Uniform Assessment, 6/18 - Most successful color scheme in professional sports

Noel Vasquez

Two silver and black teams won championships in 2014, raising the question of which color scheme is the most successful in professional sports.

As the Los Angeles Kings and San Antonio Spurs hoisted the championship trophies of their respective leagues, one couldn't help but notice the similarities between the two franchises. The selfless mentality of the players was obvious, but the most visible characteristic the teams share are their silver and black colored uniforms. Professional teams with the same color palette as those in another sport have won championships within the same calendar year in the past, but aesthetic design in sports has never been more prominent than it is now. While it's very unlikely that the Chicago White Sox or Oakland Raiders can bring another championship to the silver and black squads, you'll see that some colors have all the luck.

American Basketball Association, National Basketball Association Championships

Year Team Colors
1947 Philadelphia Warriors royal blue and gold
1948 Baltimore Bullets blue and white
1949 Minneapolis Lakers powder blue and yellow
1950 Minneapolis Lakers powder blue and yellow
1951 Rochester Royals royal blue and white
1952 Minneapolis Lakers powder blue and yellow
1953 Minneapolis Lakers powder blue and yellow
1954 Minneapolis Lakers powder blue and yellow
1955 Syracuse Nationals blue and red
1956 Philadelphia Warriors royal blue and gold
1957 Boston Celtics green and white
1958 St. Louis Hawks blue and red
1959 Boston Celtics green and white
1960 Boston Celtics green and white
1961 Boston Celtics green and white
1962 Boston Celtics green and white
1963 Boston Celtics green and white
1964 Boston Celtics green and white
1965 Boston Celtics green and white
1966 Boston Celtics green and white
1967 Philadelphia 76ers blue and red
1968 Pittsburgh Pipers blue and gold
1968 Boston Celtics green and white
1969 Oakland Oaks Kelly green and gold
1969 Boston Celtics green and white
1970 Indiana Pacers royal blue and yellow
1970 New York Knicks blue and orange
1971 Utah Stars blue and red
1971 Milwaukee Bucks green and red
1972 Indiana Pacers royal blue and yellow
1972 Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold
1973 Indiana Pacers royal blue and yellow
1973 New York Knicks blue and orange
1974 New York Nets blue and red
1974 Boston Celtics green and white
1975 Kentucky Colonels blue and red
1975 Golden State Warriors blue and gold
1976 New York Nets blue and red
1976 Boston Celtics green and white
1977 Portland Trail Blazers red and black
1978 Washington Bullets blue and red
1979 Seattle SuperSonics green and gold
1980 Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold
1981 Boston Celtics green and white
1982 Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold
1983 Philadelphia 76ers blue and red
1984 Boston Celtics green and white
1985 Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold
1986 Boston Celtics green and white
1987 Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold
1988 Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold
1989 Detroit Pistons blue and red
1990 Detroit Pistons blue and red
1991 Chicago Bulls red and black
1992 Chicago Bulls red and black
1993 Chicago Bulls red and black
1994 Houston Rockets red and gold
1995 Houston Rockets red and gold
1996 Chicago Bulls red and black
1997 Chicago Bulls red and black
1998 Chicago Bulls red and black
1999 San Antonio Spurs silver and black
2000 Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold
2001 Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold
2002 Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold
2003 San Antonio Spurs silver and black
2004 Detroit Pistons blue and red
2005 San Antonio Spurs silver and black
2006 Miami Heat red and black
2007 San Antonio Spurs silver and black
2008 Boston Celtics green and white
2009 Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold
2010 Los Angeles Lakers purple and gold
2011 Dallas Mavericks navy and light blue
2012 Miami Heat red and black
2013 Miami Heat red and black
2014 San Antonio Spurs silver and black

The traditional, timeless looks of the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, and Los Angeles Lakers dominate basketball's visual landscape. The Celtics (17) and Bulls (6) won each of their championships in green and white or red and black, while the Lakers split their championships between the powder blue and gold in Minneapolis (5) and the purple and gold in Los Angeles (11).

