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Changes are coming part 1 - Jerseys update - Fanatics U

March 27, 2023, 1:52 AM ET [3 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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Update: Fanatics U has a 10 year deal in place to do all jersey manufacturing (practice, game day, replica etc) and is about as seamless a fit as you can find. The company already makes practice gear, on and off ice apparel and run shop.nhl.com. Thanks to the reader who forwarded that to me. It was announced last week, I haven’t seen the dollars yet, but that information should be able to be tracked down

As I’ve sat down and gone through notes (when I can, weather is a nightmare for headaches) I realized that even more changes than I thought were on the horizon. It’s too much for one entry, so this will be a series. To dip my toe in the waters, I decided to start with something fairly simple. Jerseys.

I didn’t cover it but in 2022 Adidas opted not to renew their current deal with the NHL that goes through next season (23/24). Big deal, right? In our house we have CCM, Nike, Reebok and Adidas Jerseys hanging around. Surprisingly it wasn’t until the mid to late 90s that a single manufacturer handled team jerseys. And if you know the money trail, CCM was bought and then sold again (but still produce under the CCM name) Nike greatly reduced their presence in hockey, Reebok had a good run but was purchased by Adidas, and now Adidas is the sweater maker paying around 70m per year to the NHL. The difference this time is the new manufacturer isn’t in place yet. Adidas will do 23/24 and then go back to a their major endeavors (soccer/futbol is huge for them). If it’s about money, Nike could easily outbid anyone. If it’s about a brand that loves hockey CCM, Bauer or Warrior all look good.

Regardless of who handles the pro version, the affordable versions will likely still be handled by Fanatics U (which is also an option for pro versions). The technology/fabric combos have gone through a lot since the 90s. At one point, the sweat wicking was working too well and player gloves and skates were filling with moisture. You currently see a bit of a hybrid with much more “breathable” wicking material under the arms and other material that can reduce water shed.

The real interesting aspect is the actual logos. During some of the switches teams like Washington, Nashville and Columbus did logo changes. I think the Winged Wheel is safe (if not sacred), though I do like the old English D on 3rd version jerseys. The other big takeaway, there will be some big sales to get old stock out after the 23/24 season. Do you have a preference on branding? Let me know your thoughts.
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