Last week, the Utah Jazz unveiled an entirely new colour scheme, a completely redesigned home, road, alternate uniform, and a slightly modified logo set.
This all sounds like a pretty big deal for any professional sports team, right?
Well, not to the Jazz, it seems. The Salt Lake City-based basketball team absolutely buried the lede underneath the revelation that they’ll be wearing a 1990s purple throwback for several games in 2022-23 and then will bring out a different, new purple alternate (“City Edition”) uniform annually in each of the following three seasons (similar in concept to what the Raptors are doing now).
“Purple is back and here to stay,” led off Jim Olson, president of the Utah Jazz, in the team’s release. “This uniform collection features the return of our cornerstone colour, purple, which will be integral to our new designs in future Jazz seasons. Purple is beloved by our fan base and lives at the core of our identity. Alongside our newly painted courts, these fresh yet familiar looks speak to our great history and dynamic future.”
While purple is indeed beloved, and purple is said to live at the core of their new identity, it’s nowhere to be found in the club’s “Association” (home white), “Icon” (road yellow), or “Statement” (alternate black) uniforms; instead, they’re all straight-up yellow, black, and white.
That’s right, the Utah Jazz are now a black and yellow team. You didn’t quite catch that from the president’s comments there, did you? The article on the official Jazz website about the new uniforms doesn’t even mention the club colours are now black and yellow until the sixth(!) paragraph.
Don’t get me wrong, bringing back the purple throwbacks is a great move; they’re fun uniforms and were worn during the team’s back-to-back appearance in the NBA Finals. The prevalence of their throwback in their own coverage just shows you how little confidence the team must have in its own new brand, it honestly feels as though they realize they may have made a mistake going to a simple black and gold look. I believe the NBA requires teams to wait five years before changing an “Icon” or “Association” uniform? I think we can start the countdown now; new purple Utah Jazz home and road uniforms are coming in the Summer of 2027.
Anyways, enough of my thoughts on how this was all handled; let’s get on to the new uniforms.
The Utah Jazz new “Association” uniform is white with the team’s familiar music note/basketball logo on the chest in black with no trim colours, the player’s number is positioned to the left of the logo in that same plain black. Around the collar and the arms is yellow trim, “UTAH” is laid out in plain black lettering on the waistband of the shorts, and a super subtle silver stripe is down each side of the jersey and shorts. There’s a method to this design; they say the black and white colour scheme symbolizes “the white and black keys on a piano,” which as we know is “a significant element in the history of jazz music.”
This sounds like a relatively simple design, right? Well, giddy up because it’s the most complex of the team’s new three primary uniform rotation.
The new “Icon” set is yellow to represent “the spotlight designated to the greatest performers in history” and “a nod to the fact that Utah embraces being in the spotlight.” (Really?) It reads “JAZZ” across the chest in plain black, the player’s number below in black and exceptionally large. No trim around the collar or the arms, but there is a slight, tapering white stripe up the side of the jerseys and shorts. UTAH along the waistband of the shorts in black.
The Air Jordan-branded “Statement” uniform is black (or “Dark Mode,” as the team calls it) with UTAH across the chest in yellow, player number below, and “JAZZ” in black (on black, of course) on the waistband of the shorts. The Jordan logo is yellow in the upper right corner and on the front of the shorts.
As for the logos, the new “Global Logo” (which we treat as a “Primary Logo” on here) is the Jazz note/basketball in black with UTAH JAZZ written below it in stacked black lettering; the “Primary Icon” is the Jazz note in black with nothing else accompanying it. Take a look:
There are no alternate logos; it’s just Jazz note/basketball; also, of note, purple is nowhere to be found in the team’s official colours or stylesheets. “Core Colour.”
The purple throwback “mountain” uniform, which I’ve been told will be treated as their “City Edition” set in 2022-23, is the same design as what the Jazz wore on the road from 1996-97 until 2003-04.
Here it is:
Yes. Pure retro goodness.
As I mentioned earlier in the post, there will be new purple uniforms each season going forward (“forever”, says the launch video). The team, in a fairly unprecedented move, gave us a look at their next two purple uniforms, for now, set to be worn during the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons respectively.
First, on the left, now that’s a deeee-cent City Edition set; a quality modernization of a classic look, brought into the 2020s. It’s great, good work. To the right we have another throwback, this time going alllll the way back to the inaugural season of the New Orleans Jazz back in 1974-75 (appropriate for the 2024-25 season, which would be the 50th anniversary of the franchise)
The highlight of this whole new Utah Jazz brand are the new court designs, in my opinion.
The primary (or “Core”) court will feature the Jazz note at centre with black sidelines and “UTAH JAZZ” in yellow behind each basket. a large chrome Jazz note is added and can be seen from one sideline to the other but only visible against the black of those sidelines — I feel like I can’t explain it adequately, just look at the photo:
For City Edition/Throwback uniform games, the court will feature the team’s 1990s purple mountain primary logo at centre, purple keys, purple sidelines, and again “UTAH JAZZ” behind each basket.
“We wanted to try to be innovative in our approach to the design, which is something we’ve been cognizant of in everything we do,” Utah Jazz Design Director Ben Barnes said to UtahJazz.com. “With the new core court, that meant looking at some new ways to do common elements. With the updated mountain court, it meant finding ways to merge elements from the past with those of the present.”
The Utah Jazz have a busy season coming up; in addition to the completely new look, the team is also playing host to the 2023 NBA All-Star game on Sunday, February 19, 2023. The logo for that game can be found right here.