American Football League, National Football League Championships

Year Team Colors
1920 Akron Pros royal blue and white
1921 Chicago Staleys navy and orange
1922 Canton Bulldogs maroon and white
1923 Canton Bulldogs maroon and white
1924 Cleveland Bulldogs maroon and white
1925 Chicago Cardinals red and tan
1926 Frankford Yellow Jackets light blue and yellow
1927 New York Giants blue and red
1928 Providence Steam Rollers orange and black
1929 Green Bay Packers navy and gold
1930 Green Bay Packers navy and gold
1931 Green Bay Packers navy and gold
1932 Chicago Bears navy and orange
1933 Chicago Bears navy and orange
1934 New York Giants blue and red
1935 Detroit Lions Honolulu blue and silver
1936 Green Bay Packers green and gold
1937 Washington Redskins maroon and gold
1938 New York Giants blue and red
1939 Green Bay Packers navy and gold
1940 Chicago Bears navy and orange
1941 Chicago Bears navy and orange
1942 Washington Redskins maroon and gold
1943 Chicago Bears navy and orange
1944 Green Bay Packers navy and gold
1945 Cleveland Rams royal blue and gold
1946 Chicago Bears navy and orange
1947 Chicago Cardinals Cardinal red and white
1948 Philadelphia Eagles Kelly green and silver
1949 Philadelphia Eagles Kelly green and silver
1950 Cleveland Browns orange and brown
1951 Los Angeles Rams royal blue and gold
1952 Detroit Lions Honolulu blue and silver
1953 Detroit Lions Honolulu blue and silver
1954 Cleveland Browns orange and brown
1955 Cleveland Browns orange and brown
1956 New York Giants blue and red
1957 Detroit Lions Honolulu blue and silver
1958 Baltimore Colts royal blue and white
1959 Baltimore Colts royal blue and white
1960 Houston Oilers Columbia blue and red
1960 Philadelphia Eagles Kelly green and silver
1961 Houston Oilers Columbia blue and red
1961 Green Bay Packers green and gold
1962 Dallas Texans red and gold
1962 Green Bay Packers green and gold
1963 San Diego Chargers collegiate blue and yellow
1963 Chicago Bears navy and orange
1964 Buffalo Bills royal blue and red
1964 Cleveland Browns orange and brown
1964 Buffalo Bills royal blue and red
1965 Green Bay Packers green and gold
1966 Green Bay Packers green and gold
1967 Green Bay Packers green and gold
1968 New York Jets kelly green and white
1969 Kansas City Chiefs red and gold
1970 Baltimore Colts royal blue and white
1971 Dallas Cowboys royal blue and silver
1972 Miami Dolphins aqua and orange
1973 Miami Dolphins aqua and orange
1974 Pittsburgh Steelers black and gold
1975 Pittsburgh Steelers black and gold
1976 Oakland Raiders silver and black
1977 Dallas Cowboys royal blue and silver
1978 Pittsburgh Steelers black and gold
1979 Pittsburgh Steelers black and gold
1980 Oakland Raiders silver and black
1981 San Francisco 49ers red and gold
1982 Washington Redskins burgundy and yellow
1983 Oakland Raiders silver and black
1984 San Francisco 49ers red and gold
1985 Chicago Bears navy and orange
1986 New York Giants blue and red
1987 Washington Redskins burgundy and yellow
1988 San Francisco 49ers red and gold
1989 San Francisco 49ers red and gold
1990 New York Giants blue and red
1991 Washington Redskins burgundy and yellow
1992 Dallas Cowboys royal blue and silver
1993 Dallas Cowboys royal blue and silver
1994 San Francisco 49ers red and gold
1995 Dallas Cowboys royal blue and silver
1996 Green Bay Packers green and gold
1997 Denver Broncos navy and orange
1998 Denver Broncos navy and orange
1999 St. Louis Rams royal blue and gold
2000 Baltimore Ravens purple and black
2001 New England Patriots dark blue and red
2002 New England Patriots dark blue and red
2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers red and pewter
2004 New England Patriots dark blue and red
2005 Pittsburgh Steelers black and gold
2006 Indianapolis Colts royal blue and white
2007 New York Giants dark blue and red
2008 Pittsburgh Steelers black and gold
2009 New Orleans Saints old gold and black
2010 Green Bay Packers green and gold
2011 New York Giants dark blue and red
2012 Baltimore Ravens purple and black
2013 Seattle Seahawks navy and action green

