Sports in Fashion

How the sports community has infiltrated the fashion world

Over the past few years you may have noticed a significant spike in people sporting the jerseys of their favorite athletes.

The Beginning

Sports jerseys weren’t always as present as they are today. According to a Sports Illustrated article by Tim Layden, the first appearance of the selling of sports jerseys and merchandise was in an advertisement section of The Sporting News, a weekly newspaper. The ad read: “custom order your choice of jersey number, personalize jerseys with your name on the back, pro-style. Priced from $10.50 up … send your address to: SCORE-LINEUP Co. Spokane, Wash.” Before this time, it was very rare to see people casually wearing jerseys or merchandise from their favorite sports teams. Throughout the early 1970s and 80s, there was no official sales of jerseys by the professional sports organizations (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) themselves. So, many people relied on local stores or street vendors who would sell replica jerseys.


In the 1990s and early 2000s these sports organizations began to partner with exclusive brands in order to limit the amount of replica, or “fake”, jerseys being sold on the streets. Soon, these officially licensed jerseys were being sold in official team stores and eventually the internet. Eventually it became as easy as clicking a button to purchase the exact same jersey that the professional players wear on game day.

Another contributing factor to the massive growth in people wearing sports jerseys is the large number of celebrities, mostly rappers, who sport this very unique style. Nowadays it is very common to see an artist wearing the jersey of their favorite team or player on stage or in their music videos.

Presence in Today’s Fashion World

In today’s society, social media has a say in virtually everything and the popularity and sales of sports jerseys is no different. Nowadays, these powerhouse sports organizations use every form of social media to promote their merchandise. From Instagram to Twitter, there are accounts solely dedicated to selling the most popular jerseys from every professional sports teams.

Wearing jerseys is particular popular for men in high school and college. Many of these sports fans don’t even rep their favorite teams or players, they simply wear the jersey because it “looks cool” or because “it’s rare.” Throwback jerseys are very fashionable these days as the retro 1980s and 90s looks are coming back into the fashion world.

“I own a Raptors Kawhi Leonard jersey that I got last year,” Cal Poly first-year student Fady Tawfik said. “Now that he’s not on the Raptors it’s a more rare jersey and I like wearing it to show that I liked him before he joined the Clippers.”

Like it or not, sports jerseys and merchandise are here to stay in the fashion world. From NBA jerseys to throwback MLB hats, expect to see a lot more to come.

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The Impact of Sports: A Fan’s Perspective

Fady Tawfik at a professional soccer stadium in Europe.

Fady Tawfik is a first year graphic communications major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In his free time, Fady is an avid soccer fan and can also be found playing pick up soccer on the weekends. Without soccer and sports as a whole, Fady would not be the same person that he is today.

Growing up, Fady had some troubles fitting in at school because he was a first generation American and could not relate with many of his classmates. So, to combat this he began to follow in his older brothers’ footsteps and play soccer. He quickly fell in love with this sport and it became his way to express himself and have fun.

Fady played on his high school soccer team and he credits this experience for shaping him into the person he is today. He learned a lot of life lessons and picked up many skills along the way, including his ability to communicate and ability to analyze different situations and act based on his instincts. These skills are able to translate into environments off of the soccer pitch, showing the outstanding impact sports can have on every aspect of one’s life.

The final impact that soccer has had for Fady is that the sport has given him someone to idolize and look up to. Ever since he was ten years old, Fady has found a role model in Zlatan Ibrahimovic. This player’s tough upbringing and outgoing and confident personality has always inspired Fady and he would consider Ibrahimovic to be one of his heroes.

Fady has been forever changed by the sport of soccer, as its impact can be seen in virtually every aspect of his life.

Finding Therapy in Sports

When you think of therapy, you think of talking out your feelings to a certified doctor or professional in the field. However, there are many different kinds of therapy and therapy may have a different definition based on who you ask. For many, therapy is found in doing what they love, playing sports. An article written by Ohio University showed that sports could actually be considered therapeutic.

One of the most common sports that are played for therapy is basketball. Basketball is a sport that can be played with friends or by yourself simply shooting around. I believe that the reasoning behind it being so therapeutic is the simplicity of the game. For example, anybody can go and shoot around whenever they want, leaving everything else behind.

Basketball Therapy at Cal Poly

Many college students may find themselves stressing about their school work or have difficulty making the transition to living on their own. College can be a very busy and stressful time and it is important for students to find time to escape from reality and do something that they truly enjoy. For some students, sports provide that escape from the real world.

“I really like coming to the gym and playing basketball,” Cal Poly first year student Jason Milne said. “It makes me forget about all the schoolwork I have to do and I get to have fun with my friends.”

