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Padres Uniform Survey: The Results

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Survey says...time to change!

The results are in.

I first want to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the survey! Your participation has led to interesting conclusions on uniform studies and how the baseball fanhood feels about the Padres current state of jersey affairs.

After a little over a week’s worth of responses, we have a solid collection of data from 2,043 respondents. Thanks to help from all of you on Twitter, we were able to spread the survey around and get a good sample of opinions from not just Padres faithful but fans of other teams across the States as well.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the results!

Demographics

Our survey seized responses from many age groups, but our largest majority of respondents were between the ages of 30-40 (32.9% total) with responses from 24-30 and 40-50 year-olds weighing in at about the same frequency (just south of 19% each). In a bit of a first-time-survey error I included the round age numbers in multiple categories, but let’s just call that a thought experiment:

When the survey first went live the die-hard fans overruled the data set. Fortunately as time went on active and casual baseball fans made their opinions known. Despite the balancing a majority of 47.6% of responses were from baseball die-hards with active watchers coming in at 38% and casuals at 13.6%. A very scant 16 voters (0.8%) identified as non-watchers of baseball.

Naturally the most responses were going to come from Padres fans (it was a Padres-centric survey, after all). Thanks to the help of Twitter, Uni-Watch, et al., the survey had 36% of its responses come from fans of other teams. Which teams weighed in the most? Somewhat unsurprisingly, fans of larger-market and more popular teams:

Chicago Cubs - 2.9% (60 responses)
New York Yankees - 2.5% (52)
Boston Red Sox - 2.4% (49)
New York Mets - 2% (41)
Los Angeles Dodgers - 2% (40)

Now to the meat of the survey...

Colorway Questions

A large portion of respondents do not like the current navy/white color scheme (66.2%). 12.8% of voters chose yes on navy/white. A fair portion feel indifferent regarding the colorway (21%) which in uniform-speak feels like a bit of a negative: the current colorway does not inspire one to feel one way or the other. Of course these respondents can also be truly indifferent to what the Padres wear.

Deep-diving into the indifference metadata showed that a whopping 85% of indifferent voters eventually chose one specific main color over the other. Digging deeper showed that 251 of the 429 total indifferent respondents were Padres fans who were indifferent to the navy/white, and 84% of those indifferent Padres fans preferred one main color over another as well. Which color, exactly? Let’s move on to find out.

An overwhelming majority of responses were in favor of the current Friday colorway (91.7%). 5.1% said no to the brown and 3.2% (65 respondents) were indifferent to the brown.

The indifference wasn’t too vague, either: of the 65 indifferent voters 63% of those really did not prefer brown.

The largest question of the survey for many Padres fans shows that a bit over 88% of total responses were in favor of the brown. There’s not much else to say here other than the majority of people who took the survey have spoken: brown should be the primary color of the Padres.

Padres fans made up 66% of the total brown vote while 34% of the brown votes came from fans of other teams, meaning about a third of brown support in this survey comes from other team’s fans. On the flip side the navy vote was a stronger percentage of Padres fans at 74%, leaving only 26% of the total navy vote to fans of other teams. A lot of navy-primary voters spoke of the ‘91-’98 uniform set in the comments and you’ll read more remarks from respondents further below.

Referring back to the aforementioned navy/white indifferent voters: 85% of indifferent voters ultimately voted brown and 84% of Padres fans indifferent to the navy/white wanted brown as well.

Another boon for the brown: a total of 78.6% of respondents related some form of brown to the Padres. The most related colorway to the Padres was the brown/yellow option at 41.5%; brown/yellow/orange came in second at 31.4%. The brown/orange had the worst showing of the brown options (5.7%), coming in as the only brown option to be outdone by a navy colorway. The 90s-era navy/orange colorway did well at 12.3% and was by far the most popular navy-related colorway. Navy/white was the second-most selected colorway at 4.6%. Even still, the combined percentage of navy colorways (20.9%) cumulatively were less relatable to the Padres than the second most popular brown option (the brown/yellow/orange).

Various “other” single answers asked for brown, white, navy, camouflage, purple(?), PCL colors, and ‘98 colors.

While the result here is somewhat obvious, my idea to include an “other” fill-in choice resulted in a lot of extraneous “other” votes. Some graph titles were blocked out due to the amount of responses; I’ll help navigate you below.

