By Ben Golliver
Portland Timbers Tuesday: New Kits and a Team Store
Related: Pictures: Portland Timbers 2011 MLS JerseysÃƒâ€š Unveiled
Buying into a franchise can be difficult for fans, especially when the team hasn't yet played a game and the stadium is still an unfinished pile of rubble. This week, the Portland Timbers take two massive steps towards increasing fan involvement and excitement.
On Thursday at PDX airport, OregonLive.com notes, the Timbers will release their first edition MLS jerseys. Designed by adidas and sponsored by Alaska Airlines, the jerseys have been hotly-anticipated for months. Browsing MLSGear.com will give you a sense for how varied the looks can be. Seattle rocks a ridiculous neon green, Colorado sports a boring old man maroon, Chivas USA uses a bold play on the Mexican league team's jersey, and Houston just looks like an orange creamsicle. Where will Portland fall on the color and adventure spectrum? Those questions will be answered in just a few days.
Accompanying the jersey release, smartly, is the opening of a Timbers Team Store downtown on Friday morning. The store will be open seven days a week, according to the team's website, and "will offer an assortment of MLS Timbers merchandise, including official team jerseys and training wear, hats, scarves, and plenty more." The store will be located at 519 SW 6th Avenue, just peep the map above, accessible by multiple MAX lines. Similar stores have increased revenues for the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers, so this is another sign the Timbers are ready to compete seriously in the local sports scene.
Indeed, whether it's their Moneyball draft strategy or these latest headlines — getting their merchandise out into the streets in time for the holiday shopping rush — the Timbers continue to follow shrewd best practices for a new professional sports team. Building hype around the jersey design and launching a Timbers-only retail outlet to maximize their ability to monetize jersey-induced and holiday-timed customer excitement shows real forethought, and it should pay dividends in laying the groundwork for a strong, active, engaged fanbase heading into 2011.
As long as the jerseys aren't hideous looking, that is.
————-Related Portland Timbers Tuesday Posts——-
- Pictures: Portland Timbers 2011 MLS JerseysÃƒâ€š Unveiled
- Timbers Tuesday: Buzzing About Trade Talk &Ãƒâ€š Vuvuzelas
- Timbers Tuesday: Scot ThompsonÃƒâ€š Retires
- Timbers Tuesday: Scouting, Sub-Letting and RivalÃƒâ€š Armies
- Timbers Tuesday: Cuts and Petitions
- Timbers Tuesday: Awards, Drafts AndÃƒâ€š Demands
- Timbers Tuesdays: Portland Timbers Announce 4 Player Signings ForÃƒâ€š MLS
- Timbers Tuesday: The 2010 Season Ends For The Portland Timbers, Despite AÃƒâ€š Win
Ben Golliver is a freelance writer, native Oregonian and avid follower of the Timbers.Ãƒâ€š He edits Blazersedge, co-hostsÃƒâ€š The Dontonio Wingcast and regularly contributes toÃƒâ€š SB Nation. Follow him onTwitter.