Sunday, December 29, 2013

Q&A with MLU Creative Director Matt Sewell

The 2014 season MLU team home jerseys were released last month. Besides learning the "official equipment" jersey label appears to be brown (yes!),  MLU's Creative Director Matt 'Skip' Sewell provides additional behind-the-scenes details on Major League Ultimate jerseys.

Photo of MLU jersey label [provided by MLU]

SLUDGE: Are the MLU jersey types "borrowed" from an existing PUMA sport uniform (i.e., soccer, fencing, cricket), or were they made specifically for Ultimate players?
Matt 'Skip' Sewell: To say that we "borrowed" these jerseys underplays the partnership we've creating with PUMA. Our relationship with them began in September of this year, and they're a company that puts jersey production in place over a year in advance. For the 2014 season, we'll be working with select models that reflect where we believe professional Ultimate is going: torso-hugging slimmer cuts, clean lines, and bold colors with accents.

The real exciting work will develop over this next year, as we will begin work with PUMA to build completely custom gear for the MLU. We're excited about releasing more details of this as they develop.

SLUDGE: Does this mean the "final" team jerseys will be different compared to the ones released in November 2013?
Sewell: The jerseys released in November were the final designs for 2014 home jerseys. Our away jerseys will be released in January 2014. As for designing more closely with PUMA, we will be doing so as the year progresses and leading up to 2015 season.

SLUDGE: How are the logos, numbers, & names applied to each player's jersey? (sewn, silk screened, sublimated, etc.)
Sewell: Save for a few instances where we wanted true metallic colors, the jersey logos will be satin-stitched nano-weave patches [see example]. That sounds like jargon (and it is), but what it means is a product on par with what is produced for other professional sports. Numbers and names are 2-color custom vinyl cuts. Both the numbers and the patches are produced in the US. Assembly is taking place in Seattle, Washington at the same shop that creates custom work for the Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders.
Portland Stags home jersey [provided by MLU]
SLUDGE: Has anyone/any MLU player had the opportunity to wear the PUMA jersey?
Sewell: Adam Simon of the Seattle Rainmakers served as a model for production photos and has been the only player yet to wear all 16 jerseys. Other Rainmakers have helped to size and test other portions of the kits (shorts/warmups).

SLUDGE: Does the kit design include any other wearables (e.g., socks, cleats, etc.)?
Sewell: The kits will include shorts (obviously) and full warm-ups for each team. PUMA will be making its full catalog of cleats (as well as sports gear and lifestyle wear) available to our players at a significant discount. Just like the NBA/NFL/MLB we don't want to dictate footwear to our players, but we encourage supporting our sponsors.

SLUDGE: Who is responsible for the jersey design? Did PUMA have any voice in the design(s)??
Sewell: All designs were handled in house by our creative team. We took PUMA's brand into consideration when designing. As creative director for the MLU, I've been overseeing the work and helped usher these kits through production.

SLUDGE: Where are the PUMA jerseys made?
Sewell: The PUMA jerseys are manufactured in Georgia (the country).

SLUDGE: When will replica shorts be available for purchase?
Sewell: We will be releasing replica shorts for sale in the pre-season.

##  [Photos provided by MLU. Links inserted by SLUDGE.]

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