Two NFC North rivals, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers weigh heavily on this list. The Packers franchise won three championships in navy and gold before switching the former to green, winning 10 more championships along the way, while the Bears (originally named the Staleys) have won all nine championships in navy and orange.

Major League Baseball Championships

Year Team Colors
1903 Boston Americans blue and white
1905 New York Giants black and white
1906 Chicago White Sox navy and white
1907 Chicago Cubs blue and red
1908 Chicago Cubs blue and red
1909 Pittsburgh Pirates blue and red
1910 Philadelphia Athletics navy and white
1911 Philadelphia Athletics navy and white
1912 Boston Red Sox navy and red
1913 Philadelphia Athletics navy and white
1914 Boston Braves navy and red
1915 Boston Red Sox navy and red
1916 Boston Red Sox navy and red
1917 Chicago White Sox navy and white
1918 Boston Red Sox navy and red
1919 Cincinnati Reds red and black
1920 Cleveland Indians navy and red
1921 New York Giants navy and white
1922 New York Giants navy and white
1923 New York Yankees navy and white
1924 Washington Senators navy and red
1925 Pittsburgh Pirates black and gold
1926 St. Louis Cardinals navy and red
1927 New York Yankees navy and white
1928 New York Yankees navy and white
1929 Philadelphia Athletics blue and white
1930 Philadelphia Athletics blue and white
1931 St. Louis Cardinals navy and red
1932 New York Yankees navy and white
1933 New York Giants orange and black
1934 St. Louis Cardinals navy and red
1935 Detroit Tigers navy and orange
1936 New York Yankees navy and white
1937 New York Yankees navy and white
1938 New York Yankees navy and white
1939 New York Yankees navy and white
1940 Cincinnati Reds red and white
1941 New York Yankees navy and white
1942 St. Louis Cardinals navy and white
1943 New York Yankees navy and white
1944 St. Louis Cardinals navy and red
1945 Detroit Tigers navy and orange
1946 St. Louis Cardinals navy and red
1947 New York Yankees navy and white
1948 Cleveland Indians navy and red
1949 New York Yankees navy and white
1950 New York Yankees navy and white
1951 New York Yankees navy and white
1952 New York Yankees navy and white
1953 New York Yankees navy and white
1954 New York Giants orange and black
1955 Brooklyn Dodgers royal blue and white
1956 New York Yankees navy and white
1957 Milwaukee Braves navy and blue
1958 New York Yankees navy and white
1959 Los Angeles Dodgers royal blue and white
1960 Pittsburgh Pirates black and gold
1961 New York Yankees navy and white
1962 New York Yankees navy and white
1963 Los Angeles Dodgers royal blue and white
1964 St. Louis Cardinals navy and red
1965 Los Angeles Dodgers royal blue and white
1966 Baltimore Orioles orange and black
1967 St. Louis Cardinals navy and red
1968 Detroit Tigers navy and orange
1969 New York Mets blue and orange
1970 Baltimore Orioles orange and black
1971 Pittsburgh Pirates black and gold
1972 Oakland Athletics green and yellow
1973 Oakland Athletics green and yellow
1974 Oakland Athletics green and yellow
1975 Cincinnati Reds red and white
1976 Cincinnati Reds red and white
1977 New York Yankees navy and white
1978 New York Yankees navy and white
1979 Pittsburgh Pirates black and gold
1980 Philadelphia Phillies red and blue
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers royal blue and white
1982 St. Louis Cardinals navy and red
1983 Baltimore Orioles orange and black
1984 Detroit Tigers navy and orange
1985 Kansas City Royals royal blue and light blue
1986 New York Mets royal blue and orange
1987 Minnesota Twins navy and red
1988 Los Angeles Dodgers royal blue and white
1989 Oakland Athletics green and yellow
1990 Cincinnati Reds red and white
1991 Minnesota Twins navy and red
1992 Toronto Blue Jays royal blue and red
1993 Toronto Blue Jays royal blue and red
1995 Atlanta Braves navy and red
1996 New York Yankees navy and white
1997 Florida Marlins teal and black
1998 New York Yankees navy and white
1999 New York Yankees navy and white
2000 New York Yankees navy and white
2001 Arizona Diamondbacks teal and purple
2002 Anaheim Angels navy and red
2003 Florida Marlins teal and black
2004 Boston Red Sox red and navy
2005 Chicago White Sox silver and black
2006 St. Louis Cardinals red and navy
2007 Boston Red Sox red and navy
2008 Philadelphia Phillies red and blue
2009 New York Yankees navy and white
2010 San Francisco Giants orange and black
2011 St. Louis Cardinals red and navy
2012 San Francisco Giants orange and black
2013 Boston Red Sox red and navy

