Pacers' rebrand could be unlike anything we've seen

The Indiana Pacers are due for a rebrand. New uniforms and courts could give the Pacers a look we've never seen before.

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The Indiana Pacers unveiled their current uniforms in July of 2017, coinciding with the beginning of Nike’s contract as the outfitter of the NBA. The switchover from Adidas to Nike gave the Pacers a chance to refresh their look, and they did so by incorporating the circular wordmark and leaning into the “We Grow Basketball Here” mantra. The stripes on the sides of the uniform represent rows of crops, contributing to Indiana’s farmlands and culture drawn from farming. 

Seven years later, it's time for a new look. Nike’s eight-year contract expires after the 2024-25 season, and the Pacers should be looking to rebrand. 

Most of the Nike tenure was marked by out-of-market designers creating uniforms based on their perceptions of a city, and they did very little to consult the individual organizations when it came to designing City Edition uniforms – specialized jerseys meant to represent the city. The result for Indiana was a magnification of farm culture and a loss of emphasis on the Pacers’ actual namesake: racing.

Nike, acknowledging the shortcomings with the City Editions, turned over control to the teams in this cycle. The result was one of the best City Editions the Pacers have seen in years. Could the team see the same modernized approach with a rebrand? 

There's no shortage of ideas for new Pacers looks

X (formerly Twitter) user @hot_jupiterr has so many that he designs a new one after every win. The strongest rebrand ideas incorporate the same core elements – a return to the true blue and yellow colors, subtle nods to racing culture, and throwback details pulled from uniforms of the Pacers’ past.

Two ideas from @hot_jupiterr blend these elements well. The first is reminiscent of the Pacers’ ABA uniforms but adds depth by including both lighter blue and the navy of recent years. 

The second features a throwback main logo and utilizes a script wordmark to give the jersey a different feel. It also brings back pinstripes, an appreciated element of the Pacers’ uniforms in the 1990s. Though these pinstripes are modernized with their gradient widths, they still contribute to the modernization of an element from the Pacers’ past.

Some new ideas preserve present details

Another creator employed the same techniques in an Indiana redesign. X user @jakepablomedia recreated the Pacers’ Statement Uniforms into a full set that includes an Association and Icon jersey. 

The preservation of the simplistic elements of the current Statement Uniform make for a nice set of revamped jerseys that keep some continuity with their current look. 

The incorporation of Indy's racing ties may be key to a good rebrand

All of the previous designs are conservative reworkings of past Pacers looks, but they don’t incorporate any elements of racing, which is the original namesake of the team. X user @Lance_Hinesman delivers a concept with all of these touches. 

These designs bring back the beloved pinstripes while working modernized wordmarks and checkered patterns into the uniforms. The incorporation of the script “Indy” logo on the city edition is a nod to local culture, as are the checkerboard patterns inside the 3-point lines on the redesigned courts. 

Ideas abound, and @hot_jupiterr even posted a mock-up drawing of a completely reworked set of logos that return to lighter blue and yellow as well as the racing elements that are absent from the current uniforms. 

Of course, the possibility of utilizing a mainstream set of Association, Icon, and Statement jerseys while using the City Edition uniform to express local cultural ties remains. Another X user, @designbyluis, created a set of black and white jerseys that incorporate all of the racing flag colors. Something like this would be exactly the type of City Edition uniform Indiana needs.

It’s clearly time for a rebrand, and the Pacers shouldn’t need to look too far for some outstanding designs. The Haliburton era deserves its own distinct look, and these designs would give it just that. 

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