Major League Baseball fans are getting ready for spring training stateside, but one set of supporters has already told their team that big changes need to be made – in their merchandising choices.
The San Diego Padres had a brand new baseball cap design for their spring training range, and it’s caused a fair bit of controversy.
The cap, designed by renowned cap manufacturers New Era, were in the Padres’ familiar brown and gold colorway, and featured their ‘Swinging Friar’ motif front and center.
However, Padres fans pointed out a problem. The cap’s new design looked like a swastika.
The ‘Swinging Friar’ also featured the Padres’ “SD” over the body, which, upon first glance, certainly does resemble the notorious symbol of the Nazi party.
Remarkably, it took the Padres fans to spot this, with the focus groups and designers somehow missing what looks pretty obvious.
Padres chief marketing officer Wayne Partello issued a statement to the San Diego Union-Tribune, saying the team would stick with its traditional “SD” caps worn during the regular season instead of the controversial new design.
“Following our offseason uniform rebrand and the overwhelmingly positive response from Padres fans, we’ve decided to wear our regular season brown caps with the gold ‘SD’ for the majority of spring training.”
The phrase, “…the majority of spring training,” refers to the fact that the team will wear the controversial new design at least once – presumably for contractual reasons – before reverting back to their traditional, less questionable, design.