Introduction to The Psychology of Team Colours
Team colours can play a huge role in sports psychology, from the way the spectators in the stands perceive the team, to the way the players themselves feel about the team. Team colours can have an impact on players and spectators physiologically, emotionally, and cognitively, and have even been shown to affect performance.
History of Team Colours
The history of team colours in sports dates back to the early 1900s when they were used purely as a way to distinguish athletes from different teams and practice fields. As the popularity of team colours grew, more teams began to use them as a way of creating a sense of identity for the team and its players.
Nowadays, most teams have an entire colour scheme. By deciding on a team colour scheme, you give yourself plenty of opportunity to effectively brand your team and create a look that everyone will remember.
Significance of Team Colours
Team colours are an important part of sports, and equally important is the psychology behind them. Team colours, jerseys, logos, and designs are used to create a sense of belonging and loyalty amongst players and fans. The colours that you choose can evoke certain emotions and feelings, which may even have an impact on a team’s performance.
In fact, some studies have shown that teams wearing dark or red jerseys had an advantage over teams wearing lighter colours.
Psychology of Team Colours
Overall, team colours are an important part of sports psychology, and can have an effect on the behaviour of spectators and players alike. The psychological impact of team colours can also affect the way players feel about their team and how spectators perceive them.
Keep reading below to see what team colours are the most popular and how they play a role in your team’s brand.
Popular Team Colours
What are the most popular team colours?
The most popular team colours include red, blue, black, white, and purple.
What are the least popular team colours?
The least popular team colours include orange, yellow or gold, green, and pink.
Different colours can evoke different emotions, so the team colour that you choose will have a significant impact on how spectators will perceive your team. Let’s take a closer look at the psychological implications of each colour.
Each colour has its own associated meaning, typically ranging from passion and energy (red) to trust and relaxation (blue), and from balance and harmony (green) to optimism and happiness (yellow). We’ve detailed some colours used in many different sports teams below, along with their usual meanings and associations.
This info-graph highlights the most and least popular team colours and their associated psychological implications. Popular team colours include red, blue, black, purple, and white. Colours less commonly found on a team jersey are lighter shades like yellow, green and pink.
The psychological implications of these colours can have a significant impact on how spectators perceive your team and how players feel. By choosing a colour scheme, you can create a strong sense of identity while incorporating all the colours you and your teammates love.
Popularity of Team Colours Across Sports
Different sports have different team colours, but the overall most popular colour in any sport is red. Many teams in many divisions, from the NHL to the MLB incorporate the colour red in their jerseys. Teams like the Cardinals, Phillies, and the Red Sox often have their players in a red baseball jersey, or red accents on a white jersey. Either way, the colour red is incorporated in their logos and is a firm part of their brand.
Impact and Significance of Team Colours
Team colours can influence performance in a variety of ways, including influencing the motivation and morale of players on the team, and in some cases, have been shown to improve performance.
Studies have also found that teams wearing dark jerseys have an advantage over opponents wearing lighter jerseys. Additionally, team colour can influence the perception of a team to spectators, as well as psychological states that your team might face throughout their games, such as aggression and confidence.
Influence on Performance
Studies have shown that teams wearing darker or red jerseys have a possible win advantage over teams wearing lighter colours, as this colour makes players appear more dominant and intimidating to their opponents. Displaying the colours of their team can also boost the morale of the players, making them more confident and enthusiastic in their performance.
Team colours can also influence the spectators in the stands, who might be more motivated to cheer and support their team when they can easily spot the jerseys their players are wearing. Red is the perfect colour for this, as it stands out in all conditions, indoors and out.
Ultimately, your team's colours will help to create trust and a sense of identity amongst your players, coaches and fans. Before a game, teammates can put on their team colours and feel ready to take on any challenge and show their passion and unity.
The colours you end up choosing can become a symbol of loyalty, trust, and pride for your team.
Choosing the right team colours can make all the difference in the psychological and emotional impact on a team’s performance. Many times, team colours can be the difference between victory and defeat.
The Role of Team Colours in Branding
Create a sense of identity for your team by picking team colours that stand out, and that everyone is a fan of!
Selecting Your Team Colours
Consider using colours that other people will enjoy. If your team jerseys are a popular colour choice like red or blue, your fans watching in the crowd may be more inclined to buy and wear a matching jersey while cheering you on.
Choosing a colour that is less popular, like green or pink, may affect how people feel about your jerseys, or you may end up with people on your team that aren’t a fan of the design.
Be sure to get everyone’s opinion on your team jerseys, especially when it comes to colours, so that your whole team is happy with the outcome.
Although it can be easier if just 1 person, like your coach, handles all aspects of the design, the whole team should have an input on the team colours and logo used on the jersey!
If you’re unsure how to pick team colours that everyone will enjoy, consider our info-graph above that details the most and least popular colours. You can create a voting poll in your team’s Facebook group, or a Google Form for everyone to fill out, so that each of your teammates will be able to have their say. Go with the most popular choice, and use the 2nd and 3rd most popular choices as your accent colours for designing your logo and team jerseys.
Establishing a Sense of Unity
When the team comes together wearing the same colours, the players and coaches automatically feel more connected to one another, they are reminded of their common goal, and they’ll be more than ready to go out there and play their hardest!
Showcasing Team Spirit
It is easier to stay motivated and focused when playing together as a team when you have the same colours and logo on your jersey. Team colours and jersey designs truly show how much pride you have in your team, and wearing the same uniform creates an instant bond.
Presenting a united front is also one of the best ways to get into your competition’s head, and help ensure you all play at your best.
Strengthening Team Brand Loyalty
Having team colours and designs across the board for merchandise, like jerseys, socks, hats, and flags, can help to solidify the team’s brand loyalty and make them a more recognizable entity in their sport.
When teams have a signature colour or design, their fans are more likely to want to purchase items that feature the logo or design so that they can show their support for the team.
Team colours can influence performance in a variety of ways, such as influencing the motivation and morale of players, as well as their possible chance at a win. Studies have found that teams wearing dark jerseys have an advantage over opponents wearing lighter jerseys.
Additionally, team colours can influence the perception of a team to spectators, and should be decided on by your whole team. However, if you’re looking to win your next ball game, we recommend a red baseball jersey!
If you’re looking for further reading on the psychology of team colours in sports, as well as the most popular team colours for logos and jerseys, check out our source materials cited below.
Few, Sam. “The Most Successful Kit Colours in Premier League History - and the Worst.” Mirror, 20 Apr. 2019, https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/what-most-successful-kit-colours-14418719.
Fussell, Grace. “10 Energizing Color Palettes for Sports Branding and Marketing.” The Shutterstock Blog, 17 Oct. 2022, https://www.shutterstock.com/blog/sports-color-palettes-branding-marketing.
Nalwala, Ali Asgar. “FIFA World Cup 2022 Jersey: Know All Teams' Kits.” Olympics.com, International Olympic Committee, 24 Nov. 2022, https://olympics.com/en/news/fifa-world-cup-2022-team-jersey.
Rickert, Adam. “Best Looks in the League: Power Ranking the NHL's Home Uniforms.” Bleacher Report, 29 Sept. 2017, https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1304679-ranking-the-nhls-home-uniforms.
Williams, Cassidy. “Wear Red and You'll Win Gold.” Samford University, 23 Oct. 2017, https://www.samford.edu/sports-analytics/fans/2017/Wear-Red-and-Youll-Win-Gold.