Individual red and black sports uniforms have long been reliant on color scheme selection as lucky charms to their sporting endeavors, whereas the color combination factor in team sports have been minimal until recently. Players had to wear what team management and sponsors decided for home and away games. All changed until recently when the behavioral scientists and data statisticians found out that team emblems, jersey fit, and color combinations, along with several other variables positively or negatively impacted team performance.
The American sportspersons were the first in identifying this pattern, which they successfully implemented in multiple individual and team sports. Among the most adopted traditional colors are red and black sports uniforms, followed by blue and green. When observed scientifically, these color patterns are to be found in the bulk of the successful teams in all sports, which include American football, soccer, rugby, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, together with many other sports.
What makes selecting these specific color patterns the success factor for some teams and vice versa? Which teams have had most season titles wearing either reds or blacks, or some part of their uniforms dyed in a selected color range? The article will explore the uniform color selection and its implications on team performances and individuals’ perceptions of the game.
National Football League or NFL is an all-American football league that features 32 teams competing in a 2-tier championship model. NFL championship is sub-divided into two major conferences namely National Football Conference (NFC) and American Football Conference (AFC). Both the conferences feature 16 teams each. Out of 32 teams, 14 are selected for play-offs (seven from each conference). Each team is provided with a unique emblem, color combination, and distinct identity for their respective state or city during sports competitions.
The most popular color combinations in NFL championships are red, black, and blue. Out of 32 teams, 13 NFL teams have black-colored jerseys followed by 12 teams that wear red uniforms. The other 13 teams wear blue jerseys at home or away matches.
- Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Arizona Cardinals wear both black and red uniforms intermittently throughout season games.
- Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders, Carolina Panthers, and New Orleans Saints wear black-only uniforms throughout NFL seasons.
- New England Patriots, Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Francisco 49ers wear red-only uniforms in NFL.
National Basketball Association or NBA is a primarily US-based professional basketball league that comprises 30 teams in total. NBA too has a 2-tier league structure i.e., western, and eastern leagues with 15 teams in each division. Out of 30 teams, 16 reach the play-offs, that is 8 teams from each division. The most popular team colors, logos, and patterns used in NBA division leagues include white, blue, red, and black.
The most popular shade is black which is used by 18 teams, followed by blue which fits in 17 NBA jerseys and logos, whereas red color is used by 12 teams.
- Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, and Toronto Raptors mix both red and black sports uniforms into their logos and shoulder linings, jerseys, and shorts, and sometimes in shoes and socks.
- Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Brooklyn Nets, and New York Knicks feature all-black in their uniforms one way or the other.
- Atlanta Hawks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Pelicans, Philadelphia 76ers, and Washington Wizards dominantly use red in their sportswear.
A household football brand in Italy, Serie A is a top-tier football league which is also known as Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie A which has been conducting football championships since 1929. The league is divided into regional groups for home and away matches. Serie A is a top-tier competition in Italian Football, followed by two more professional sub-divisions which are Serie B (tier-2) and Serie C (tier-3). The top three teams of the tournament are automatically qualified for European Champions League. The most successful club in Serie A is Juventus with 35 Coppa Campioni d’Italia titles in Serie A history.
- S. Roma, Cagliari, Genoa, and Torino wear red suits throughout NHL seasons as their signature shade in championships.
- The jet-black color combination worn by NHL teams including A.C. Milan, Juventus, and Udinese players are confident about the winning charm black brings to your sporting dresses.
- AC Milan and Udinese combine red and black in their uniforms for league stage games as well as for the playoffs.
Major League Baseball MLB is one of the oldest sports bodies in the United States and Canada. The professional baseball league comprises 30 teams from both countries, which include Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, and more.
The teams with predominantly red uniforms include Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, and Washington Nationals.
Miami Marlins, Chicago White Sox, and Pittsburgh Pirates optimize their jerseys and pants with completely blackened shades.
However, a few teams utilize both the red and black combos in their sports kits. Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, and Boston Red Sox are examples.
National Hockey League or NHL is a professional ice hockey league in Northern America. NHL is regarded as the best ice hockey league worldwide because of its talent discovery prospects, century-old history, and systematic league structure. There are 32 teams in total which are further divided into two divisions i.e., Eastern Conference and Western Conference. 24 teams are US-based while the remaining seven hail from Canada. The Eastern Conference leg is further subdivided into Atlantic and Metropolitan teams. Western divisions comprise Central and Pacific sub-groups.
- The National Hockey League teams that wear midnight black as their primary color are Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, and Pittsburgh Penguins.
- Red wearing NHL teams include Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators, and Quebec Nordiques.
- Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils, and Ottawa Senators put in the part-red part-black color mix in their home and away games.