Brown and yellow was the most-selected choice with a nice-and-a-half percentage (69.5%) of all votes. Coming in second is the brown/yellow/orange (53.7%) and brown/orange barely takes third with a 30.2%.

Navy/orange almost overtook the brown/orange choice yet represents the highest-voted navy choice at just a shade over 29%. The one-year wonder navy/yellow was second in navy-primary votes with 11.4%. The navy/sand outperformed the navy/white choice in this exercise by a bit more than a percentage point.

Among the “other” answers were calls for brown, brown/navy (Salton Sea Birds colorway), the 90s pinstripes, camouflage, and PCL colorways (the Ron Fowler revenge, maybe).

Marketing/Opinions

This question and the next were meant to gauge the market for how much merchandise our respondents purchased during the year. If the Padres were to change their colorway, how profitable could it be?

The data here was relatively spread out across the various options. A majority of respondents spend north of $60 a year on merchandise.

A solid majority of those surveyed said they would purchase more merchandise if the Padres were to change their colorway.

Let’s check the metadata: of the 1,446 yes votes, 73% were Padres fans. 27% were other fans, which may indicate that if the Padres were to change colorways fans of other teams would buy Padres merchandise. Some comments confirmed this hypothesis. The fact that 2016 All-Star Game gear was the highest selling merch in MLB history (and was brown/yellow/orange) may also attest to that.

Every Padres fan who opted not to purchase more merchandise if there were a colorway change also voted navy blue as their preferred Padres primary color. Padres fans who voted no only made up 28% of that particular vote.

The 20.2% of indifferent votes were truly fans of other teams; only 5 Padres fans voted as indifferent.

The white chunk of the pie is inhabited by the “other” answers. The primary “other” response was “depends”. Depends on what? Respondents said it depended primarily on design. Some mentioned that it depended on which colorway the Padres changed to.

Additional Comments

The additional comments section did not disappoint. 32% of the total surveyed sounded off in the additional comments section and expounded on their Padres uniform opinions.

By far the most common comment from Padres respondents was “BBTB”, “Bring Back The Brown”, or some variation thereof. Clearly the vocal minority majority of brown fans were passionate in their responses for bringing brown back and that should be no surprise to even the most casual Friar fan.

PCL mentions: The PCL uniforms are mentioned in ten responses, which accounts for .004% of the total survey responses. Not many at all are clamoring for the PCL uniforms. Marver should be pleased; Ron Fowler, not so much.

Here is a sampling of the comments from pro-brown Padres fans. There were a metric ton of comments on the brown:

  • Full-season Founders Club member, please change these to Brown ASAP, stop with the excuses and let the fans have want they want.
  • The current navy/white sets are so bland, they might as well say “TEAM” across the chest. They have no character at all.
  • Please return back to the unis which displayed the RAK on the sleeve. 1980 - 1984. For me that's what brings back memories of Padres glory. I liked when the orange was incorporated. I loved the yellow and orange batting jerseys. And please!!!! bring back the swinging friar as the primary logo. Great, fun, kid-friendly iconic logo. I mean that is the Padre. My second choice would be the brown and gold but not the brown and orange unless you were to modernize the wordmark. But please more friar.
  • The blue and white combination too closely resembles the Brewers and Mariners. Brown is not used by any team and would allow anyone watching to immediately know the Padres are playing.
  • Friars literally wear brown and that uniform color set gave us character that differentiated us from the rest. Stop with the generic blue and white and return to your roots!
  • After buying a bunch of All-Star merch last year, I've decided to only purchase brown, yellow or brown, orange Padres gear for the inevitable future. I am no longer buying blue or navy, or other configuration with blue for the foreseeable future. We are not the Dodgers, Brewers, Rays, Yankees, Mariners, Tigers. We are the Padres. Embrace our history, win or lose, and our identity. Key example-- after many years of different inform schemes, the Astros finally went back to their origins and I feel that they have one of the most likable uni sets in MLB!
  • Brown is unique and traditional when you think of the idea of Spanish Padres in Mission Valley. There are so many blue teams in MLB. The Pittsburg Pirates are a unique team being black and yellow. Their uniforms stand out when they play other teams. The Padres would be unique in brown and this would differentiate them from other bland blue teams.

