We talk to Cards President Bill DeWitt III about the new City Connect uniforms – SportsLogos.Net News

The St. Louis Cardinals' new Nike MLB City Connect uniforms will debut on the field this afternoon. The red jersey with “The Lou” printed on the chest is inspired by Nelly's hit song. Revealed on Monday Overall positive reaction from fans and media.

Shortly after the uniform was revealed, sports logo network I had the opportunity to speak with Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III about the development of the club's City Connect uniforms.

During the thirty-minute call, DeWitt discussed the entire process, from Nike approaching the Cardinals about the City Connect project to considering red pants and how they could retain the classic chain-stitched lettering on the uniforms .

Shop: St. Louis Cardinals new City Connect jerseys, hats, shirts and more now available, right here

St. Louis Cardinals new Nike MLB City Connect uniforms unveiled on May 20, 2024

“This goes back a few years. Nike went from team to team to launch the City Connect series based on each team's schedule, and we chose to join,” DeWitt explained. “We have a pretty good mix of home, away and substitute kits that I'm already happy with. So City Connect is more challenging because we have to rethink the whole mix of the team's look.

As DeWitt clarified, the decision to opt in is voluntary. “It's not that you have to do this or you won't get central fund income. We can opt in.

Nike's “four plus one” approach requires teams to consolidate their uniforms, which means the Cardinals must make some changes to their five-piece uniforms. “Nike has teams take a four-plus-one approach. We already have four, red in spring training. The reality of opting into City Connect is to take away the spring training jerseys, wear City Connect, and then wear them in spring training Wear white and gray uniforms,” ​​DeWitt detailed.

“The Lou” chain-stitched on the river pinstripe jersey was inspired by Nelly's 2000 song “Country Grammar,” in which he sang: “I'm from 'The Lou' and I'm proud.”

Did the elimination of red spring training uniforms play a role in choosing red as the City Connect uniform color? “Maybe that was a factor, but more importantly we never wore a red jersey. [regularly] Regular season. This is the main color of the team. This struck us as an opportunity for us to stay true to our color combination while still doing something different. That's what we decided early on.

It may seem surprising that the Cardinals haven't worn red uniforms in years, as it fits naturally with the team's name and color scheme. “Well, it didn’t become a natural fit until about 2000, when it was still mostly white for home and gray for road [across the league],” DeWitt explained. “The team started making these alternating tops in dark, primary colors. We resisted that trend. My dad used to say it looked like a softball team. He grew up playing games in the 1940s and '50s. It was I may have inherited a bit of a generational perspective.

Bill DeWitt III has served as president of the St. Louis Cardinals since 2008

Balancing tradition and modernity also brings its own set of challenges. DeWitt acknowledged the subtle nature of changing the Cardinals' iconic look, including the use of a scripted “The Lou” on the front of the uniforms. “There’s definitely some concern, but also some excitement about being able to try out the uniforms a little bit.”

“Anytime you mess with the Cardinals' logo combination, you're playing with fire. It's such a great iconic look. Why put a mustache on the Mona Lisa? There are so many different looks for modern baseball teams, I like that they all come together and feel like they're part of the same family, even with City Connect it's okay to try to do something different and push it a little bit, but based on how I feel about the Cardinals and what they represent. The sense of meaning, which is limited.

Several options were considered during the design process, including colored trousers. “We did look at an all-red jersey, and some of the players I talked to said, 'Just do it! Come on, it'll be cool! We simulated them, but we didn't get to the point of actually creating one. To the extent of wearing red pants. I watched a few college teams and it was all red. I googled pictures of them in action, but it came down to just a lot of red. I thought of the word pajamas every time I looked at it. , when switching between red and white pants, the white ones look better from an aesthetic point of view, which is what drove this decision.

