Why Corporate Logos on Sports Uniforms Are a Bad Idea

Anthony EmersonAnalyst IAugust 5, 2009

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 24:  Michael Owen of Manchester United in action during the pre-season friendly match between FC Seoul and Manchester United at Seoul worldcup stadium on July 24, 2009 in Seoul, South Korea.  (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

The main reasons why corporate logos should remain off sports uniforms is right in the picture. Manchester United, one of the most storied and historic soccer teams in the history of the sport itself, are stuck with a bad sponsor.

AIG, United's shirt sponsor, has stolen billions of dollars away from American taxpayers, with their scheming CEO Bernie Madoff instigating the multi-billion dollar Ponzi Scheme. And even after the Red Devils switched kit designs (see each new design here, here, here, and here.) after the scandal was made public internationally. I understand the United had a contract with AIG, but come on. AIG?

What may be among the worst financial institutes in the history of financial institutes sponsoring one of the most storied soccer clubs (if not the most storied soccer club) in history. It's criminal (pun intended).

But right before the WNBA season started, the add-infested uniforms made it's way into an American Big Four sport. Basketball.  The WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and Los Angeles Sparks added sponsors LifeLock and Farmers Insurance, respectively, to their full time game uniforms. Potentially the first step towards add infested MLB, NHL, NFL and NBA uniforms.

The Red Sox could end up looking like this. Scary. You may not notice it, but during the Red Sox and Athletics series in Japan to start the 2008 season, the Red Sox wore two add patches on their sleeves and one more on their helmets.

But recent developments with the NFL have allowed teams to sell add-space on their practice jerseys. The New England Patriots have looked like this during training camp, the Tennessee Titans look like this, the Indianapolis Colts look like this (another view), the New York Giants look like this, the Chicago Bears look like this, and the Cincinnati Bengals have looked like this (insert your joke here).

The New York Jets have also worn an add-patch, but it's shaped like the Jets normal patch placed in the same area, and you can't even make it out. Also, it even looks like the Jets normal logo. So not a jersey Cardinal Sin, but a Sin nonetheless.

However, this is common practice in the MLS (and every other soccer league in the world). I don't like it. As far as I'm concerned, corporate logos do not belong on sports uniforms. But, like I said, it's common practice everywhere else, so it's not like this is going away. Even the sacred Celtic FC kits are add-infested now. It seems like just a few MLS teams are currently add-less.

Anyway, the bottom line is advertisements appearing on sports uniforms, whether they're used in regular season games or just on practice jerseys, one thing is clear: