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London Games will intro Albert

5 Sep

Next year’s London Olympics will see the debut of a new soccer ball, “The Albert”, affectionately named after the city’s Albert Hall.

A ball naming competition was recently opened to the public, with over 12,000 unique monikers submitted in a ten-day period, before the cheeky rhyming slang entry was selected. Adidas say they wanted to acknowledge the East End of London, which has become synonymous with the upcoming Games, and to also create some global intrigue.

Intrigue is one thing, but surely design is equally on Adidas’ mind after last year’s Jabulani debacle at the World Cup. That shiny number – famous for dipping on unsuspecting goalkeepers – was oddly constructed with just eight panels instead of the traditional 32. Apparently the architects were looking for a marketing angle instead of performance.

Such was the criticism of the last ball that scientists around the world later tested it and concluded its fewer panels and internal stitching made it as close to a perfect sphere as a ball has ever been. We can only hope Albert will be a little, well, fatter.

Imperfect spheres in sports like tennis, golf and cricket provide those games with their unique characteristics, where the trajectory and bounce, and players’ reactions to such movements, are part of the romance of each sport. The same is true of soccer, if not even more so.

That’s why The Albert needs to be dull and imperfect, true to the touch, instead of stealing the limelight like a right royal pain in the…

The new football’s design will remain under wraps until its official launch in spring 2012.

Grizzlies logo in honor of Game 7

15 May

 

 

The current Grizzlies logo is reminiscent of the Chicago Bears, which is why it’s so cool. Now the older logo from the Vancouver era isn’t altogether bad, but would be better suited to a minor league baseball club. Certainly in the battle of logos, Memphis sweeps OKC 4-0.

Portland Timbers have a cool logo

4 Apr

File:PortlandTimbersMLSLogo.png

One of the new additions to Major League Soccer in 2011 is the Portland Timbers, who are bringing their rich tradition and trail-blazing fans to the pro ranks.

Beyond good soccer and proud fans, the Timbers have also honed their logo, a combination of heritage imagery and slick design. The axe clearly references the Pacific Northwest’s logging industry and the three chevrons organized to resemble a pine tree, point to the Timbers’ membership in three separate leagues: the original North American Soccer League, the United Soccer Leagues, and Major League Soccer.

The colors are ponderosa green and moss green, and represent the state of Oregon’s forests.

It all makes for a simple, yet attractive emblem, evoking the region’s history and strength.

Check out this great launch video below.

Tampa Bay goes vintage

15 Feb

New Lightning jersey

The Tampa Bay Lightning recently unveiled its new look to more mixed reviews than a Super Bowl anthem singing.

Numerous news sites and blogs have run fan polls about the new flash digs, with those in favor hardly overwhelming the detractors.

I find this strange because the new jersey is all class. I’m no Armani but I don’t know how you could conjure something better – even with Giorgio himself leading the design team. Some fans are tough to please I guess.

The two-tone uniforms with simplified lightning bolt logo hark back to another era. And that can only be a good thing. Let’s face it, the old jersey was caught in that early 90s design vortex that has hurt so many hockey team identities – as well as teen idols like Luke Perry and various R&B stars.

General Manager Steve Yzerman and the club consulted strategic brand development firm SME to develop the new brand, with an emphasis on a “classic” and “iconic” look.

And I think they succeeded. The blue and white incarnation is reminiscent of classic Maple Leafs uniforms, which hopefully for Tampa’s sake, inspires classic Leafs-like victories.

Flyers need song, stamp and more to win

10 May

Kate Smith stamp

The Philadelphia Flyers are working with the US Postal Service to unveil a stamp of legendary singer Kate Smith at the Spectrum this month. As The Inquirer recalled yesterday, Smith performed “God Bless America” before the Flyers played the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 1974. And she’s been a good luck charm ever since because the Flyers won that game and the series. If only the Philly players could take the tune on the road, maybe play with their iPods on or something. They’ll need it against the Bruins in Boston, where they haven’t won a playoff game since 1976.

Ben Roethlisberger SI cover story

9 May

Ben Roethisberger SI 2010

Sports Illustrated has long been at the top of our magazine piles, showing off the world’s best sports photography and well-crafted headlines. This cover featuring Ben Roethlisberger is not only appropriately framed but the cover line is just so perfectly succinct. The Pittsburgh Steelers are indeed facing a social and PR hangover right now, even if some of the water has run under the bridge. SI’s David Epstein explores the psychological issues that might be at play in Big Ben’s behavior, within his investigative piece this week.

Retro cool LED watch

8 May

LIP watch Diode LED This Diode LED watch by LIP stood out to us while reading nymag.com today. It’s just so old school 70s cool. And $250 seems a fair price. Seriously, this is the type of watch Batman must wear, right? Watchismo has more pics.