uni watch black lives matter sheffield united
The Premier League will return this week with a number of nods to the Black Lives Matter movement
Sheffield United/Premier League

The Uni Watch Design Contest: Help Pro Sports Honor Black Lives Matter

Whenever American sports finally return to the fray, some new patches and logos are in order

With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing and safety protocols in flux, it’s not yet a sure thing that any of the major North American sports leagues will return to live action this year. 

But one thing appears certain: Whenever the games return, players will be wearing some sort of messaging to express solidarity with the racial justice protests that have swept across the nation and the world in recent weeks.

We’ve seen this already in European soccer, where play has begun to resume across the continent. The German soccer club Eintracht Frankfurt wore “#blacklivesmatter” on the front of their shirts on June 10, and players in the English Premier League will wear “Black Lives Matter” in place of their surnames as that league returns to action. Here in the States, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has commissioned a set of custom-painted George Floyd memorial cleats that he plans to wear when the NFL gets back on the field (many other athletes will likely do something similar), and even NASCAR has gotten into the act, with driver Bubba Wallace running a Black Lives Matter-themed car in the recent NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

With all of that in mind, it seems likely or even inevitable that when players return to action, many teams and leagues will wear patches (or helmet decals, or some other uniform adornments) that acknowledge the racial justice movement. What we don’t yet know, however, is what those patches will look like.

And that’s where you come in.

In the past, we’ve run Uni Watch design contests to reimagine specific teams’ apparel, but this time we want to try something different: Our latest design challenge is to create a logo, patch, decal or symbol for players to wear in support of the racial justice uprising.

Here are the rules and guidelines:

  • Your logo can be as simple as a baseball cap with “BLM” on the crown, as elaborate as a bunch of silhouetted players kneeling, Colin Kaepernick-style, or anything in between. But it should make some connection between sports and the current protest movement.

  • Your logo can be themed for a specific team, a specific league, a specific sport or sports in general.

  • We’re mainly interested in logos here, but if you want to create a full team uniform design that fits our theme, feel free to submit it.

  • Your designs can be created in any digital or analog medium (Illustrator, Photoshop, crayon, whatever) and submitted in any standard digital format (JPG, PDF, TIFF, etc.). You can also create a video presentation, upload it to YouTube and submit the YouTube link as your entry.

  • The files you submit should be named after yourself (JohnDoe.jpg, for example). If you’re submitting multiple files, please either number them (JohnDoe1.jpg, JohnDoe2.jpg) or use some other designation to make it clear that they’re multiple designs from the same person. Entries that don’t follow this format will not be considered.

  • Email your entry to Uni Watch HQ. If you have more than one design concept, feel free to enter as many times as you like.

Deadline: Submit all entries by Friday, June 26. We’ll showcase the best entries here on InsideHook shortly thereafter. Good luck!

Paul Lukas notes with a raised eyebrow that “MLB” backwards is “BLM.” If you like this article, you’ll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for his mailing list so you won’t miss any of his future InsideHook columns. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, check out his Uni Watch merchandise, or just ask him a question? Contact him here.

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