There have been only hints and guesses, speculation – nothing has been officially announced yet – about one most important element of the Utah Jazz’s victory on and off the field in the coming seasons. .
That’s right. Dress for success, baby.
Look good to feel good to play good to be good.
It seems almost laughable that a team’s accessories, such as colors, logos and uniforms, make any difference to how it behaves, or how its fans connect with it and perceive it, how they feel about the group they root for, but there are suggestions among those who study the human mind and those who coach players, those who market teams that this presentation is important.
It’s important to them. It matters to everyone.
Upon closer examination, it’s as much about branding as it is about fashion.
Either way, more than a few fans have been paying noticeable attention to what the Jazz will look like in the near future.
The many familiar shades of the past – the purple, gold and green of Mardi Gras, the Jazz slide on the blue, teal and copper of the mountain, the descending colors of a setting sun bouncing off desert landscapes orange, red in the dark, among all the others, to be dropped, entirely replaced by… what is it, white, yellow and black?
Will an approving nod to tradition turn into a forbidden nod from side to side?
Will the Jazz eventually look like Bumblebees, Yellowjackets, Dart Frogs?
Will black – many have noticed that the giant note in front of Vivint Arena has been redone, as well as the script and trim on and around the courts at Jazz’s practice facility – become the main colour? Is black a color?
Those clues have leaked, as have handfuls of social media renders of artists offering what they believe the future Jazz logo Jazz uniforms might look like.
After talking to a senior jazz official about the meaning of all of this – he gave no official rationale for what the reality will be, only that it seemed to generate a lot of interest among fans, that it was important for many people – despair set in.
Although fashion has always been a strong point for me – take that smile off, mate – having no degree in design, it became necessary to rely on outside expertise.
I googled it.
As for yellow and black, which is the direction Jazz is taking, internet design experts have used these words to describe the psychology of yellow: logical, optimistic, progressive, confident, playful, and creative. For black it was: formality and elegance, sophistication and minimalism, authority and power.
All of these characteristics seem to correspond well with the image that an NBA team might want to project not only to its fans, its paying customers, but also to its opponents.
The downward projections of yellow are: jealousy, childishness, anxiety; and black: grief or misfortune, mystery, emptiness or loneliness.
But mixed together, these experts say, the positive of this mixture far outweighs the negative.
“The black and yellow branding is popular because these two colors balance and contrast well,” according to design gurus at simplifies.co. “The cheerful, eye-catching hues of yellows are balanced by the more understated, sophisticated hues of black. The black and yellow branding uses a bright hue to grab attention, while the black hue maintains a more elegant and formal look.
Elegant and formal? Sorry, but I can’t help but remember at this point Jerry Sloan’s old line about not being able to play basketball in a tuxedo.
On the other hand, another known association with black and yellow, which these guys didn’t mention, is dangerous or poisonous, as in some poisonous reptiles or wasps or in cases of a crossing or of a traffic warning barrier.
A sports team like the Jazz wants to scare an opponent’s bejeebers, putting on a formidable face, without scaring their fan base into a state of fear or panic.
True, but how do you explain that the Lakers have won 17 NBA titles wearing the colors of the Easter Bunny? Win enough games and the fans will even think that’s cool.
I don’t know what the Jazz, a team that has never won a title, will end up doing.
The team official got into the guessing game, teasing what might come next, officially only offering owner Ryan Smith who said there would be brand changes coming and mentioning the aforementioned clues in Jazz graphics and promotions in the arena of yellow, black and white splashes.
He said fans love wondering about it and discussing it.
They do more than that.
They are passionate about it, some, as if the logo, the colors, the uniform were emblematic not only of a sports team, of a community, of a fanbase, but of… their. As in, them personally, to the extent of proper respect and flag waving.
That way, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, and Mike Conley, all of them, when they’re wearing that jazz uniform on the floor, they’re raising that flag.
Not only are these colors and this uniform important to the players themselves (it’s not uncommon for stars to want a say in how they look), but it’s important on all sides – so thousands and thousands of fans will buy the jerseys at little cost to them, wearing the badges with pride, or at least wanting to.
That’s why when King Ryan Smith announces that there will be brand changes, symbols again, paladins and peasants want to know what they will be, how they will turn out, what they will look like, how they’ll feel, how they’ll make horsemen, serfs and swains feel.
Because they are them and they are them.
One and the same.
Yellow, black and white – happy and unhappy, optimistic and sad, happy and empty, confident and poisonous, full of power and pain.
Sounds like a good fit.