An Open Letter To Professional Sports Teams' Marketing Departments

Dear professional sports franchise marketing departments,

I know you guys mean well. I know your job is to come up with quirky, enticing campaigns to not only get fans to games, but encourage their participation. Your slogans may need some work -- OK, some need a lot of work -- and your ideas can be hit-or-miss, but you serve a purpose.

But please, consult with the team before planning one event that's all the rage: The color-out.

It's a cute idea to hand out shirts and have fans all dressed in the same color for the playoffs. It really is cool, and looks well when executed correctly. A uniform crowd whipped into a frenzy looks awesome on television.

Know what doesn't look awesome? When that color doesn't match the uniform of the home team. And I'm not talking about the wrong shade or whatever. I'm talking about the color being uniformly worn by the crowd matching the jersey of the visitor.

For example this was Game 1 of the Thunder-Mavs series:


The Thunder are in white. This looks like a Mavs home game. And speaking of ... here's Game 3.


This is a Mavs home game. Oklahoma City is in blue. Dallas is in white. This makes no sense.

Now, let's detour to hockey. Here's Game 1 of the Coyotes-Kings series:


The crowd is in white. The Kings are in white. The Coyotes are in red.

And before you stop me, I know about the whiteout tradition that dates back to the Winnipeg Jets. And it still makes no damn sense when the home jerseys are red. This looks like an L.A. crowd.

So please, when planning these out, match them to your team's home colors. Use some logic and make it really intimidating. You think the Kings, wearing white, were looking at the crowd thinking it was closing in on them? Or were they thinking, "Wow, a lot of our fans came to visit us?"

Just coordinate a little bit. Trust me, it's totally worth it, and the tradition that results will be even better.

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