|The Raptors' original road uniform|
The Toronto Raptors’ decision to wear their inaugural purple uniforms for “select” home games in 2014-15 seems a good one. It’s logical that a team celebrating its 20th season would wear a uniform from its past for a few games. And in this case, that uni is very good.
It is certainly busy, but it’s busy with good-to-fantastic elements. There’s the raptor on the jersey, the jagged pinstripes in two different shades, the spiked nameplate, the funky word mark, different logos on each side of the shorts, the scoop collar and coloured waistband with striping, and the colours.
All of those are positives that combine for a distinctive uniform, but that many positives are also slightly overwhelming. Only slightly, though; the good still outweighs the bad.
The Raptors will also be wearing a 20th season patch on their regular home uniforms in 2014-15. The patch will be a variation of the team’s 20th season logo, which means that it could look pretty nice.
Despite the patch’s aesthetic potential and that patches are pretty common, this move seems too unnecessary to be worthwhile. Marking your 20th season isn't enough justification for essentially altering your home uniform for the length of that season. Still, that’s only a mild issue.
Wearing that purple uniform could be a way for the Raptors to determine if purple should be used in the team’s rebrand for 2015-16. They did choose to wear the purple uniform for next season, not the white one, even though they’ll be wearing them at home games.
If that is the case and the consensus is that fans like the old uniforms, it’d be interesting to know how much those purple uniforms will influence the rebrand. Is reverting to those uniforms with minimal tweaking an option? Or will just one or two elements be revived? There are plenty to choose from, but it could be tough to pick out just a few when the complete combo is what makes those unis so distinctive.
Of course, the 20th season celebrations and the 2015-16 rebrand could be entirely separate.
What’s more certain is that the Raptors will look sharp when wearing purple next season, however many times that is.