A fresh, new look for a fresh start could lead to better results.
At least, that is what the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were hoping when they unveiled their sharp, new uniforms with much fanfare yesterday.
"These new uniforms are kind of representative of the clean slate that we're starting with this season -- with the new coaching staff and a lot of new faces," suggested veteran offensive lineman Matt Sheridan, who modelled the new unis alongside teammate Wes Lysack. "So, we're very excited and looking forward to it."
The Bombers, you may recall, finished fourth in the CFL West with a 7-11 record last season.
"If it changes our record from 7-11 to 11-7, I'll love them," said Bomber GM Brendan Taman.
The most obvious difference is that the pants are now a truer shade of gold than the worn look of the recent past. The logos on the helmets and jerseys have been reversed from a white to a blue and patch to recognize the club's 75th anniversary has also been added.
"It's a cleaner, crisper look," said Bomber vice-president of sales and marketing Jerry Maslowsky. "It was a matter of sharpening them up without taking anything away from the Blue and Gold colour scheme."
The new unis have also been custom-tailored to satisfy the different players' body types.
"Reebok does a lot of intensive research and anybody who watches football can tell the body types are a little bit different," Sheridan said. "Consequently, the uniform needs are going to be a little bit different -- offensive linemen probably put a little more stress on their pants than say, guys who aren't bent over and running and pushing as much as we are. They are very technological about it. The materials and the colours and the way they feel and fit is spectacular.
"It's like the banner. It's like the colour of your car. It's how you represent yourself. The colours and the design of it have a lot to do with the marketing as well, but if the players believe in what the uniform looks like, you feel better and you play better."
Reebok, by the way, has designed new uniforms for all nine CFL teams.
The new-look replica jerseys will be available to fans only at the Bomber Store for the next 10 days. The first 300 to purchase them will get a free 75th anniversary patch, and yes, the Bombers are hoping the new look will have a major impact on merchandise sales.
Full distribution of all the new-look CFL jerseys starts May 13.