Historically the Chicago White Sox like many other professional sports teams have re-branded their look, and uniforms periodically through the years. The White Sox have donned their current logo, and uniform design with the exception of some minor details since the 1991 season. The current branding, and uniforms have held the longest tenure in franchise history at 25 years.
Previously the longest period of time that the White Sox stuck with a uniform, and logo design was when they sported white pinstriped jerseys, with the black and red “Sox” scramble logo on the left breast, and the players number on the right sleeve as well as the back of the jersey. They wore those uniforms for 18 seasons from 1951 through 1968, before a short two year run with an ugly white jersey featuring blue logo, lettering, and numbers.
Over the past few seasons the White Sox have been making small changes, incorporating the old “batter man” logo from the 1980’s into alternate “throwback” jerseys, as well as incorporating it into their batting practice attire. Most recently the White Sox along with the rest of Major League Baseball released a new spring training look including a redesigned jersey, and hat largely featuring the “batter man” log on the breast of the jersey as well as the logo for the cap, with the current black, grey, and white team colors incorporated.
Thus far, the new spring training line has been a big hit with White Sox fans, myself included. I immediately knew that I wanted to invest in at least the new hat, because when I saw it I was extremely impressed with the old school “batter man” logo mixed with the current colors of grey, and white placed on the current black cap. So I set out in search of the new hat, only to find that it had already been sold out in most stores so I figured I would just wait a bit. My father, a Sox fan now in his early fifties, and much more familiar with the “batter man” logo era than I
am was also highly impressed. So much so that he sent me a picture message a few days ago of him at a local mall, donning his newley purchased hat, that is an impressive testament to the appeal of the new hat since my father is generally of the opinion that baseball hats are extremely overpriced in today’s retail market, and often opts not to purchase it because of that reason. Naturally I asked him to purchase me one as well while he was there, when I got to his house to pick it up he told me that the store had four large racks dedicated to a display of the new hat, and that by the time that he left there was only a few left in stock. Another testament to just how popular the newly designed “batter man” log is with White Sox fans of all ages.
With the White Sox gradually slipping in new revamped versions of one of the more popular logos in franchise history, it is leading me to strongly believe that they are slowly gauging the fan bases interest in an updated look, and possibly a revamped branding mixing the two more popular looks in the teams history. Some people will probably say something along the lines of the old adage, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” but while I don’t believe that the current look is “broke”, I would definitely welcome a re-branding if they keep on the course that they are currently traveling on. As well, while the current uniform design is definitely the most popular design in the franchises history, eventually all good things become stale to a certain extent. After 25 years of the same look, as good as it may be, change is inevitable eventually. As a franchise, and a major marketing machine that professional sports teams are almost by default, the White Sox have a responsibility from a business stand point to keep their brand fresh, and relevant as time goes on.
If you’re still not convinced, I understand but try to use your imagination on the look they’re seemingly gearing up for. Of course the possibilities are endless, but I can imagine at this point with what we have seen from the White Sox that any re-branding of sorts will feature in some capacity both the current “Sox” scramble logo, as well as the revamped ultra popular “batter man” logo. I think that they will stick with the current black, grey, and white color scheme as it best represents the “White Sox” name. Imagine the White Sox rolling out new uniforms incorporating the current White Sox logo, as a primary logo on the jersey, and hat while using the newly revamped 1980’s “batter man” logo as a secondary logo for the hat, and jerseys. Maybe the Sox leave the current home uniform as is, and use the current away jersey with the newley released cap featuring the “batter man” logo with the current color scheme. Top that all off by swapping the current logo on the alternate black jersey, with the “batter man” logo and the “SOX” lettering under it in the current color scheme, much like the spring training jersey for the 2016 season. The alternate black jersey would also feature the “batter man” logo on the cap to match the left breast of the jersey. Another thing that I could envision making a return to the sleeve of all of the jerseys is the old diamond patch with the sock in the middle of it, that was sharp on the grey road jerseys, and I am not sure why they ever removed it a couple years back when they did.
Overall, as I previously mentioned, if the Sox do go through with a re-branding of their logo and uniforms I’m ready for it. So long as they stay on their current path, I believe the majority of the fan base will also welcome it with open arms. After all, a quarter of a century with the same look is a very long time. Without completely scrapping the current popular branding the White Sox could knock this out of the park in the near future.