This article details the logos and uniforms of the Green Bay Packers.
The Big Bay Blues
The Packers were founded on August 11, 1919, by Curly Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun. Lambeau solicited funds for uniforms from his employer, the Indian Packing Company. Lambeau's boss, Frank Peck, invested $500 for uniforms and equipment, on the condition that the team be named for its sponsor. Today "Green Bay Packers" is the oldest team-name still in use in the National Football League (NFL), both by its nickname and by virtue of remaining in its original city.
In 1920, the Indian Packing Company was purchased by the Acme Packing Company. Acme continued its support of Lambeau's team, and in its first season in the NFL the team wore jerseys with the words "ACME PACKERS" emblazoned on the chest.
Lambeau, who had attended the University of Notre Dame, borrowed the team's colors of navy blue and gold from the Fighting Irish, much as George Halas borrowed team colors from his alma mater Illinois for the Chicago Bears. And like the Irish in the 1930s and 1940s, the Packers sometimes used green and gold before returning to the traditional blue and gold.
In the early days, the Packers were often referred to as the "Bays" or the "Blues" (and even occasionally as "the Big Bay Blues"). These never were official nicknames, although Lambeau did consider replacing "Packers" with "Blues" in the 1920s.
The Green and Gold
By 1950, the Packers changed their colors to hunter green and "taxicab" gold. Navy blue was kept as a secondary color, seen primarily on sideline capes, but it was quietly dropped from the team colors list on all official materials shortly thereafter. The color scheme yields the common Packer nickname, "The Green and Gold". In 1994, the NFL's 75th anniversary season, the team participated in the league-wide use of "throwback" jerseys, but just at select away games. The Packers would wear them again for two Thanksgiving Day games against the Detroit Lions: in 2001, throwback uniforms as worn in the 1930s; in 2003, uniforms from the 1960s (which were only slightly different from the current uniforms).
The oval "G" logo was created in 1961 by Packers equipment manager George "Dad" Braisher. To most people's minds, the "G" stands for "Green Bay". However, when the logo was designed and adopted, it was determined the "G" would stand for "Greatness". The team actually used a number of different logos prior to 1961, but the "G" is the only logo that has ever appeared on the helmet. Although the Packers have granted limited permission to other organizations to utilize a similar logo, notably the University of Georgia and Grambling State University, the Packers hold the trademark for it. Adopted in 1964, the Georgia "G", though different in design and color, was similar to the Packers' "G". Then-Georgia head coach Vince Dooley thought it best to clear the use of Georgia's new emblem with the Packers. However, since its inception in 1961, the Packers' "G" has been redesigned several times and now actually looks like Georgia's original 1964 "G."
While several NFL teams choose to wear white jerseys at home early in the season due to white's ability to reflect the late summer sunrays, the Packers have only done so only twice, during the opening two games of the 1989 season. Although alternate gold jerseys with green numbers are sold on a retail basis, the team currently has no plans to introduce such a jersey to be used in actual games.
During the 2010 season, the Packers will pay tribute to their historical brethren with a third jersey modeled after that worn by the club in 1929, during its first world championship season. Mark Murphy, team president and CEO, confirmed with WLUK-TV that the team will use a "throwback" uniform for some games this season. Unlike such throwback tributes in the past, the uniform will be worn at Lambeau during home games, and the jersey will be navy blue, again making the Packers "the Blues."