I should start by saying that I am not exactly in the pro-Bimbo crowd. I’d rather not wear a shirt that could be interpreted in any sort of negative way, as dated or misconstrued as the term may be.
Even still, I love every Philadelphia Union jersey I own because of everything the rest of the jersey means to me. Whether you are for or against the much maligned jersey sponsor, the fact that there are sides to this show that there’s a problem.
No jersey sponsor should ever spark a debate, and if you are fine with Bimbo being on your chest, then you should at least consider the fact that others may not be, and consider that this is also valid. If your instinctive reaction to the word “Bimbo” is an unpleasant one, no amount of bread can help that.
Enter Artesano- a more “upscale” bread product than the one we all remember being handed out after Union home games of years ago. A secondary brand under the Bimbo Bakeries umbrella, this is what Union fans will soon become familiar with as it will be on the secondary kits for the 2020 season.
It is a logo that may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but it won’t make anyone wearing it uncomfortable. It is a logo that people can easily forget about and focus on the rest of the jersey, which is exactly what a sponsor should do. I feel slightly gross- as a graphic designer- being on board with a logo that is essentially Comic Sans with a bouncing baseline, yet here we are. I’ll take subpar design over potentially perceived derogatory slang any day.
This will be the first time a team has differing logos on each kit, so props to the Union front office for consistently creating these new marketing angles to get the Union into some headlines.
More importantly, props to the Union for listening to complaints of the jersey sponsor and finding a compromise while still keeping a business partner that they clearly value and have a history with. Soccer fans have already surrendered to the fact that wearing their team’s jerseys turns them into walking billboards; at least Union fans now have options of what billboards they want to support.
The Union announced the Artesano sponsor with four Union players wearing the jerseys at a Sixers game last Friday, not exactly creating much fanfare but probably more than was necessary for what the announcement was. So now, we can move on and no more silly debates, right? Now fans have the option of a Bimbo or non-Bimbo kit, and all can be happy. Hopefully. There were still a few rumblings of not-so-positive responses to the Artesano reveal.
This was a bit of a surprise as this deal now works for both sides of this “debate,” but I guess any compromise leaves something to be desired still from either. We still don’t have “cool” companies as sponsors such as Xbox, Etihad, or even Target, and sure- the design isn’t great; however, this is- without argument- an improvement from the previous deal. I’ll chalk up the few complaints as just residual habit from Union fans whenever jersey sponsors are brought up.