America's pastime is visually influenced by patriotism and has been clearly dominated by the dark blue and white or red color schemes. The Yankees, winners of 27 World Series titles, exceed any contributions toward a color scheme throughout all sports, while the Angels, Cardinals, Indians, Red Sox, and Twins all pitch for the navy and red effort.

National Hockey League Championships

Year Team Color
1927 Ottawa Senators black and red
1928 New York Rangers blue and red
1929 Boston Bruins brown and gold
1930 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1931 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1932 Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white
1933 New York Rangers blue and red
1934 Chicago Blackhawks red and black
1935 Montreal Maroons maroon and white
1936 Detroit Red Wings red and white
1937 Detroit Red Wings red and white
1938 Chicago Blackhawks red and black
1939 Boston Bruins black and gold
1940 New York Rangers blue and red
1941 Boston Bruins black and gold
1942 Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white
1943 Detroit Red Wings red and white
1944 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1945 Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white
1946 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1947 Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white
1948 Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white
1949 Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white
1950 Detroit Red Wings red and white
1951 Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white
1952 Detroit Red Wings red and white
1953 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1954 Detroit Red Wings red and white
1955 Detroit Red Wings red and white
1956 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1957 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1958 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1959 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1960 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1961 Chicago Blackhawks red and black
1962 Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white
1963 Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white
1964 Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white
1965 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1966 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1967 Toronto Maple Leafs blue and white
1968 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1969 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1970 Boston Bruins black and gold
1971 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1972 Boston Bruins black and gold
1973 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1974 Philadelphia Flyers orange and black
1975 Philadelphia Flyers orange and black
1976 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1977 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1978 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1979 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1980 New York Islanders blue and orange
1981 New York Islanders blue and orange
1982 New York Islanders blue and orange
1983 New York Islanders blue and orange
1984 Edmonton Oilers blue and orange
1985 Edmonton Oilers blue and orange
1986 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1987 Edmonton Oilers blue and orange
1988 Edmonton Oilers blue and orange
1989 Calgary Flames red and gold
1990 Edmonton Oilers blue and orange
1991 Pittsburgh Penguins black and gold
1992 Pittsburgh Penguins black and gold
1993 Montreal Canadiens blue and red
1994 New York Rangers blue and red
1995 New Jersey Devils red and black
1996 Colorado Avalanche burgundy and steel blue
1997 Detroit Red Wings red and white
1998 Detroit Red Wings red and white
1999 Dallas Stars black and green
2000 New Jersey Devils red and black
2001 Colorado Avalanche burgundy and steel blue
2002 Detroit Red Wings red and white
2003 New Jersey Devils red and black
2004 Tampa Bay Lightning black and blue
2006 Carolina Hurricanes red and black
2007 Anaheim Ducks black and gold
2008 Detroit Red Wings red and white
2009 Pittsburgh Penguins black and Vegas gold
2010 Chicago Blackhawks red and black
2011 Boston Bruins black and gold
2012 Los Angeles Kings silver and black
2013 Chicago Blackhawks red and black
2014 Los Angeles Kings silver and black

