Throughout history, athletes have used lucky charms or rituals to help them on their big game days. Many of these practices (special shoes, not washing your socks, a lucky necklace) haven’t been scientifically verified, but bring comfort and confidence to players, which could result in better performance. There are some recent studies that have been done analyzing the colors that winning team’s uniforms were, and some indication that color may really have a measurable effect on winning or losing. Read on to see what colors are winners, and start dreaming up your new custom team uniforms!

Black Uniforms

Many studies have been done to measure how color impacts insects, animals, and people. Traditionally, black is viewed as a color of power and aggression, and a 1988 study sought to find a correlation between teams that wore black uniforms and their level of aggressiveness. The study wanted to show that the color a team wore could influence their behavior, in this case how many penalties teams in the National Football League or the National Hockey League received during a season. The teams that wore black uniforms ranked near the top of their leagues in penalties, and when they switched from non-black to black uniforms there was an immediate spike in penalties. The study concluded that the color black not only influenced the self-perception of the players, making them feel more aggressive, but it also influenced social perception of the players, and could bias the judgement of the referees. In kid’s sports movies the “evil” team is always dressed in black!  So if you are looking to be perceived as threatening and aggressive, black seems to be the color of choice. Of course, this could also lead to more penalties or fouls, so be prepared!

Red Uniforms

Red has been shown to be a color that is perceived as attractive, and in nature red can be a signal of male dominance and testosterone. A recent study found that the testosterone levels of players wearing red was measurably higher. Red can also make you appear more in charge and threatening to your opponents. In sports there have been several studies done demonstrating the impact red has on competition and success. In the 2004 Olympic Games, four combat sports (boxing, tae kwon do, Greco-Roman wrestling, and freestyle wrestling) were used to test the impact of color. Contestants were randomly assigned red or blue outfits and it was found that across all of the competitions the contestants wearing red won more fights. Red was also studied in the Euro 2004 international soccer tournament where competitors wore different colored uniforms throughout the event. When teams wore red uniforms they consistently played better than when they were wearing white or blue uniforms. So, are we on to something? It sounds like a red and black uniform would be the most aggressive, threatening, and winning combination, right? Well, hold on to your blue or white uniforms for awhile longer—for one thing, red or black only seemed to give advantage when the players were already pretty evenly matched. So if you are a basketball newbie you can’t just put on a red jersey and join the NBA! Speaking of basketball, there is a very interesting study analyzing winning March Madness teams that we should look at…

March Madness Winners

This study looked at the color combinations of winning March Madness team’s uniforms to see if they could help predict future winners. They looked at every champion in NCAA history since 1939 and the top ten color combos played out like this:

  1. White and blue
  2. Gold and blue
  3. Red and black
  4. White and red
  5. Red and cream
  6. Red and blue
  7. Orange and blue
  8. Gold and green
  9. Purple and black
  10. Red and grey

So according to this study, while red and black were definitely showing a strong presence, white and blue and blue and gold took the top places. In fact, blue and white uniforms have won the NCAA trophy 24 times, followed by blue and gold at 14 times. Red and black came in next, but the winnings dropped to only six times. Can you use these stats to definitely predict the next March Madness winner? Probably not. But blue, white, gold, red, and black seem to be overall winning colors. Think of your favorite sports teams—what are their colors?

Are you looking to design new custom team uniforms? Choosing a color scheme is a big part of your new uniforms, and if your team doesn’t have established colors yet, maybe you should choose some statistical winners!  Moneyball Sportswear designs uniforms for baseball, soccer, basketball, football, lacrosse, and more, so you are sure to find a design that would be perfect for your team. The color is up to you—will it be red or blue that takes you to your next winning season?