why the FLA?) came up with this plain look. The jersey we saw in March looked fake, unfinished.

Yet that's what they rolled out. No wonder the Panthers kept it a secret and didn't have a big photo shoot beforehand. They wanted to bring it out and move on.

Again, the biggest thing people notice is the color of the jersey. Baby blue? people shouted. I said the same thing. That actually looks OK in my opinion.

The jersey, from far away, looks sharp. It's the little things that bother me. The Panthers had a real chance to do something cool here and didn't.

Islesfisherman But hey, things could be worse.

At least it's not the Long Island Fisherman, a first-ballot inductee into the Bad Jerseys Hall of Fame.

This Panthers jersey isn't that bad. It won't be a classic and it's not horrible. But it could have been pretty cool had all the work we were told went into it actually went into it.

But like one Panther person told me: It looks better on television than it does in person.

At least they got that part right.

And here's a tip to the NHL: Let Nike back into the jersey game. Sure, they sometimes swing and miss (Oregon football, last week's FSU look) but at least they go down swinging.


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I actually think the jersey looks fine. Like you said GR it will not go down as a classic, but it is still a decent jersey. I like the cut of it and how the overall design looks, not to mention the lace adds a nice touch.

All I know is I got one and am very happy with the purchase.

It is not the Panthers. Just a marketing ploy to make money. Please.

I think they look great...as do the majority of fans I spoke to. They may be simple but thats what I like about them. I even like the FLA. Sorry George! ;-)

Looks TOO much like Pittsburg... and St. Louis...

I like the Gold (yellow) jerseys I see people walking around the BAC better...

I hope they don't wear them much...I heard 12 times this season...

George, I dissent. Sititng in Row F behind the visitors bench, they looed great.Carolina blue trim on navy. UNC used that together vs FSU, i believe. Great combo. The details that bother you. Can't tell from my seats so most people can't tell. sorry. great jersey.

Sounds like people like them. That's great. Hope the Panthers sell a ton of them. They are different and I like the color scheme. Think they are different. Just seems, to me, like they skimped a bit is all.

I like it...good colours and simple.

Still a negative for me!

no they don't make the worse uniform awards nor the best uniform award.

While the fisherman jersey is in the all time bad uniforms, the worse of all time in hockey has to be Vancouver's jerseys when they looked like employees of burger king.

All time in sports has to be when the white sox wore shorts.

They're okay but I agree with you George, they could've done better. They look like the home jerseys of the Atlanta Thrashers. Also, I wish they'd bring back the "palm tree and hockey stick" rather than "FLA" logo. Also, there was absolutely no hint of red to this jersey, which came as a shocker.

Allow me to say something controversial here. Change the powder blue to something more teal, which is more in keeping with the Fish and Fins. Just trying to maintain a SoFla feel, that's all. Thanks.

Yes,Reebok could have done more.Reebok has took a design and quality hit since Adidas bought them a couple years ago. It's almost like they kicked out the designers and brought interns in to design all of the NHL stuff not to mention their sneakers.

Panthers management missed the boat on this one. They certainly should have raised some argument after seeing those prototypes last year. The "FLA" is a horrible logo.

P.S. The Panthers look like the Atlanta Thrashers out there just a different logo.

The jersey looks good.... on the Penguins. The addition of light blue is pointless, and worst of all the logo is clearly a blatant ripoff of the Pens, Blackhawks, Blues and Wild alternate logos. They need to ditch these uni's as fast as possible before too many people get the chance to waste $100 on them. Next season give me red, the cat breaking the stick, and the sun/tree/stick shoulder patch. It's not hard Panthers. Really it isn't. I would have gladly shelled out money for a red alternate Monday night, but sorry Panthers, not for this disaster of a uniform. Worst South Florida sports jersey ever(at least until the new Miami Marlins take the field and have completely purged the awesome teal from the color scheme).

I prefer their first red jersey. It could have been worse with the the body mainly powder blue and the shoulders dark blue. I would never buy that jersey. The home jersey and this new third jersey I don't like either, both are poorly designed. Probably designed & made in China like most of the low quality garbage sold in this country.

I really like the jersey. I especially think the socks and pants are way cool too. Love the whole getup! George I'm not really getting what you don't like about the FLA...I really like that. That 3/4 sun sure beats the hell out of the old one...I think it's great.
The only thing I would complain about if I had to would be the single color numbers and letters. I can tell they wanted a clean, simple look, but they should've been layered with a light blue trim/border. But oh well.

they're OK. i agree with you george that, much like the redone jerseys from a couple of years ago, it was a bit amateurish and a missed opportunity. i'm glad you said that (why not call them out in the paper instead of the blog though?). i guess reebok stuck the intern on our gig cuz we're... the panthers??? having said that, even if reebok does the design, the organization - if it were absolutely committed to quality - should have stood over their designers the whole way and forced them to tweak, etc. i'm sure other teams have.

I still think they're awful.

They have no bearing to the relevant history of this team. And before the jokes come rolling in...

The relevant era for this franchise was the Cup Finals run in '96. Why not rekindle that spirit? The third jerseys should have been red and perhaps with a nod to the rat tradition.

Instead, we got sweaters that looked like the Penguins were playing an intrasquad game. Marvelous.

I buy as much Panther crap as anybody, but I'll take a pass on these.

These new alternate jerseys are a damn fashion abortion. Not only did they just throw in a color that had nothing to do with the team, they blatantly stole a color combo from another team.. a team they happened to be playing that night. I seriously want to know what the numbers are looking like for these Jerseys, like what kind of sales increase are they seeing? Are people actually buying them to wear for themselves or are these going to be passed off as horrible gifts? Or to clothe the homeless?

No doubt in my mind, they should have done the old color combo (dark blue shoulders, red sweater, some gold trim) like the older original "pointy sleeve" jerseys were. The logo is almost acceptable even though it looks like something you would see on a knock-off t-shirt at the flea market in Opa-Locka or something half the NHL has already done. The team name, the colors, the themes, the South Florida feel all could have been elements of a much MUCH better product but as par for the course with this team, they not only dropped the ball, they never picked it up.

Those are pretty nice Penguins sweaters.

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