Like the Yankees have on the diamond, the Montreal Canadiens have controlled professional hockey since their inception. Although two Stanley Cups were left off this list, as it starts at the year that the cup was in the NHL's sole possession, the Canadiens contributed 22 championships to the blue and red endeavor. The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs contributed heavily to their respective colors with 11 championships, apiece.

Results

Colors Championships per sport Total Championships
Blue and red 12 pro basketball, 7 pro football, 5 baseball, 25 hockey 49
Navy and white 33 baseball 33
Navy and red 5 pro football, 25 baseball 30
Black and gold 2 pro basketball, 6 pro football, 5 baseball, 8 hockey 21
Red and black 10 pro basketball, 1 baseball, 10 hockey 21
Green and white 17 pro basketball 17
Blue and white 1 pro basketball, 3 baseball, 11 hockey 15
Red and white 4 baseball, 11 hockey 15
Navy and orange 10 pro football, 4 baseball 14
Blue and orange 2 pro basketball, 1 baseball, 9 hockey 12
Royal blue and white 1 pro basketball, 5 pro football, 5 baseball 11
Purple and gold 11 pro basketball 11
Orange and black 1 pro football, 7 baseball, 2 hockey 10
Red and gold 2 pro basketball, 7 pro football, 1 hockey 10
Silver and black 5 pro basketball, 3 pro football, 2 hockey 10
Green and gold 1 pro basketball, 8 pro football 9
Navy and gold 5 pro football 5
Powder blue and yellow 5 pro basketball 5
Royal blue and gold 2 pro basketball, 3 pro football 5
Royal blue and silver 5 pro football 5
Green and yellow 4 baseball 4
Honolulu blue and silver 4 pro football 4
Kelly green and silver 4 pro football 4
Maroon and white 3 pro football, 1 hockey 4
Orange and brown 4 pro football 4
Royal blue and red 2 pro football, 2 baseball 4
Aqua and orange 2 pro football 2
Burgundy and steel blue 2 hockey 2
Burgundy and yellow 2 pro football 2
Columbia blue and red 2 pro football 2
Maroon and gold 2 pro football 2
Purple and black 2 pro football 2
Royal blue and yellow 2 pro basketball 2
Teal and black 2 baseball 2
Black and blue 1 hockey 1
Black and green 1 hockey 1
Black and Vegas gold 1 hockey 1
Black and white 1 baseball 1
Brown and gold 1 hockey 1
Cardinal red and white 1 pro football 1
Collegiate blue and yellow 1 pro football 1
Green and red 1 pro basketball 1
Kelly green and gold 1 pro basketball 1
Kelly green and white 1 pro football 1
Light blue and yellow 1 pro football 1
Navy and action green 1 pro football 1
Navy and light blue 1 pro basketball 1
Old gold and black 1 pro football 1
Red and pewter 1 pro football 1
Red and tan 1 pro football 1
Royal blue and light blue 1 baseball 1
Teal and purple 1 baseball 1

In the end, it's clear that the colors do not dominate the sports, but each individual game has a traditional power that has had the same color scheme for decades carrying the flag. With about 20% of all sports teams donning a red and blue/navy color scheme, you may have been able to guess which two colors are most successful throughout professional sports without even going through the trouble that I did.

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