And some pro-navy thoughts from Padres fans:

  • Bring back the orange and navy blue!
  • Go back to the 90s logo, San Diego baseball club.
  • If the Padres were to stick with blue, I think it should go back to the sharp Navy and Orange set of the 90's. If they want to go back to brown, the classiest and most pure brown look we ever had was the original uni set from 1969. Those are what we should wear if we switch to brown full time. The current brown alternate is lame and too modernized. It doesn't look right.
  • The Padres are brown, that’s who they are. As much as I do love the brown and orange, the '98 jerseys are my favorite of them all.
  • The blue and orange pinstripes are easily the best Padres jersey ever.
  • The white jersey, blue pinstripe, and orange PADRES across the front was the coolest jersey, go back to those!
  • I really liked the Padres pinstripe uniforms, the swinging Friar and fondly enjoyed the Navy and Sand.
  • I've been a Padres fan for quite a few years, and while the Brown/Yellow will always have a place in San Diego baseball as an alternate, the 2016 home jersey was one of the best looking jerseys not just in San Diego Padres history, but baseball history. I wear it often and despite poor records some years, makes me proud to be a Padres fan.
  • The 1998 style uniforms should become primary again, that way navy blue is still integrated and they could keep the brown and yellow color scheme for Friday's and maybe a few other special games a year.
  • The Blue and Yellow that the Padres had in 2016 is less polarizing than the brown, looks fantastic, and is (amazingly) not the color of any other MLB team - making it very ownable from a brand perspective. It's a way to have the distinctness that the Brown offers, while looking better and turning off fewer people.

And finally, some thoughts from fans of other MLB teams:

  • I'm a lifelong Dodger fan (and their current Director of Graphic Design), but I've always felt our rivals to the south should be brown. People have a bias against brown because it's not used much in sports, but if you look in the fashion world, brown is actually a very popular and good-looking color. Right now, the Padres are practically invisible. Their uniforms are boring and forgettable, possibly the worst combo for a club trying to make a name for itself. Bring back brown and own it!

(If the above isn’t a telling comment on bringing back the brown, I’m not sure what is.)

  • Be unique. Drop the navy and adopt brown again. Too many teams utilize navy, and you should want to differentiate yourselves from the Brewers, et al.
  • Friar Brown = Padres
  • Padres should have never dropped the yellow accents from their 2016 uniform set. They were going in the right direction but strayed away quickly.
  • The navy and white is awful, and so is the wordmark. You guys are the most boring looking team in all of baseball. There's nothing classic like there is for the Tigers or Yankees, and their have been so many better iterations of your uniform that you keep going further and further away.
  • I think brown has become synonymous with the Padres and I would like to see a way to modernize that. Maybe with some sort of brown and blue combination, where the brown is a bit lighter than its current version.
  • I am not a Padres fan, but I've always loved their brown and gold color scheme. Adopting the color scheme in time for 2020 (when the Padres will hopefully be loaded with exciting young talent) could help revitalize the fanbase.
  • Brown and yellow is the first color combo that comes to mind when someone mentions the Padres. I love the uniqueness of it!
  • Right now they have no identity, and brown is a strong, unique, ownable identity with clear history.
  • The brown/yellow color scheme is unique. The navy/white color scheme seems generic. The Swinging Friar Logo is unique too, they should use that as a sleeve patch.
  • The Padres in their current set are so bland and boring I sometimes forget they are in the MLB; and they change so much, be it a color, logo, or font it is hard to keep straight. I couldn't care less about the Padres but as a fan of baseball uniforms, I would love it if they made their brown and yellow set the primary unis and featured the swinging friar more prominently.
  • The blue pinstripe uniform with orange was your best look, but the brown, orange and yellow look is iconic San Diego Padres.
  • Shouldn't have abandoned Navy/Sand, that was a way to differentiate themselves from all the other blue teams out there. Navy and Orange also would work. I'd prefer going back to Brown rather than the lame way they utilize their current blue and white.
  • What can brown do for the Padres? A lot. It gives them an identity because right now they rank up with the Reds as the blandest team in baseball.

So what are your thoughts on the survey? Were the results exactly what you thought they would be? Surprised by a few of the comments? I’ll also be happy to (try) to answer any metadata questions you may have regarding the survey. Thanks for reading and thanks again for your participation!