The University of Connecticut and its sports teams are ruled by the fans. Why not let them have a bigger say in the teams’ identities?
Now, I want to make a disclaimer that I have absolutely no problem with many of UConn’s current jerseys. For basketball, I absolutely love how the team took the time to reintroduce beautiful retro jerseys from some of its best years in college basketball. This route is absolutely genius for attracting the love of fans who grew up on UConn legends like Rip Hamilton or Diana Taurausi. Naturally, the reception of these jerseys was a resounding success. It injects additional love into fans, who live and die for Huskies basketball.
However, UConn hasn’t carried these changes to its other sports. In football, UConn’s uniforms looked utterly boring, to say the least. Even with its new look in 2019, it fails to capture the true spirit of a UConn sports lineup. The jerseys fail to capture the identity of UConn and its proud history of sports. Likewise with its soccer uniforms, many would argue the jerseys may be too simplistic as they fail to capture the fiery personality of UConn’s fans and the school itself.
Some uniforms are certainly better than others. UConn’s hockey and basketball teams are top standouts for its uniform choices with their classic colors. Despite that, there’s always room for improvement. I stand with my stance that there needs to be a change in uniform choices.
How do I aim to solve this problem? Let the fans decide the jerseys. Whether that’s reintroducing classic jerseys from years that featured UConn stars or adding some awesome jersey concepts that fans can vote on, fan choice sounds like a great idea. Just imagine seeing a team that fans proudly support, with jerseys chosen by those same fans. It’s a match made in heaven.
Take it to social media, where UConn fans have created a community of fiery opinions and an overall love for the school. Whether Twitter or Reddit, you’ll find passionate UConn fans who love UConn teams. Now, what if you gave that same community a list of rules where they could create the jersey of their dreams? The school could even set the bar lower, where the team could poll fans on which jersey concept to bring to the team. The winning choice of the community would be the style the team wears.
While fans will buy UConn’s jerseys regardless of design, I can certainly see an increase in jersey sales if fans are able to have more of a say in how they look. This is especially the case for teams like football that don’t wear the hottest uniforms on campus.
Nike has always been looking for ways to innovate and raise their brand beyond its competitors. This simple breakthrough would not only help the brand standout from other teams, but also give them additional compensation with an increase in sales for the company. It’s a win for both sides.
UConn, must bring out uniforms that capture UConn’s identity. The spirit of UConn and its sports teams is something that many other colleges can’t seem to capture. Whether its players, like James Bouknight, sticking around to cheer for their team after being ejected from the arena they once called home, or a classic Gampel crowd filled with loud UConn fans, UConn’s threads must reflect that energy.