Everywhere we look these days we are inundated with sports events. Be it the Golden Knights winning Lord Stanley’s prized possession or the Senators recent sale to Michael Andlauer. It is difficult to keep up with the teams, let alone the players, especially considering there are 32 NHL teams, 9 CFL teams, 30 NBA teams, 30 MLB teams, 32 NFL and 211 soccer teams. That is 344 teams. Add to that all the minor teams, other sports and random paraphernalia, and you end up with an incomprehensible amount of information about teams and their jerseys. Incomprehensible for most of us, however not for Chris Creamer, the brainchild behind sportslogos.net.
Chris runs a website, dedicated to the brands of any and all sports teams and it is no wonder he has tens of thousands of pages on his site. In fact, Chris’ website, sportslogos.net, is the go to site for most professional teams, athletes, sponsors, etc. Anyone who needs to know the history of a team’s brand. It is no wonder, his site has over 15 million views per month.
The interactive website, not only has a vast history of sports logos, but also hosts an area where people can ask questions, offer opinions and even load up designs they have for specific team brands. The biggest element is the news section, which is very up to date with any information, sometimes even before it hits the public.
So, where did it all begin? It was the early eighties. Chris’ father was heavily involved in computers and was also a sports fan. When Chris was 5 or 6 years old, he was in the basement of the family home, developing simple programs on their Commodore 64.
Chris spent a great deal of time doodling sports logos, and when he went to games, he was more intrigued with the colours and uniforms, than the game itself. When the internet first came out, the Creamers were there and Chris’ father suggested he try putting together a website with some uniforms and the like.
Chris did not waste any time, and put together the same website he still manages today. It was an instant success, especially after he was featured on CTV. “It was quite a thrill to see myself on TV, remember I was only 13 or 14 at the time,” Chris explained.
I was intrigued how a 13 year old learned how to program, in days before YouTube or Google. Chris explained he would go to the website and download the source code, which is readily available. He would then go in and make small adjustments, and see what affect they would have. From there, his knowledge grew.
“Timing was everything,” Chris went on to explain. “Everything available on line, back in those days, was US centric. There was very little about the CFL, for example, so it was a void that I was able to fill and it got noticed.”
I wondered how you could fill 50,000 pages of web content, but it grew quickly. Each team, regardless of sport, has its own page or set of pages. Each logo has its own section, the history of those logos, and so on.
I found the information quite interesting. For example, the Boston Bruins have always been gold and black, and I suppose I never really thought about why. It seems the grocery company that first sponsored the team, insisted they use the stores colours, which of course were gold and black.
Chris resigned from his fulltime job a few years ago, to dedicate all his time to his website. With over 15 million views per month, I can see where it becomes a full time career, with many long nights, no doubt.
As if running a massive website is not enough, Chris decided to write a book about some of the content of his site. Aptly named ‘The Fabric of the Game’, the book, co-authored with friend Todd Radom, deals with some fantastic information, about sports teams, their logos and their brands, which have not really been captured anywhere. Chris and Todd began researching obscure information, and discovered many of today’s brands are rooted in various historic elements of the past.
Together they spent a great deal of time researching and writing, and their book was an immediate success. ‘Fabric of the Game’ is available on Amazon, and makes a great gift or just for some very interesting reading.
The future has no boundaries for Chris Creamer. He and his wife Kristen are exploring new realms of social media, all while juggling life with their two children. The only limits to the continued success of Chris Creamer’s venture, are imposed by him.
Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award-winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. His show, ‘The Jonathan van Bilsen Show,’ on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube, features many of the people included in this column.