A closer look at the river-inspired pinstripes on the Cardinals City Connect jersey

One of the standout features of the new uniforms is the river pinstripes symbolizing the Mississippi River, as well as the armbands with arches and fleur-de-lis. “I love river pinstripes. I think it's a great idea. I can't remember who came up with the idea; it was probably one of the designers at Nike. I'm surprised another team didn't think of this. Cardinals Pinstripes are not traditionally worn, but we have them so embedded in our history that I thought it would be a cool element for us to bring back and add that variation.

The Arch/Fleur armband is designed to reflect the heritage of St. Louis. “The sleeve patch was a way to combine some St. Louis icons into one design. Once we decided to go ahead and use the bird on the bat on the front, it deprived us of the expression of other city symbols. The patch was a way to combine iconic symbols way that reflects a lot of French heritage. Combining the two and adding “STL” is another way to tie it to the Cardinals and the city to unify it all.

With “The Lou” on the chest, the Cardinals needed a way to incorporate St. Louis into their uniforms, and the new armbands do just that, while also incorporating the new cap “STL” logo

Even the design of the hat pays homage to tradition. “We tried a few things. We thought about using sleeve patches as hat logos, which is cool, but I'm more of a hat purist. I've always loved that it was the city's acronym. There's an opportunity to do a million things with hats Different things, but using the same font as “STL” on the patches and player tags creates a common theme around the 1920s Cardinals lettering style that I really like.”

The word “The Lou” on the front of the jersey has sparked some snickers on social media because it has other meanings in British slang, but DeWitt isn't worried. “Unfortunately, the word has a meaning in the UK, but I always think back to Nelly's Country Grammar song where he says, 'I'm from The Lou and I'm proud.' It's to connect with a younger group or more progressive fans make connections. The word can have multiple meanings, and just because a word has that meaning elsewhere doesn't mean it has to have that meaning here. It does have a certain number of vernacular uses. There.

The reason why “STL” on the red hat was chosen instead of the armband logo was because people prefer the city abbreviation on the hat. Letters based on 1920 Cardinals uniforms

One of the most popular parts of the Cardinals uniforms is the chain stitching, and fortunately, this is retained in the City Connect design and new Nike uniforms launched earlier this year. The Cardinals are the only club to avoid using Nike's new, lighter fabric as its uniform logo.

“It started about five years ago at an owners meeting when they announced that Nike would take over the program. Nike presented each team’s proposed jerseys at the owners’ meeting. Our jerseys have all of Nike’s features, including Birdie, but birdie uses this new fabric, I don't have a problem with it, but to put it in context, we've had chain stitch embroidered jerseys for over 100 years, since 1922. history and we're taking it off for no reason Nike is focusing on performance and using lighter weight fabrics that are more about performance and stretch, which is fine, but I don't think it would be better if we had a chain-stitched birdie. , we'll hit fewer home runs… I'm kidding, of course.

A closer look at the chain-stitch detail of the Cardinals jersey logo: The Cardinals have used chain-stitching on their uniforms since 1922 and convinced Nike to allow them to continue it on new uniform styles launching in 2024 this way

DeWitt also emphasized that retaining the chain stitching will help distinguish the style of Nike's “elite” jerseys from replica jerseys. “I'm concerned that at the retail level there won't be much difference between elite jerseys and replicas. Replicas may account for 80% of sales because they are reasonably priced, whereas 'Elite' jerseys sell for over $400. We worked with Nike to retain it, which required them to retool everything. There's a lot of pressure on them to get 30 teams (multiplied by four plus one) into retail, which is a big proposition even for Nike. They're doing things like this to streamline and simplify, but we've still managed to keep the chain stitching, which is great.

Shop: St. Louis Cardinals new City Connect jerseys, hats, shirts and more now available, right here

This afternoon, fans will get their first look at the uniforms created by DeWitt, the Cardinals and Nike on the field when the Cardinals take on the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. The Cards will wear the new suit multiple times starting today through the remainder of the 2024 season. you can Learn more about the new uniforms here.

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