Mustangs to turn back the clock against Soul
Thursday June 7, 2012
Throwback uniforms are all the craze in professional sports. It seems that no matter how bad a uniform set was, if a team is looking for something unique to wear, you can be guaranteed it will make an appearance. If the throwbacks are that popular, they will continue to be used again and again.
This weekend, the Milwaukee Mustangs
are taking a ride on the throwback uniform bandwagon. They will be looking to the team’s past for this week’s game versus the Philadelphia Soul
. The Mustangs are to become the first Arena Football League team to wear throwback uniforms. The uniforms will be from their teal and purple era (1994-2001).
Curious to know what process the team went through to get the uniforms ready, I spoke with Carlie Kappl, the Director of Merchandising for the team:
Tim Capper: This is the first time that an Arena Football League team has produced throwback uniforms. How does it make the Mustangs organization feel to know that?
Carlie Kappl: Being such a new team, it's exciting to know we can be innovators for the rest of the AFL and teams who have been in the league for 10+ years.
TC: How did the idea of the throwback uniforms get started?
CK: Because the team was so popular in the '90s, we knew we wanted to hold a throwback night to honor the "old" Mustangs. Lots of our fans love the purple and teal uniforms, and they ranked #12 on the top 25 uniforms in arena football history.
TC: How long was the process from start to delivery date?
CK: I think the process was about a month or two long. Russell has been very efficient for us!
TC: Can you briefly explain the process taken to create the uniforms?
CK: The uniforms were fairly simple to replicate. The jerseys are actually a duplicate of the replica jerseys used, so they don't have all the decoration the game jerseys had.
TC: What type of research was done to ensure the uniforms were as accurate as possible to the originals?
CK: We have a purple and teal replica jersey framed in our office as well as other '90s Mustangs paraphernalia to draw inspiration from. The only thing we were worried about was finding an art file for the logo but was able to find one on Google. We thought about using the old Arena Football patch on the right chest, but instead decided on the traditional 25th Anniversary patch on the neck.
TC: Who was involved in the creation process (team, league, manufacturers)?
CK: After receiving permission from a financial standpoint, I worked with our Russell representative, Mike Kurey, on getting the pants and jerseys ready in time for the game. Our local Riddell representative, Mike Brewer, and I worked on getting purple socks and white chinstraps to match our helmets.
TC: The Philadelphia Soul is your opponent for this game. Had your organization hoped for a city with AFL history (Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, etc.) who'd wear throwback uniforms too?
CK: Honestly, I don't think any of us even thought of that. It would be pretty cool if both teams were retro, so maybe that's an idea for next year.
TC: The Mustangs have 4 sets of jerseys this year (Home, Away, Camo, Throwback). Whose decision was it to take on such a financial burden?
CK: We put a lot of work into determining each game's theme this year. When we decided to have a throwback theme, we knew we had to put our players in purple and teal to honor the original team for a true throwback night. The camo jerseys added so much to our Military Night game. It also helps that we get a generous discount from Russell for being a league partner.
TC: What will happen to the uniforms after the game is played?
CK: That is something we haven't decided yet. Our ambition is to have a throwback night every season, so we may keep them for next year.
Tim Capper has been a staff member of ArenaFan since 2000 and been the host of AFL Tonight since its inception in 2001. Tim being an avid arena football fan since 1987, has attended games in 16 different cities, including 11 ArenaBowls. He currently lives in Montreal, Canada with his wife Karen. You can follow Tim on Twitter at @reppact
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.