The Portland Trail Blazers plan to unveil a new logo and new jerseys in the spring of 2017, according to President and CEO Chris McGowan at the team's Media Day Monday.
The Blazers have one of the best logos in the league and some of the best traditions in the league despite having only one championship. So when people hear things about new logos and new uniforms, it's easy to immediately shout "don't fix what isn't broken."
Reports started to surface prior to the previous season that the Blazers logo was undergoing a re-design. The last time they updated the logo was before the 2002-03 season, so they are due for a change. As McGowan noted in his media day comments, this coincides with Nike becoming the league's official apparel provider.
Here's what McGowan said about the re-design, according to Casey Holdahl of TrailBlazers.com.
"I think it’s a modernization, I wouldn’t call it drastic," said McGowan of the proposed changes. "I think we’re blessed with some of the best uniforms in professional sports, our fans really like our identity, people know it whether you live in Portland or not. So I don’t know if drastic is necessarily what we need to do, but I think you always need to modernize. When you have the opportunity to work with create people like the folks at Nike, you’ve got to take advantage of that opportunity. We’re having fun with it, but like anything that we do, we’re testing it, we’re talking to fans, we’re using survey information to make sure we’re being guided in the right way so we’re not putting something out there that’s not authentic to who we are or not something that wouldn't be generally supported by our fans."
Jason Quick of Comcast SportsNet Northwest also noted that McGowan is reviewing potential sponsors for the new jerseys.
McGowan says team has also started pursuing corporate partnerships for jersey advertising, which will start for 2017-2018 NBA season— Jason Quick (@jwquick) September 26, 2016
The concept of jersey sponsorship is not entirely new to the Blazers; Oregon Health & Science University is currently sponsoring Portland's practice jerseys.
Happy Training Camp day, Rip City! Practice jerseys with the @OHSUNews patch added again this year. pic.twitter.com/0hwpWG5E57— Blazers Equipment (@RipCityEQ) September 27, 2016
It wouldn't be surprising if there is a backlash when they are unveiled, because change is hard, and change.gov petitions are pretty easy. Plus, it's a big adjustment to possibly see a sponsor's name on the jersey. That said, the Blazers' business decisions under the guidance of McGowan, have almost all been net-positives. It's hard to argue against Bunk Sandwiches and Kevin Calabro. And with Nike involved, things will certainly look good.
The team plans to unveil the uniforms this spring, but you won't see them on the hardwood until the start of the 2017-18 season, which is when the NBA's apparel deal with Nike begins.