NFL’s Color Rush is a Bust, at Least For Now

In recent years, alternative uniforms have become all the rage. It started with the NFL’s “throwback” games, where teams show off “classic” uniforms from yesteryear, often, both hideous and ridiculous…while trying for nostalgia. Then came the various alternate college uniforms. Everything from angel wings to split helmet designs.

But don’t think for a minute the NFL would allow its product to be upstaged by the NCAA. The pro football league came back with, well, it could be called a “vengeance” for many reasons. Chalk this one up to “what were they thinking?” But the color rush uniform experiment is an undisputed bust.

Fans thoroughly enjoyed mocking the single-color uniforms. For example, many said the recent Bucs versus Rams game looked like ketchup playing keepaway from mustard. One look at the scoreboard, though, and it was clear it was mustard’s night. Other clever meme generators replaced the players with candles or popsicles … but whatever inanimate object was chosen, the uniforms were universally panned.

But, from a PR perspective, it actually got worse for the NFL than a few million finger pointers on social media. Cue the Bills versus the Jets.

For those who may not be familiar, the Bills colors are red, white and blue, while the Jets colors are green and white. For the color rush game, the teams ended up green versus red. Only one problem and some of you may be way ahead of me: many colorblind persons cannot distinguish between red and green. There are upwards of 13 million colorblind American adults, most of them male … So, many fans literally could not tell one team from the other.

The NFL promoted the color rush games as a “test” for potential color changes for next season. So far, it seems, the tests don’t appear to be performing up to expectations. That’s bad news for the NFL, who, despite saying they aren’t married to this promotion, have already planned to have teams in all Thursday games, which are broadcast by the NFL Network, decked out in the color rush unis. So, unless things change, expect more condiments squaring off next season.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of NY based PR Firm, 5WPR. 5W is headquartered in New York with offices in LA and Denver.

**This article originally appeared on Odwyer’s @

Ronn Torossian is CEO & Founder of 5WPR & one of America’s most notable PR executives. He is the Author of best-selling PR book, “For Immediate Release.“

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