Students like Jason can find a sort of calmness to playing a pickup basketball game or shooting the ball around. Sports provides so much to students and sometimes the importance of sports can be overlooked.

Sports have the power to make someone forget entirely about the world around them. From watching your favorite team play on the TV to practicing your jump shot in the gym, sports gives people of all ages an escape from the pressures of everyday life. For many, sports actually have a very large impact on their overall mental health and well-being. Without the presence of sports and its ability to provide a distraction from the stressfulness of one’s life, society would be very different.

How do sports affect the fans?

Casual Fans

Casual fans are usually those who pay little attention to the minute details of sports or sports teams, but become more involved once the games become more important. For example, a casual fan may not watch a football game all year but once the Super Bowl comes around, they will watch the games. Casual fans may or may not associate themselves with specific teams

Although sports may not play as big of a role in a casual fan’s life than other fans, sports can still be found in many different aspects of their lives. Sports are seen everywhere and sometimes we never even notice it. From sports jerseys hanging in retail stores to a NBA game playing on the TV of our favorite restaurants, sports is present everywhere.

Everyday Fans

The second type of fan would be considered the “everyday” fan. This is the most common type of fan, ahead of casual fans and avid fans. Your everyday fans most likely follow sports relatively closely, with a focus on one particular team in each sport.

Everyday fans have a decent amount of knowledge in most sports and sports have an important impact on their lives. These fans may attend sports games and could watch a sporting event almost every day, and that alone shows the importance that sports holds in their lives. If a certain aspect of your life is recurring every day, it must hold some importance in your life as a whole.

Avid Fans

Avid sports fans could not live their life without sports. Sports play such an important role in their life that they couldn’t imagine life without it. These are the fans that support multiple teams in multiple professional sports organizations and remain loyal and dedicated to these teams for life.

Sports may just be the most important aspect of an avid fans life. An avid sports fan most likely grew up around sports and their love for it has only grown since. Over the years, the amount of avid sports fans has most definitely grown and it is at an all time high. Sports has become a central part of many people’s lives and without them, they may feel incomplete.

Linked below is an interview with one of these avid sports fans, Fady Tawfik. Fady is a first year student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and in his interview he speaks on the impact of sports in his life and on the world in general.

The Sports World Mourns Kobe Bryant

On the morning of January 26th, 2020, NBA legend Kobe Bryant passed away in a fatal helicopter crash that took the lives of nine people, including Bryant and his 13 year old daughter, Gianna. This tragic news left the sports world in shock, as Bryant was one of the greatest basketball players of our generation and arguably one of the greatest of all time.

What Happened

On the Sunday morning of January 26th, Kobe Bryant (41), Gianna Bryant (13), Payton Chester (13), Sarah Chester (45), Alyssa Altobelli (14), Kery Altobelli (46), John Altobelli (56), and Cristina Mauser (38) boarded a helicopter en route to a youth basketball tournament flown by Ara Zobayan (50).

Shortly after taking off towards Thousand Oaks, California, the helicopter crashed into a mountainside 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Every person aboard the helicopter was pronounced dead at the scene and have been confirmed dead. According to an article from CNN, the National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the tragic accident.

Community Reaction

The news was first announced by TMZ on Twitter, causing the Internet to go into chaos.

The reaction and support from those all over the world was massive, with people who aren’t even involved in the sports community reaching out to their fans and expressing their sadness over the death of such an icon.

One of these very well known figures who posted about Kobe was NBA superstar LeBron James, who now plays for Bryant’s former team, the Los Angeles Lakers. In an Instagram post a couple of days after the accident, James wrote “I promise you I’ll continue your legacy man!”

One of the celebrities who took to social media to pay their respects to Kobe and the others involved in the crash was late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who was also a very close friend of Bryant. Kimmel highlighted his life outside of basketball and how good of a father he was to his four daughters.

Once news broke, fans began to congregate around the Staples Center, where Bryant played all 20 years of his career in the NBA for the Lakers. The mass of people around the arena only grew in the coming days and throughout the next week a shrine was built commemorating the life of Kobe Bryant.

Kobe Bryant’s impact was felt across the entire world, not just the sports community. As a 5-time NBA Champion, 18-time All Star, and MVP award winner, Bryant is one of the greatest players to step foot on an NBA court. However, his achievements and life off the court is what many will remember him for. Kobe won an Oscar in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball” and above all else, he was a phenomenal father to his four daughters.

The sports world will never be the same after a loss of this magnitude, but Kobe’s legacy will live on through all the fans and teammates that had the privilege of watching and playing alongside one of the greats.

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