Atlanta Hawks Re-Brand: Slam Dunk, or Air Ball?

Last night, the world was treated to an early glimpse of the Atlanta Hawks attempt to re-brand themselves for the upcoming 2015-16 NBA season. This is set to be revealed by the team today prior to the NBA Draft, photos of the team’s home, away, and alternate uniforms were leaked to the public, along with new available Atlanta merchandise, courtesy of Adidas.

Scrapping their familiar color scheme of Red, White, and Blue, the Hawks decided to go with a color scheme never seen in modern sports: Black, Red, and accents of neon Green highlighted throughout. The Green accents, out of seemingly nowhere, pay homage to the 1970’s Hawks, the days of the Pistol-Pete Neon Green and Electric Blue (okay, maybe Atlanta isn’t new to bold colorways.) The cloth of the jersey features a triangle-print, varying in shades of light and dark to give the uniform a three-dimensional appearance that will give them a nice “pop” when they finally see the hardwood. We get the traditional “Atlanta” across the chest of the home and away jerseys, red trimmed in green on the home, the inverse on the away, and “ATL” across the chest of the alternate.

Scroll below to see the home, away (black) and alternate (red) uniforms.

uniforms-1 uniforms-2uniforms-3

Upon release, the results have been mixed. Many fans and pundits alike have applauded Atlanta for taking a big step in another direction, carrying out the NBA’s long tradition of outlandish and bizarre uniforms that almost every team has somewhere down the line in their franchise. Even though this jersey doesn’t hang in the same category as the “Dinosaur” Toronto or the two-tone Sacramento uniforms, these digs will be easily recognizable, nobody will question the team they are watching.

Others, myself included, think the Hawks fixed something that wasn’t necessarily broken. There was nothing really wrong with Atlanta’s brand, it blended right in with the rest of the other NBA uniforms: some iconic, most uninteresting. Not everyone can be the Lakers, Celtics, or Bulls, I get that. So I guess it made sense to go out onto the other side of the spectrum and create your own buzz. I don’t mind the design of the uniform. I like the modern appeal in an age where alternate, innovation, and creativity has become as much a staple in sports as the playing of the sport itself. I think the print will look very cool on TV when they are being swept by the Cavs again next summer, but the colors, not for me. Seems very, AAU-ish. These are something that high-schoolers would wear in the McDonalds All-American Game, not worn by a professional basketball team of any kind, let alone the team that won 60 games and finished top in the East. I would have liked to see a simpler re-brand, something along the lines of Milwaukee and Philadelphia: not doing too much, but doing enough to make their looks all-new, and excite their respective fan-bases.

If I had to grade these, I’d go with a C+: The effort was there, along with the creativity. Unfortunately, they just missed the mark. Still doing better than the Clippers. Glorified practice jerseys will NEVER be cool.

Leave comments below on what you think of the Hawks’ new uniforms!

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