10 Most Iconic Fictional Sports Team Uniforms of All Time
03/19/2019 by RushOrderTees.com
There are no limits when it comes to Americans obsessing over our favorite past time–sports. Not only do we love watching our professional athletes play on TV and our children play on the field, but we also love rooting for fictional teams we see in TV shows and movies. Interestingly enough, some of these fictional teams even have the power to transcend from the big screen into people’s every day lives. Here is a countdown of the top 10 most popular fictional sports teams from pop-culture:
10. The Bad News Bears (1976)
The original film is an undisputed family classic, the 2005 remake is pretty solid, and the uniforms are some of the best in sports movie history. In some ways, the Bears’ uniforms held up better to the test of time than the movie itself. The logo design is brilliant in its simplicity, and the slouch fitted hats worn by the team are more popular now than ever (see rappers like Kendrick Lamar and Mac Miller). Bright yellow & white is not an easy color combination to pull off, but much like the plot of the movie, these kids defied the odds and made it cool to not be like everybody else.
9. Team Drake (2009)
There was a time when Aubrey “Drake” Graham was better known as “That kid in the wheelchair on Degrassi” than the most successful rapper of this decade. That all changed in the spring of 2009 when he dropped his game-changing mixtape, So Far Gone featuring hit single “Best I Ever Had.” Kanye West directed Drake’s first video, which was based on the concept of the rapper coaching “Team Drake,” AKA a basketball team of attractive young women. The video was not well-received upon initial release, and even today seems like more of a campy joke than the introduction of one of the biggest artists in the music business. The “Team Drake” uniforms were undeniably cool, however, and still serve as an almost forgotten relic from the early days of Drake’s career.
8. Charleston Chiefs (1977)
The story of a comically violent minor league hockey team has aged incredibly well, and so have the Chief’s jerseys. The simple blue, yellow, and white uniforms have a classic feel that would look at home during the days of the “Original Six”, the modern era, and any time period in between. The large block lettering is unmistakable, and considering merchandise bearing the logo is still popular with fans (how many 40-year-old movies can say that?), it’s clear the design has stood the test of time.
7. Bayside Tigers (1989)
Unless your high school team’s captain was AC Slater and you were required to wear midriff-bearing jersey’s, Zubaz pants, and WigWam socks on game day, there is a good chance they weren’t as good as the Bayside Tigers. Today, the maroon and white Tiger logo continues to be popular, a full 25 years after its debut. It sells like a champion with brands like Urban Outfitters, whose shoppers were just babies when Lisa Turtle was dissing Screech. Yet, however many reruns later, a classic is a classic, and the Bayside Tigers rule.
6. Western University Dolphins (1994)
Released in 1994, Blue Chips featured Nick Nolte coaching a of squad of “Blue Chip” basketball players, led by dynamic duo Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee Hardaway. The movie was a hit with fans and showcased the acting prowess of a young Shaq, which would lead him to films such as Kazaam and Steele. The movie became such a cult classic that Dolphins jerseys were released in 2016 and quickly sold out. Reebok also partnered with sneaker boutique Packer Shoes in honor of the team, and released a limited edition of Shaq’s first signature Reebok Pump. They ended up being one of the most sought after sneaker releases of 2015.
5. Miami Sharks (1999)
Apparently in the late 90’s, the costume designers on Any Given Sunday wanted to see what would happen if they mixed the almost entirely black uniforms of the Atlanta Falcons with Greg Norman’s golf apparel line, and then threw in a touch of the San Jose Sharks for good measure. The results were impressive. The Shark’s uniforms are simple but intimidating, and classic but modern. They fit perfectly into the alternate-universe-version of the NFL featured in the movie, which is still talked about favorably among both football and film circles. Recently, Willie Beamon jerseys were a huge hit with a new generation of fans when streetwear boutique Villa released a version of them.
4. Flint Tropics (2008)
Between Ron Burgundy, Frank The Tank, and Chazz Michael Michaels, Will Ferrell has created more than his share of memorable movie characters. None, however, wore duds as iconic as Jackie Moon in 2008’s Semi Pro. The movie perfectly captured the 1970’s upstart of ABA and their attempts to lure fans away from the well-established NBA. The Flint Tropics even featured colorful uniforms, players with over-the-top personalities (and facial hair) and insane promotions (wrestling a bear at half court). The Tropics’ uniform hit the scene a few years too late for the Throwback Jersey craze of the early 2000’s, but the uniform remains a favorite Halloween costume, even almost a decade after the release of the film.
3. Dillon Panthers (2006)
Arguably the best high school drama ever on television, Friday Night Lights perfectly depicted life in a football-obsessed Texas town–down to the Under Armour-branded uniforms. The Dillon Panthers wore a bright blue and yellow color scheme, a modern jersey design, and the UA logo. This was the beginning of Under Armour’s approach to making their next generation of football uniforms available to players of all levels. The brand’s push into outfitting athletic departments continues to eat away at market share, previously held by more established companies like Nike and Adidas, and to some extent that push began with the Dillon Panther’s and their rivals. This is an interesting marketing strategy, but looking at the number of teams sporting Under Armour today, it’s hard to argue with it’s effectiveness.
2. Toon Squad & Monstars (1996)
By 1996 Michael Jordan had conquered the NBA, the shoe game, and was clearly the most recognizable athlete on the planet. There was only one thing left for #23 to do… team up with classic Looney Toons characters and challenge a team of rogue aliens (seems logical).
The movie became an instant classic and turned a generation of kids onto the NBA and classic cartoons. The “Space Jam 11’s” sneaker is still sought after two decades after the film left theaters. Uniforms worn by both the Toon Squad and Monstars expertly combined the cartoonish NBA logos popular during the era (Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets, etc.) with a traditional Looney Toons feel. Considering the movie was based on the “Hare Jordan” ad campaign from five years earlier, it’s hard to imagine a movie based on a commercial could have been any more successful.
1. The Mighty Ducks (1992)
All of the previous entries are great fictional sports teams with great logos and uniforms, but only one film was so successful that it actually sparked its own existence in the real world. Just one year after the first Mighty Ducks film hit movie screens, Disney bought the rights to an NHL franchise, bringing the now classic “Donald Duck in a Goalie Mask” logo out of the cineplex and onto the ice.
While some hockey fans questioned the move, Disney laughed all the way to the bank (as they often do). The team’s merchandise sold like hotcakes to younger fans that loved the film, and soon entire families became Ducks supporters. As the 90s progressed the franchise became more successful with several movie sequels, decent on-ice performance, and one of the most valuable brands in the NHL.
A lot of fictional teams can sell merchandise, generate feelings of nostalgia from fans, and even inspire remakes decades after initial release, but only The Mighty Ducks can actually win a championship for their fans.