by Daniel Olsen
The rebrand for the Utah Jazz was unveiled on June 17, 2022 at 11 a.m. MT on Jazz social media. Purple is back for one classic 90s throwback, but the main new colors for the other three jerseys are highlighter yellow, black and white. There have been mixed opinions on these but it’s time for an in-depth look at each jersey in the rankings:
1. Purple Mountain – Classic
It’s hard to go wrong with a classic. The Jazz won back-to-back Western Conference Finals in the purple mountain jerseys which made it an iconic one ever since 1997. John Stockton and Kat Malone, the statues outside Vivint Arena, are etched into the minds of older Jazz fans. This will give them the opportunity to tell the younger generation where they where when the shot that sent the Jazz to the NBA Finals happened.
The revamped jersey contains deep purple with hints of light blue, copper and snow-capped mountains. It also has a vintage court that looks like the one from the 90s.
The reception of purple being back seems like a little bit of damage control as many fans aren’t thrilled about the next jerseys that will be highlighted later, but just take a look at purpleisback.com and notice that there is plenty of fun gear for fans of all ages to purchase.
When polled two years ago, the purple mountain jerseys won in a landslide. The majority of Jazz fans consider it the best Jazz jersey of all time, so it will remain a popular addition to the lineup no matter what the team is wearing on any particular night.
2. Black and Yellow – Statement
This jersey gets a pass. Although the shade of yellow isn’t favorable, you can’t go wrong with a dark mode jersey. This gives a Beehive State flare similar to the colors of the Salt Lake Bees, the minor league baseball team that plays just a few freeway exits south of Vivint Arena.
The Jordan logo is a nice touch. One criticism of many jerseys in this lineup is their minimalistic approach. Where is the trim? Why is their no creativity in the font? Why does the shirt just say Utah with no Jazz reference anywhere else on this jersey? Despite these flaws, the Jazz will still have plenty of fans wearing dark mode jerseys, although the previous dark mode jersey was significantly better.
3. Yellow – Icon
The yellow jersey is basically the black one in reverse except the font says Jazz instead of Utah. There is no J-Note effect, but just an enlarged font. It is also a Nike branded jersey just like every other jersey except the Jordan blackout one.
This one gets a poor grade only because this shade of yellow went from bad to worse. Fans were not fond of the mustard yellow jerseys and seem to be even more disappointed with the highlighter yellow approach. Why wouldn’t they go with more of a gold look? Yellow has always been a color in the original Jazz mardi gras look dating back to New Orleans. However, making it a primary color in a jersey lineup with a different shade seems like a strange approach.
Fans may sport a little bit of yellow, but don’t expect the yellow jerseys to sell nearly as much as the other two. There is a significant gap between the first two and these other jerseys.
4. White – Association
From the days of kindergarten, teachers warn students that their pictures won’t be very visible if they make a yellow drawing on a white piece of paper. If the Jazz were going to do this, some black borders around the trim would have gone a long way. Instead, the white jerseys from this year have taken a nosedive from the once clean look in the previous lineup.
Overall, the merchandise is more appealing, so expect fans to buy plenty of hats, shirts and socks with the new Jazz colors on them. However, the jerseys should be held to a higher standard since most cost over 100 dollars. Fans want to wear jerseys they are proud of to games. If fans are creating better jersey concepts than the actual organization, then that’s something that Ryan Smith maybe needs to take a closer look at. He reportedly spoke with the man behind the Jazz Uni-Tracker social media account, but didn’t implement any of his suggestions.
It’s possible the jerseys will catch fire once the Jazz start winning. That happened with previous jerseys in Jazz history. As of now though, the fan reaction has overall not been positive on every jersey except the purple one. They can try to entice fans with the testimonial of the stylish Jordan Clarkson, but it sounds more like a kid pretending like he liked getting clothes for Christmas.
The Jazz organization had a unique idea with the piano keys and spotlight Jazz feel, but the execution of it was off. This matters to players as well as fans. They want to be proud of the team they represent.
Featured image courtesy Utah Jazz