Provinzial?, Borges?, Pandora? Who are these teams?

For Americans discovering European sports there are many aspects that take a little while to get used to. Probably, the very first thing that causes confusion and consternation are team jerseys. Instead of a familiar distinct logo and/or team name European clubs sport advertisements. Often, you can’t see anything on the jersey that clearly indicates which team is which. If you are a new fan, unfamiliar with the clubs and their colors, sometimes you might even have to wait until one team scores to figure out who’s who. Or you could even have the bizarre situation of a few years ago when Flensburg and Kiel would meet it what would look like a Provinzial inter-squad scrimmage.

But what seems strange and a little bizarre at first becomes no big deal (at least for me anyway) after you get used to it. And, I’ve always wondered whether it’s been contemplated for U.S. Sports teams. Last week the folks at Freakonomics investigated this very issue in-depth, covering many aspects of U.S. sports that [u]might[/u] make it less practical. These issues include conflicts with TV advertising, top athlete’s other endorsements and, of course, tradition.

Included in the podcast is a little tidbit that might be interesting to U.S. Team Handball fans. Major League Soccer (MLS) club, Real Salt Lake became the first American Professional sports club to sport an ad on their jerseys in 2006. And the General Manager for Real Salt Lake at that time was none other than current USATH General Manager, Steve Pastorino. Don’t be surprised is Team USA is sporting an ad in the near future on USA jerseys. Let’s just hope it’s not XanGo.

Freakonomics Radio: The NFL’s Best Real Estate Isn’t for Sale. Yet.:
MP3 Audio:
XanGo/Real Salt Lake Press Release (2006)