Exploring the National Hockey League’s Reverse Retro Campaign: Response to Pseudo-Nostalgia in Uniform Design

Nicholas Burton

This study explores the use of pseudo-nostalgic designs in sport marketing, examining consumer response to the National Hockey League’s 2020‒2021 Reverse Retro uniform campaign. By investigating user response to the twelve teams’ Reverse Retro sweater release and promotion on Twitter, the study endeavors to explore the extent to which pseudo-nostalgic designs elicit nostalgic sentiment and the degree to which such nostalgia may impact upon individuals’ perceptions of uniform designs. The findings of the research suggest that while pseudo-nostalgic uniforms can inspire feelings of nostalgia, the symbolic connections manifested within sporting uniforms are cocreated between teams and fans and the inclusion of nostalgic cues should be reflective of fans’ own sense of nostalgia, not imposed upon them by such designs.